Why Virginia ought to ratify the constitution

Because "our negroes are numerous, and daily becoming more so." -- Edmund Randolph, in the Virginia ratifying convention, quoted in Kevin Gutzman, James Madison and the Making of America, p. 217


  1. Huh. I'm not sure why that's a reason for ratifying the Constitution. You may have goofed when typed in the title, so that may be why I don't get it.

    Admittedly, I've attempted to rewrite the United States Constitution several times. Being the civil libertarian that I am, I took the "rationalist" approach and explicitly wrote out indefinite detention, assassinations, conscription, and taxes not placed on transaction while restricting secession and the powers of the state governments.

    1. "You may have goofed when typed in the title"

      Well, Siri goofed: now corrected. You might put yourself in slaveholder Randolph's shoes and ask why he would think that.

    2. Am I correct in guessing that they wished to ratify it because the Fugitive Slave Clause? I'm admittedly taking a literalist view of the Constitution in order to see how they would've interpreted it at the time. Having poured over laissez-faire/Rothbard-derived libertarian material I'm having trouble not looking at this in terms of economic regulation.

      Side note: Though I have to wonder: For all of Rothbard's siding with the anti-Federalists, he was fond of the laissez-faire economic policies that were in place after the Civil War.

    3. Even more important, I think, was the 1808 ban on importation of slaves. Anti-ratification people, in fact, decried the delay.


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