Thomas G. West
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Vindicating the Founders (2001)
- Vindicating the Founders (2001), Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
- Blacks got federal passports implying that they were citizens... The Articles of Confederation stated that "the free inhabitants of these states... shall be entitled to all privileges of immunities of free citizens in the several states", Congress voted down South Carolina's proposal to insert the word "white" into this clause.
- Most of the Constitution's Framers knew, and many said, that slavery was wrong.
- p. 14
- [B]lacks definitely were part of "we the people" who made the Constitution of 1787.
- p. 26
- What defines a people is not race, not tradition, not geography, but the free choice of a group of human beings to live together as fellow citizens.
- p. 28
- When the decision was finally made to accept blacks as full citizens, the founders' principles provided the theoretical foundation. Lincoln's revival of the declaration in the 1850s had prepared the way. In principle, people of all races can become citizens of a nation based on the idea that "all men are created equal".
- p. 28
- The growing openness to members of all the world's races was always possible under the terms of the Declaration of Independence, which, as Lincoln noted, made a transracial principle, the equal natural rights of all men, the basis of citizenship. For that reason, America from the beginning was always a multinational and multiracial society. As early as 1776, as we saw in the first chapter, some blacks were citizens, as were many non-British Europeans.
- p. 167