What is the 'silence' at the heart of this chapter? In Ellis's account, how did it change between 1776 and 1790?
The title of the chapter refers to both the 20 year deferral of a debate of slavery at the Constitutional Convention in 1787 and the push, lead by Madison, in response to the 1790 debate on slavery begun by several northern Quaker delegations, to effectively place slavery out of bounds for Congressional discussion. This question is an opportunity for students to identify the arguments Ellis is making in the chapter, one of which is that instead of leading the way towards abolition, the majority of the founders involved in the 1790 debate opted for a policy of...
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