Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Slave Trade and the Origins of International Human Rights Law$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Jenny S. Martinez

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780195391626

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780195391626.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 14 May 2021

The United States and the Slave Trade

The United States and the Slave Trade

An Ambivalent Foe

(p.38) Chapter 3 The United States and the Slave Trade
The Slave Trade and the Origins of International Human Rights Law

Jenny S. Martinez

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines slavery and slave trade in American politics. By the time the Declaration of Independence proclaimed in July 1776 that “all men are created equal,” there were thousands of African slaves in North America. The U.S. Constitution, drafted in Philadelphia in 1787, is oddly evasive on the issue of slavery. Though the federal government could not constitutionally ban the importation of slaves until 1808, the states had begun to prohibit the importation of slaves on their own even by the time of the Constitutional Convention. By the 1820s, the law of nations was in an ambiguous and transitional state with respect to the slave trade. Still, international law could no longer directly authorize slave trading. Instead, each country had to decide on its own, either through legislation or ratification of theories.

Keywords:   slavery, slave trade, American politics, United States, slave trading, Declaration of Independence, African slaves, slave importation

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .