To What Extent Was The Activist Movement Of The Underground Railroad Trasgressing The Law?

1501 Words Dec 10th, 2016 7 Pages
To what extent was the activist movement of the Underground Railroad trasgressing the law?

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” - Declaration of Independence, 1776
The slavery greviance did not make it in the Declaration of Independence in 1776, but the document did claim that “all men are created equal”. Eleven years later, in 1787, the founders drafted the consitution and did not eliminate slavery. African Americans in slavery had always struggled to be free. Before the Revolution, when all of the colonies permitted slavery, most fugitive slaves hid in communities located in swamps, forests, or mountains. Beginning in the 1770s, northern states abolished slavery, and by the 1830s, slavery was illegal throughout the North and in the British colonies of Canada. Some free people in both the North and the South helped slaves escape to the free states. Although many people opposed slavery, only a relative handful were devoted enough to the cause to help fugitive slaves escape their masters. In this atmosphere, the Underground Railroad was born. Although the secret network Underground Railroad violated the Fugitive Slave Act as it assisted runaway slaves in their path to freedom instead of their return to their owners, these federal measures may be unconstitutional and nullified by the Northern states.…

Related Documents