The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday comes from Section 4 of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States: “… or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.” This provision means that no one could claim losses for the emancipation of their slaves or for losses fighting the emancipation of slaves.
W. Cleon Skousen explained, “Prior to the war there had been a number of plans for the emancipation of the slaves through compensation to their owners, but these had been rejected. Since the slaves had now been emancipated by force of arms as well as by law, no slave owner would be allowed to claim that he lost his slaves without due process and without compensation.” (See The Making of America – the Substance and Meaning of the Constitution, p. 727.)
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