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The institution of slavery is very old and persists to modern times. The Constitution dealt with the practical matter of government rather than the ideal. Despite the high moral position taken by the Founding Fathers, they lived in a time when primitive cultures were considered "savage" or "inferior" when compared to the "educated" and "enlightened" peoples of Europe. Never mind that Western governments fought just as many wars and lacked true social equality.

(It was 1863 before slavery ended, at the cost of a destroyed South. It was 1920 before women gained the right to vote, and 1964 before civil rights were actually guaranteed under law.)

The Constitution succeeded in uniting the states, and left it to later generations to make its government more responsive to the moral standards it aspired to.

*The Declaration of Independence actually contained a condemnation of slavery as late as the final revision on July 3, 1776, when it was removed along with a line critical of English society.

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Q: How do you account for the contradiction between the constitutional acceptance of slavery and the ideals set forth in both the Declaration of Independence and the constitution?
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