„They believe that the Congress of the United States has no power under the Constitution to interfere with the institution of slavery in the different States.“

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Abraham Lincoln93
1809 - 1865
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„The question fairly stated is, Has the Constitution delegated to Congress the power to coerce a State into submission which is attempting to withdraw or has actually withdrawn from the Confederacy?“

—  James Buchanan American politician, 15th President of the United States (in office from 1857 to 1861) 1791 - 1868
Context: The course of events is so rapidly hastening forward that the emergency may soon arise when you may be called upon to decide the momentous question whether you possess the power by force of arms to compel a State to remain in the Union. I should feel myself recreant to my duty were I not to express an opinion on this important subject. The question fairly stated is, Has the Constitution delegated to Congress the power to coerce a State into submission which is attempting to withdraw or has actually withdrawn from the Confederacy? If answered in the affirmative, it must be on the principle that the power has been conferred upon Congress to declare and to make war against a State. After much serious reflection I have arrived at the conclusion that no such power has been delegated to Congress or to any other department of the Federal Government. It is manifest upon an inspection of the Constitution that this is not among the specific and enumerated powers granted to Congress, and it is equally apparent that its exercise is not "necessary and proper for carrying into execution" any one of these powers. So far from this power having been delegated to Congress, it was expressly refused by the Convention which framed the Constitution. Speech before Congress (3 December 1860).

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„The people of these United States are the rightful masters of both Congresses and courts, not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.“

—  Abraham Lincoln 16th President of the United States 1809 - 1865
Context: I say that we must not interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists, because the Constitution forbids it, and the general welfare does not require us to do so. We must not withhold an efficient Fugitive Slave law, because the Constitution requires us, as I understand it, not to withhold such a law. But we must prevent the outspreading of the institution, because neither the Constitution nor general welfare requires us to extend it. We must prevent the revival of the African slave trade, and the enacting by Congress of a Territorial slave code. We must prevent each of these things being done by either Congresses or courts. The people of these United States are the rightful masters of both Congresses and courts, not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution. Speech at Cincinnati, Ohio, September 17, 1859 http://www.gutenberg.org/dirs/3/2/5/3253/3253-h/files/2657/2657-h/2657-h.htm#2H_4_0043; in "The Papers And Writings Of Abraham Lincoln, Volume Five, Constitutional Edition", edited by Arthur Brooks Lapsley and released as " The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Papers And Writings Of Abraham Lincoln, Volume Five, by Abraham Lincoln http://www.gutenberg.org/dirs/3/2/5/3253/3253-h/files/2657/2657-h/2657-h.htm" by Project Gutenberg on July 5, 2009

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„I consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground: That "all powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States or to the people."“

—  Thomas Jefferson 3rd President of the United States of America 1743 - 1826
Context: I consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground: That "all powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States or to the people." To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specially drawn around the powers of Congress, is to take possession of a boundless field of power, no longer susceptible of any definition. The incorporation of a bank, and the powers assumed by this bill, have not, in my opinion, been delegated to the United States, by the Constitution... They are not among the powers specially enumerated... Opinion against the constitutionality of a National Bank (1791), also quoted in The Writings of Thomas Jefferson "Memorial Edition" (20 Vols., 1903-04) edited by Andrew A. Lipscomb and Albert Ellery Bergh, Vol. 3, p. 146

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„I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the states where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.“

—  Abraham Lincoln 16th President of the United States 1809 - 1865
First Debate with Stephen Douglas in the Lincoln-Douglas debates http://www.bartleby.com/251/ of the 1858 campaign for the U.S. Senate, at Ottawa, Illinois (21 August 1858). Lincoln later quoted himself and repeated this statement in his first Inaugural Address (4 March 1861) to emphasize that any acts of secession were over-reactions to his election. During the war which followed his election he eventually declared the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing the slaves in those states in rebellion against the union, arguably as a war measure rather than as an entirely political or moral initiative.

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„The United States Government has taken steps to make sure that the constitution of the United States applies to all individuals.“

—  Robert F. Kennedy American politician and brother of John F. Kennedy 1925 - 1968
Context: The Irish were not wanted there [when his grandfather came to Boston]. Now an Irish Catholic is president of the United States … There is no question about it. In the next 40 years a Negro can achieve the same position that my brother has. … We have tried to make progress and we are making progress … we are not going to accept the status quo. … The United States Government has taken steps to make sure that the constitution of the United States applies to all individuals. AP report with lead summarizing of remarks stating "Robert F. Kennedy said yesterday that the United States — despite Alabama violence — is moving so fast in race relations a Negro could be President in 40 years." "Negro President in 40 Years?" in Montreal Gazette (27 May 1961) http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1946&dat=19610527&id=y40tAAAAIBAJ&sjid=F50FAAAAIBAJ&pg=5424,5208719

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„Slavery shall not exist anywhere within the United States or the jurisdiction thereof; and the Congress shall have power to make all laws necessary and proper to carry this prohibition into effect.“

—  Charles Sumner American abolitionist and politician 1811 - 1874
Proposed amendment https://books.google.com/books?id=pmZEAQAAIAAJ&pg=PA24&dq=%22james+madison%22+%22property+in+man%22&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiwiczw5s_LAhVMOT4KHaM8CdMQ6AEINDAA#v=onepage&q=%22james%20madison%22%20%22property%20in%20man%22&f=false (8 April 1864)

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„The United States has the power to destroy the world, but not the power to save it alone.“

—  Margaret Mead American anthropologist 1902 - 1978
As quoted in Quotations for Our Time (1977), by Laurence J. Peter, p. 509

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„It has always been denied by the republican party in this country, that the Constitution had given the power of incorporation to Congress. On the establishment of the Bank of the United States, this was the great ground on which that establishment was combated; and the party prevailing supported it only on the argument of its being an incident to the power given them for raising money.“

—  Thomas Jefferson 3rd President of the United States of America 1743 - 1826
Letter to Dr. Maese (1809) ME 12:231 : The Writings of Thomas Jefferson "Memorial Edition" (20 Vols., 1903-04) edited by Andrew A. Lipscomb and Albert Ellery Bergh, Vol. 12, p. 231; also quoted at "Thomas Jefferson on Politics & Government : Money & Banking" at University of Virginia http://etext.virginia.edu/jefferson/quotations/jeff1325.htm

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