Race and Affirmative Action


Neither the subject of race nor the word slavery is mentioned in the U.S. Constitution. The Founding generation believed that slavery was a necessary evil that would eventually be abolished. However, due to various reasons, slavery only became more deeply entrenched, and the Civil War was fought to decide the matter. In response to injustices of the past, 20th-century politicians devised an affirmative action system that aimed to guarantee equal outcomes at the expense of equal rights for all.


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Paul Moreno is the William and Berniece Grewcock Professor in Constitutional History at Hillsdale College. He received his B.A. from the State University of New York and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Maryland at College Park.