1787, in process of successful development.
With the adoption of the Constitution, the national principle entered on a period of marvelous expansion and activity.
Let it not, however, be hastily concluded that freedom meanwhile was in total eclipse, that the antislavery sentiment was absolutely without influence.
For it unquestionably inspired the Ordinance of 1787.
The Northwest Territory, out of which were subsequently organized the States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin, was thereby, forever secured to the Northern idea, and free labor.
Supplementary to this grand act was the Constitutional prohibition of the African slave-trade after the year 1808.
Together they were intended to discourage the growth of slavery — the first by restricting its territorial extension, the second, by arresting its numerical increase.
And without doubt they would have placed the evil in the way of ultimate extinction had other and far reaching causes not intervened to produ