Thursday, May 26, 2011
Just Don't Talk About It
Abolitionists in an attempt to agitate against slavery, beginning in 1831 gushed the United States Congress with petitions requesting restriction or abolishment of slavery. Most of these petitions were presented for the people by John Quincy Adams. The proslavery members of Congress met these petitions with a series of gag rules which deliberately prevented them from even being read or discussed. The United States House of Representatives passed the Pinckney Resolutions, known as the “gag rule” on May 26th 1836 by a vote of 117 to 68. Adams argued against the “gag rule” saying it was a violation of the First Amendment, which gives people the right “to petition the Government for a redress of grievances". Public objection to the “gag rules” added supporters to the antislavery cause. The “gag rules” were rescinded in 1844.