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Article-of-the-Day #79: Encyclopedia Virginia-James Madison and Slavery

Madison supported legislation allowing those who claimed people as property to free their workers without the approval of state or local authorities, but he never liberated his own enslaved workers. Madison opposed the African slave trade throughout his career, yet late in life he defended the westward expansion of slavery. He regularly attacked slavery as a violation of republican principles, without ever putting forward a realistic program to eradicate the institution. Instead, he embraced an unworkable plan to colonize freed enslaved people in Africa.