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Katie Austin In our nations history the period of creation for the United States Constitution always intrigued

me. Learning about the foreground that allows all citizens today the freedom and rights our ancestors fought for against Great Britain. Slaves then became a huge issue in the United States due to the practice of this institution and mistreatment of those involved. When the Constitution was being created there were many debates on the inclusion of slaves, which I felt was very important to research and expose as my National History Day project. Since the theme this year was Rights and Responsibilities I felt this worked perfectly because the slaves were being denying their rights as human beings and others were debating their responsibility towards allowed slaves the basic rights as humans and people living in the United States. The beginning stages of my research began with scouring the shelves of my local library. After a little while I then realized for a tech savvy person like myself, I would be more comfortable with using the online databases of my high school library instead. This way it was easier to pull up information and easily work on my website entry for the contest. Over my time of research I used a plethora of databases including ABC-CLIO and others searching for old government documents and articles from the time period that would be beneficial to my topic. Last year for NHD my partner and I did an exhibit board. While we enjoyed the process last year, I decided that for my last year I would choose a less labor-intensive medium. This is where the idea for a website came into play. I consider myself a fairly technological person, a documentary seemed to be a task I was not yet ready to take on and the performance was out of the question due to the fact I am not a talented actress; So a website was the most logical choice. When the Constitution was being constructed, slaves were a hot topic for debate in terms of including them into this document. Those who did not agree with the addition of slaves were from the South where slavery was a very prominent part of everyday life. Those who owned slaves saw

them as property and not humans therefore should not have the same rights and responsibilities as the citizens of the United States.

Erin Gerken

In choosing my topic, I carefully thought about this years theme. Rights and Responsibilities is a very broad topic with many possibilities. The other members in my group bounced ideas off of each other. We wanted to do something we were comfortable with, but something that would also be interesting. After playing around with some ideas, I felt that the exclusion of slaves from the Constitution was a good fit. We decided upon this because we have decent background knowledge on the Constitution, but no history class we have ever taken discusses the extensive debate of slaves within the Constitution. We wished to delve deeper into the topic.

Researching my topic first started with general Google searches to get an idea in the direction I wanted to take my topic. After figuring out that my group wished to focus on the rights slaves were denied and the later rights they were given through the Civil War Amendments, specific research began. Using the Virtual Reference collection through my library at school, I found specific documents, pictures, and debates relating to my topic. The Constitution was also a big part in our research as my topic revolves around it.

Having used the website category the last two years, it seemed like the right choice. The other members in my group had never used the website category before, so I helped them with the design and putting our information into the website. The Weebly website makes creating a

site seamlessly easy as it is very user friendly. Websites happen to be my favorite category as they are interactive and I have total creative control over what goes into the website.

During the time of the Constitutional Convention, slaves made up almost half of the population. The Framers intended to make a new document to protect their rights that the British had taken away from them. Ironically, they did the same exact thing to Africans. It was the responsibility of the Framers to include them as citizens within the Constitution and they failed by denying them basic rights.

Ana Mangafas

I chose my topic because I felt that it had an excess amount of possible sources that I could use for my website. So I chose how slaves were excluded from the constitution. This topic was one that went on in our history for over a century, which is why I felt that it deserved to be researched. For me to truly understand everything that really happened and went on during that time.

I conducted my research mainly through the internet. I used databases under the Hauppauge High School Library which proved to be very helpful in finding primary sources. I also chose to use other databases outside of school like ABC-CLO which was helpful, and lead me to find Cornells website with the three civil war amendments which were key to my project.

For my project me and my partners chose to do a website. We felt that with all our quotes and pictures it would be able to look the most organized and have the format to make our efforts in our project known. We then created our project by showing the arguments of being for and

against slavery. We then proceeded to show how slaves were treated very unequal from not being in the constitution like with the three-fifths compromise. Then we showed the civil war amendments and how slaves finally were beginning to get rights that they have deserved for so long. Followed by our conclusion and supplements.

This years theme for NHD was turning points. How could this not relate to our topic. Slaves getting rights in our nation was a huge turning point that changed everything. It lead to more debates and civil right activists. That also helped minorities and women want to fight for their rights. The exclusion of slaves from the constitution proved to be a mistake that would not go away without consequences. It relates to the theme because what followed after slaves were excluded would be challenges that tested our whole nation, its what brought about the civil war, and so much more. These reasons alone are huge things that make a strong correlation between major turning points and exclusion of slaves from the constitution.