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Creating the Land of LincolnThe History and Constitutions of Illinois, 1778-1870$
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Frank Cicero Jr.

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780252041679

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252041679.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 28 June 2022

The Constitution of 1818

The Constitution of 1818

Slavery, a Bogus Census, Feeble Executive Power

(p.44) Chapter 2 The Constitution of 1818
Creating the Land of Lincoln

Frank Cicero Jr.

University of Illinois Press

Chapter 2 follows Illinois’s transition from territory to state. A territorial census was likely padded to reach the required 40,000 inhabitants. The 1818 constitutional convention wrote the state’s founding document, many of its provisions drawn from other states’ constitutions. The delegates sought to limit the governor’s role by vesting powers in the legislature, leading to an unsteady balance of governmental powers. Delegates also focused on the question of slavery, termed “indentured servitude” in the constitution and described as “voluntary.” This wording set up debate in U.S. Congress that previewed the Missouri Compromise, but ultimately the constitution was approved and Illinois became a state on December 3, 1818. The slavery debate continued in Illinois, a frontier state that blended northern and southern sensibilities.

Keywords:   Census, Illinois—constitutional convention, 1818, Illinois—history, Illinois—statehood, Illinois Territory—history, indentured servitude, Missouri Compromise, Slavery, state government—balance of powers

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