Tulane Law Review, Vol. 42, No. 2 (February 1968), pp. 289-303. Reprinted with the permission of the Tulane Law Review Association, which holds the copyright.


The problem I wish to discuss is the moral attitude of the later Republican jurists to slavery. The prominent jurists of the time belong to the upper classes and, although it would be wrong to generalize from the jurists to other members of the aristocracy, we shall have a certain glimpse into the social attitudes of the period if we can gain a reasonably clear picture from the jurists. I will deal only with juristic discussion, and not with the statutes and edicts which concern slavery. No doubt the jurists would play a part in shaping these, but public political acts are less instructive for the outlook of the jurists than their legal opinions which would not be subject to the same publicity. And for the purposes of this article I will say nothing about the factors which influenced the attitude of the jurists.