Alexander Stephens’ Cornerstone speech discusses the new constitution of the Confederate States of America, and how it differs from the constitution of the United States of America. The title of the speech refers to the most significant of the changes to the constitution, which concerns the role of African Americans in society. The constitution of the Confederacy states that African Americans are fundamentally inferior to white people, and the enslavement of black people is the natural order of things. Stephens calls this idea the cornerstone on which the Confederate government is founded. 

In the first part of Stephens’ speech, he discusses the changes concerning taxation and public spending that have been made to the constitution. Stephens explains how under the new constitution, the tax money of one state will be used to repa...

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