The revolutionary generation feared disunion--which was predicted by many foreign observers. And so the revolutionary generations made extraordinary efforts to prevent disunion. Such fears, however, transcended support for any social reform that threatened political union. The accommodations the Founding Fathers made to the slave interest in drafting the Constitution in 1787 bespoke their belief that the interests of union superseded those of emancipation. The widespread distribution of property in the United States forestalled a truly radical revolution anyway. Americans equated property-holding with social and political stability and orderly progress--and they warned that the presence of un-propertied elements would unsettle society. And even friends of anti-slavery acknowledged that wholesale emancipation of the slaves would introduce a large, dependent class into the body politic. It would also invite demagogues and intriguers to sow political discord among them. Whatever its moral merits, emancipation would have to be gradual and linked to programs of either apprenticeship or colonization--in order to safeguard the republic from a fatal infusion of propertyless--and thus, dangerous--citizens. Thomas Jefferson also believed that--if slavery were removed--blacks and whites could not live together harmoniously, that one would devour the other. Hating slavery but fearing the consequences of precipitously ending it, the revolutionary generation attacked slavery indirectly: limiting its geographic expansion and its numerical increase by abolishing the slave trade, and pushing it ever southward.