Agreement Regarding The Counting Of Slaves When Calculating Representation

First, because direct taxes must be distributed according to the numbers in each state, and since Massachusetts does not contain one, but what is declared a free man, all blacks as whites must be numbered; This must therefore act against us, because two-fifths of the slaves in the southern states must be removed from the census. Therefore, three Massachusetts children will increase the tax to five strong and adult who work every day a week for their teachers and save the Sabbath during which they can get something for their own support. We do not see justice in this way of tax distribution. Nor do we see a valid reason for our delegates to approve it. No one wanted to offend these men. Yet the Convention had to make some decisions on slavery. Slavery concerned trade and tax laws, as well as the issue of representation in Congress. By including three-fifths of slaves (who did not have the right to vote) in the legislative division, the three-fifths compromise created additional representation in the House of Representatives of slave states over free states. In 1793, for example, the slave states of the South had 47 of the 105 seats, but would have allocated 33 seats on the basis of free populations. In 1812, the slave states had 76 out of 143 instead of the 59 they would have had; 1833 98 seats out of 240 instead of 73. As a result, the southern states had additional influence over the presidency, the spokesman for the House of Representatives and the Supreme Court until the American Civil War. [15] Moreover, the insistence of the Southern States on the same number of slave and free states maintained until 1850 protected the southern bloc of the Senate as well as the votes of the Electoral College.

A controversial issue at the 1787 Constitutional Convention was whether slaves were counted as part of the population in determining state representation in Congress or whether they were instead considered property and not considered as such for representation. Delegates from states with a large population of slaves argued that slaves should be regarded as persons in determining representation, but as property if the new government collected taxes on states on the basis of population. Delegates from states where slavery had become rare argued that slaves should be involved in taxation, but not in the provision of representation. The topic was never easy to discuss. Some of the most important men in America owned slaves. George Washington and James Madison were among them. Section 2 of the Fourteenth Amendment (1868) later replaced Article 1, Section 2, paragraph 3, and expressly repealed the compromise. It provides that «representatives… census of the total number of people in each country, with the exception of non-taxed Indians. A subsequent provision of the same clause reduced the representation of states in Congress that denied adult men the right to vote, but this provision was never effectively enforced.

[19] (The Thirteenth Amendment, passed in 1865, had already excluded almost all persons from the jurisdiction of the original clause by prohibiting slavery; the only remaining persons subject to it were those who were sentenced to a crime, which was excluded from the prohibition by the amendment).) Slavery also became a theme when the Convention began to discuss the powers of the national legislator. Once again, the question was asked: are slaves human beings? Or are they the property? The answer would have an impact on import taxes and the growth of the new states. During the debate, some delegates argued that slaves were property.

Comments are closed, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open.