Their power allowed them to defeat federal legislation against racial violence and abuses in the South. Compromise[ edit ] After a contentious debate, the compromise that was finally agreed upon—of counting "all other persons" as only three-fifths of their actual numbers—reduced the representation of the slave states relative to the original proposals, but improved it over the Northern position. The Southern bloc comprised Southern Democrats voted into office by white voters and constituted a powerful voting bloc in Congress until the s. In , for example, Southern slave states had 47 of the members but would have had 33, had seats been assigned based on free populations. The three-fifths ratio originated with a amendment proposed to the Articles of Confederation. The proposed ratio was, however, a ready solution to the impasse that arose during the Constitutional Convention. Historian Garry Wills has postulated that without the additional slave state votes, Jefferson would have lost the presidential election of
Historian Garry Wills has postulated that without the additional slave state votes, Jefferson would have lost the presidential election of Their power allowed them to defeat federal legislation against racial violence and abuses in the South. In , slave states had 76 out of instead of the 59 they would have had; in , 98 out of instead of The amendment was to have changed the basis for determining the wealth of each state, and hence its tax obligations, from real estate to population, as a measure of ability to produce wealth. It provides that "representatives shall be apportioned However, since slaves could not vote, leaders in slave states would thus have the benefit of increased representation in the House and the Electoral College. In that situation, the alignment of the contending forces was the reverse of what had obtained under the Articles of Confederation. A contentious issue at the Constitutional Convention was whether slaves would be counted as part of the population in determining representation of the states in the Congress or would instead be considered property and, as such, not be considered for purposes of representation. Their representatives, re-elected repeatedly by one-party states, controlled numerous chairmanships of important committees in both houses on the basis of seniority, giving them control over rules, budgets and important patronage projects, among other issues. As Thomas Jefferson wrote in his notes on the debates, the southern states would be taxed "according to their numbers and their wealth conjunctly, while the northern would be taxed on numbers only". The three-fifths ratio originated with a amendment proposed to the Articles of Confederation. They are persons known to the municipal laws of the states which they inhabit, as well as to the laws of nature. Compromise[ edit ] After a contentious debate, the compromise that was finally agreed upon—of counting "all other persons" as only three-fifths of their actual numbers—reduced the representation of the slave states relative to the original proposals, but improved it over the Northern position. Also, "slavery would have been excluded from Missouri The proposed ratio was, however, a ready solution to the impasse that arose during the Constitutional Convention. Delegates from states where slavery had become rare argued that slaves should be included in taxation, but not in determining representation. Support for the new Constitution rested on the balance of these sectional interests. These measures effectively gave white Southerners even greater voting power than they had in the antebellum era, inflating the number of Southern Democrats in the House of Representatives as well as the number of votes they could exercise in the Electoral College in the election of the president. Delegates from states with a large population of slaves argued that slaves should be considered persons in determining representation, but as property if the new government were to levy taxes on the states on the basis of population. They are men, though degraded to the condition of slavery. Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons. But representation and taxation go together In the Constitutional Convention, the more important issue was representation in Congress, so the South wanted slaves to count for more than the North did. The disenfranchisement of black citizens eventually attracted the attention of Congress, and in some members proposed stripping the South of seats, related to the number of people who were barred from voting. The Southern bloc comprised Southern Democrats voted into office by white voters and constituted a powerful voting bloc in Congress until the s. As a result, Southern states had disproportionate influence on the presidency , the speakership of the House , and the Supreme Court in the period prior to the Civil War.
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