Three-Fifths Compromise

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    A common criticism of the 3/5 Compromise, and perhaps even the Constitution itself, is that it counted slaves as subhuman, only 3/5. Was this concept discussed around the time of the Convention or in ratification debates? Was it used later on by abolitionists? … Do you think that the 3/5 Compromise is indicative of a perception of slaves as being less than human (any more than say, I don’t know … the institution of slavery itself)?


    No, it had nothing to do with that.

    Northern states wanted slaves to count 100% for taxation purposes and 0% for representation purposes.
    Southern states wanted slaves to count 0% for taxation purposes and 100% for representation purposes.
    3/5 for both purposes was the compromise.

    It wasn’t a philosophical statement. No one denied that slaves were human.

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