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3/5ths Compromise

PostPosted: 10 Apr 2019, 16:09
by Tarsier

Any thoughts on this? I don't know this guy, his stances on anything, or the full context of the discussion. But I saw another story a while back where a professor was forced to apologize for a similar claim on the 3/5th compromise.

So, in isolation, am I missing something from my history classes or the context of this situation that would explain why his statement would be an "offensive mischaracterization"?

Re: 3/5ths Compromise

PostPosted: 10 Apr 2019, 17:34
by NoPunIn10Did
It's offensive because it's a half-truth that omits some rather important aspects of why the compromise came about.

The South wanted their enslaved human beings to count toward their population figures when computing House representation and Electoral College votes while also keeping them in total subjugation.

The North didn't want their enslaved human beings to count toward their population at all; their view was roughly that the Southern politicians shouldn't receive electoral power in a democracy on the basis of a population with no rights.

The 3/5 compromise was the middle ground that was agreed upon. It was absolutely racist because it further enshrined the legality of slavery in the constitution. It is arguably less racist than granting House representation based on the entire enslaved population, but that's not anywhere near the same as saying it was not racist.

Re: 3/5ths Compromise

PostPosted: 10 Apr 2019, 18:08
by Tarsier
That's an interesting and worthwhile observation.

I think a lot of the backlash comes from the idea that he is claiming it isn't racist in so far as it is claiming a slave is 3/5ths of a person (since slaves are referred to as "persons" in the compromise, but that the ratio only allows 3 "persons" to count toward representation in Congress for every five non-free persons counted).

You are arguing that it is racist, but for the enshrinement of slavery - valid point.