Every so often I hear a person say something about America’s history… Usually, it is some angry Democrat reminding those that have the audacity to believe that America is fundamentally, a good country; that in the past, Americans thought black people were 3/5ths of a person. Now is that fair?
No, it’s not quite “fair”. It’s not fair because although some people thought blacks were inferior, there were more who did not believe that. It’s also not fair because, around the same time that there was this discussion of 3 blacks, being worth 5 whites (for representational calculations), many white people fought a war, in part, to END slavery.
Curiously, whenever you hear this “3/5ths argument”, it is being spouted by a Democrat, who is blaming some Republican for doing something racist. It seems all too convenient (or possibly ignorant) that those people seem to forget, that it was actually, the Democrat Party, that was the central cause for the 3/5ths Compromise itself. Because without Democrat slavery, there would be need to compromise at all. Without Democrats wishing to use their property (slaves) as leverage and power to keep the status quo (slavery) going, Abraham Lincoln (A Republican), wouldn’t have written the Emancipation Proclamation, and had to fight to keep the Union together.
Why Was A Compromise Needed?
Well, the Constitution needed to be ratified, but the Southern, Democrat-led States, would not sign on to the new Constitution. The reason why they wouldn’t, was because of the number of Congressional Representatives. The southern States knew that because there were more people living in the North, that they would have less power over the new Federal Government; WHO WOULD PROMPTLY END SLAVERY. Since they had a large percentage of slaves, they wanted to count “their slaves” in the census, and use that larger number to determine the apportionment of Representatives in the House of Representatives. They wanted the extra power, even though their slaves couldn’t vote.
The Northern, anti-slavery States, saw an opportunity to end slavery and noted the hypocrisy. They suggested said that slaves shouldn’t count, because they had no Rights, nor any ability to vote. They told the Slave States, that if they freed the slaves, that each free person would then count as “1” person. Of course, the Southern States refused and would not sign on.
The “Compromise“, was that the Slaves would count as 3/5ths to appease the Southern Democrat Slaveholders. The northerners compromised, to get the southerners to sign on to the proposed Constitution. It should be absolutely clear… that if it were up to the Democrat Party, that the slaves would have been counted as 1 person… But it wouldn’t matter, because they’d still have been slaves with no input into the political system.
Can we all just admit, that the 3/5ths Compromise, was a good thing, done for the right reasons by the slavery abolition movement? Can we admit that it was the Democrat Party who would not allow the Slaves to be counted as 1-man BECAUSE, they wanted to own people?
In the end, it was NOT “Americans” that thought blacks were 3/5ths of a man, it was “Democrats” that thought they were…