Which of the Following Correctly Describes the Three Fifths Compromise

Superseded U.s. Constitution clause counting slaves

Three-fifths Compromise
was an agreement reached during the 1787 United States Constitutional Convention over the counting of slaves in determining a state’south total population. This count would determine the number of seats in the Firm of Representatives and how much each state would pay in taxes. The compromise counted three-fifths of each state’s slave population toward that state’southward total population for the purpose of apportioning the House of Representatives. Fifty-fifty though slaves were denied voting rights, this gave Southern states more Representatives and more presidential electoral votes than if slaves had non been counted. It also gave slaveholders similarly enlarged powers in Southern legislatures; this was an issue in the secession of W Virginia from Virginia in 1863. Free blacks and indentured servants were not discipline to the compromise, and each was counted as 1 full person for representation.[1]

In the United States Constitution, the Three-fifths Compromise is function of Article 1, Section ii, Clause 3. Section 2 of the Fourteenth Amendment (1868) subsequently superseded this clause and explicitly repealed the compromise.



In the U.S. Constitution, the 3-fifths Compromise is part of Article 1, Section 2, Clause three:

Representatives and straight Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined past adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those leap to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians non taxed,
three fifths of all other Persons
[italics added].[2]

Drafting and ratification


Confederation Congress


The three-fifths ratio originated with an amendment proposed to the Articles of Confederation on April xviii, 1783.[3]

: 112

The subpoena was to have changed the basis for determining the wealth of each state, and hence its taxation obligations, from real estate to population, every bit a measure of ability to produce wealth. The proposal by a committee of the Congress had suggested that taxes “shall be supplied by the several colonies in proportion to the number of inhabitants of every historic period, sex activity, and quality, except Indians not paying taxes”.[5]

: 51

The South immediately objected to this formula since it would include slaves, who were viewed primarily as property, in calculating the corporeality of taxes to be paid. 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”.[v]

: 51–52

After proposed compromises of one-one-half by Benjamin Harrison of Virginia and three-fourths past several New Englanders failed to gain sufficient back up, Congress finally settled on the three-fifths ratio proposed past James Madison.[5]

: 53

Merely this amendment ultimately failed, falling ii states short of the unanimous approval required to amend the Articles of Confederation (New Hampshire and New York opposed information technology).

Constitutional Convention


During the Constitutional Convention, the compromise was proposed past delegate James Wilson and seconded by Charles Pinckney.[vii]

: 143

When he presented his plan for the frame of government to the Convention on its start day, Charles Pinckney of South Carolina proposed that for the purposes of apportionment, a “House of Delegates” exist determined through the apportionment of “ane Member for every thousand Inhabitants 3/5 of Blacks included.”[8]
The Convention unanimously accepted the principle that representation in the House of Representatives would be in proportion to the relative state populations, only information technology initially rejected his proposal regarding apportionment of the blackness population along with the rest of his program. Notwithstanding, since slaves could not vote, leaders in slave states would thus have the benefit of increased representation in the House and the Electoral Higher. Delegates opposed to slavery proposed that simply free inhabitants of each state be counted for apportionment purposes, while delegates supportive of slavery, on the other hand, opposed the proposal, wanting slaves to count in their actual numbers.

The proposal to count slaves by a three-fifths ratio was first presented on June eleven, and agreed to by nine states to two with only a brief debate.[7]

: 143–4

Information technology was debated at length between July 9 and 13 (inclusive) when it was initially voted down by the members nowadays at the Convention six to four.[10]
A few Southern delegates, seeing an opportunity, then proposed total representation for their slave population; most states voted no.[12]
Seeing that the states could not remain united nigh counting the slaves as five-fifths[fourteen]
without some sort of compromise measure, the ratio of iii-fifths was brought back to the table and agreed to by eight states to two.[7]

: 416

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Gouverneur Morris from New York doubted that a direct tax, whose burden on Southern states would exist increased by the 3-fifths Compromise, could exist effectively leveled on the vast Usa. The primary ways of generating federal revenue, he said, would be excise taxes and import duties, which would tax the North more than than the South; therefore, the taxation provision was irrelevant, and the compromise would only increase the number of pro-slavery legislators.[15]

: 33

Compromise and enactment


After a contentious debate, the compromise that was finally agreed upon—of counting “all other persons” as but three-fifths of their actual numbers—reduced the representation of the slave states relative to the original proposals, simply improved it over the Northern position.[xvi]
An inducement for slave states to have the Compromise was its tie to taxation in the aforementioned ratio, and then that the brunt of taxation on the slave states was too reduced.

A contentious result at the 1787 Ramble Convention was whether slaves would be counted as part of the population in determining representation of united states in the Congress or would instead exist considered property and, as such, non be considered for purposes of representation. Delegates from states with a large population of slaves argued that slaves should be considered persons in determining representation, but every bit property if the new government were to levy taxes on usa on the basis of population. Delegates from states where slavery had become rare argued that slaves should be included in taxation, but non in determining representation.

The proposed ratio was, however, a ready solution to the impasse that arose during the Constitutional Convention. In that situation, the alignment of the contending forces was the opposite of what had been obtained nether the Articles of Confederation in 1783. In amending the Manufactures, the North wanted slaves to count for more than the South did because the objective was to determine taxes paid by the states to the federal government. In the Constitutional Convention, the more of import issue was representation in Congress, so the South wanted slaves to count for more than than the North did.[vii]

: 397

Much has been said of the impropriety of representing men who have no will of their own…. They are men, though degraded to the condition of slavery. They are persons known to the municipal laws of u.s.a. which they inhabit, as well as to the laws of nature. But representation and taxation go together…. Would it exist but to impose a singular burden, without conferring some adequate advantage?

Before the Civil War


By including three-fifths of slaves (who had no voting rights) in the legislative apportionment, the Three-fifths Compromise provided boosted representation in the House of Representatives of slave states compared to the free states. In 1793, for example, Southern slave states had 47 of the 105 seats, but would have had 33 had seats been assigned based on free populations. In 1812, slave states had 76 seats out of 143 instead of the 59 they would have had; in 1833, 98 seats out of 240, instead of 73. As a result, Southern states had additional influence on the presidency, the speakership of the House, and the Supreme Court until the American Ceremonious State of war.[xv]

: 56–57

In addition, the Southern states’ insistence on equal numbers of slave and free states, which was maintained until 1850, safeguarded the Southern bloc in the Senate every bit well as Balloter Higher votes.

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Historian Garry Wills has speculated that without the additional slave state votes, Jefferson would have lost the presidential ballot of 1800. Also, “slavery would have been excluded from Missouri … Jackson’s Indian removal policy would take failed … the Wilmot Proviso would have banned slavery in territories won from United mexican states … the Kansas-Nebraska bill would take failed.”[5]

: 5–6

While the Three-fifths Compromise could exist seen to favor Southern states considering of their large slave populations, for case, the Connecticut Compromise tended to favor the Northern states (which were mostly smaller). Support for the new Constitution rested on the balance of these sectional interests.[18]



Before the Ceremonious War aspects of the Constitution were subject field for significant argue past abolitionists. The Garrisonian view (William Lloyd Garrison (1805–1879), a prominent American abolitionist all-time known for his widely read anti-slavery paper
The Liberator
of the 1830s) of the Constitution was that it was a pro-slavery document and simply completely dividing the Union could satisfy the cause of anti-slavery. Following a bitter series of public debates including one with George Thompson,[19]
Frederick Douglass took another view and pointed to the Constitution as an anti-slavery document, saying the following:

But giving the provisions the very worse construction, what does it amount to? I respond—It is a downright disability laid upon the slaveholding States; one which deprives those States of two-fifths of their natural ground of representation. A blackness man in a gratis State is worth just two-fifths more than a black man in a slave State, as a footing of political power nether the Constitution. Therefore, instead of encouraging slavery, the Constitution encourages freedom past giving an increment of “two-fifths” of political ability to free over slave States. So much for the three-fifths clause; taking it at is worst, it still leans to freedom, not slavery; for, be it remembered that the Constitution nowhere forbids a coloured man to vote.[21]

Subsequently the Ceremonious War


Section ii of the Fourteenth Subpoena (1868) later superseded Article ane, Section 2, Clause 3 and explicitly repealed the compromise. It provides that “representatives shall be apportioned … counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed.” A later provision of the same clause reduced the Congressional representation of states who denied the right to vote to adult male person citizens, but this provision was never effectively enforced.[23]
(The Thirteenth Amendment, passed in 1865, had already eliminated nearly all persons from the original clause’due south jurisdiction past banning slavery; the only remaining persons subject to information technology were those sentenced for a crime to penal servitude, which the subpoena excluded from the ban.)

Later the Reconstruction Era came to an stop in 1877, the old slave states subverted the objective of these changes by using terrorism and other deplorable tactics to disenfranchise their black citizens, while obtaining the benefit of apportionment of representatives on the basis of the full populations. 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 also as the number of votes they could do in the Electoral College in the election of the president.

The disenfranchisement of black citizens eventually attracted the attending of Congress, and, in 1900, some members proposed stripping the Due south of seats, related to the number of people who were barred from voting.[24]
In the finish, Congress did non human action to change apportionment, largely because of the power of the Southern bloc. The Southern bloc comprised Southern Democrats voted into office by white voters and constituted a powerful voting bloc in Congress until the 1960s. Their representatives, re-elected repeatedly by one-political party states, controlled numerous chairmanships of important committees in both houses on the footing of seniority, giving them control over rules, budgets and of import patronage projects, amid other bug. Their power allowed them to defeat federal legislation against racial violence and abuses in the Due south,[25]
until overcome by the civil rights movement.

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Encounter also


  • Fugitive Slave Human activity of 1793
  • Emancipation Declaration
  • Section 127 of the Australian Constitution, excluding Australian Aboriginals from the census for purposes of determining allocation of seats in Parliament



  1. ^

    The Founders and Slavery: Little Ventured, Little Gained, p. 427, [ of representation.”

  2. ^

    “The Constitution of the Usa: A Transcription”. National Archives and Records Administration. Retrieved
    October 2,

  3. ^

    Story 1833, p. 112

  4. ^

    Woodburn, James Albert (1916).
    American Politics: The American Republic and Its Government
    (2d ed.). Chiliad. P. Putnam’s Sons. p. 190.

  5. ^





    Wills, Garry (2003).
    “Negro President”: Jefferson and the Slave Power. Houghton Mifflin. ISBN978-0-618-34398-0.

  6. ^

    Taylor, Hannis (1911).
    The Origin and Growth of the American Constitution: An Historical Treatise. Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin. p. 131.
    shall exist supplied by the several colonies in proportion to the number of inhabitants of every age.

  7. ^





    Madison, James (1787). Hunt, Gaillard (ed.).
    1787: The Periodical of the Constitutional Convention, Part I.
    oll.libertyfund.org. The Writings of James Madison. Vol. iii. G. P. Putnam’due south Sons (published 1902).

  8. ^

    Williams 1978, p. 222

  9. ^

    Pinckney, Charles (1787). “The Plan of Charles Pinckney (Southward Carolina), Presented to the Federal Convention”. Avalon Project. Yale University (published 2008). Retrieved
    April two,

  10. ^

    Feldman 2017[
    page needed

  11. ^

    Madison, James (July 11, 1787). “Madison Debates, July 11”. Avalon Project.
    Madison’s Notes on Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787. Yale Academy (published 2008). Retrieved
    April 2,

  12. ^

    Madison, James (July 12, 1787). “Madison Debates, July 12”. Avalon Projection.
    Madison’s Notes on Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787. Yale University (published 2008). Retrieved
    April 2,

  13. ^

    Finkelman, Paul (1996).

    Slavery and the Founders: Race and Liberty in the Historic period of Jefferson
    . Armonk, New York: M. E. Sharpe. pp. 14–15. ISBN978-1-56324-590-9.

  14. ^

    Guyatt, Nicholas (June six, 2019). “No Belongings in Man: Slavery and Antislavery at the Nation’s Founding past Sean Wilentz”. The New York Review of Books – via PressReader.

  15. ^



    Richards, Leonard L. (2000).
    The Slave Power. Louisiana State University Press. ISBN978-0-8071-2600-four.

  16. ^

    Finkelman, Paul (2013). “How The Proslavery Constitution Led To The Civil War”.
    Rutgers Police force Journal.
    (3): 405. SSRN 2243060.

  17. ^

    Elliot, John, ed. (1866).
    The Debates In The Several Country Conventions On The Adoption Of The Federal Constitution, Every bit Recommended By The General Convention At Philadelphia, In 1787. Vol. 2. Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.: J.B. Lippincott & Co.; Taylor & Maury. p. 237.

  18. ^

    Banning, Lance (Baronial 31, 2004). “Three-Fifths Historian”.
    Claremont Review of Books. No. Fall 2004. The Claremont Institute. Archived from the original on July 5, 2008. Retrieved
    January 21,

  19. ^

    Frederick Douglass and the Fourth of July, p. 173

  20. ^

    Frederick Douglass – Prophet of Freedom

  21. ^

    The Cambridge Companion to the United States Constitution, Cambridge University Printing, p. 458

  22. ^

    Frederick Douglass, p. 194

  23. ^

    Friedman, Walter (January ane, 2006). “Fourteenth Amendment”.
    Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History. HighBeam Research. Archived from the original on July fourteen, 2014. Retrieved
    June 12,

  24. ^

    “Committee At Odds on Reapportionment”
    The New York Times. Dec 20, 1900. Retrieved
    March 10,

  25. ^

    Pildes 2013, p. 10



  • Feldman, Noah (2017).
    The Three Lives of James Madison: Genius, Partisan, President. Random House. ISBN978-0-8129-9275-5.

  • Pildes, Richard H. (Oct 18, 2013) [2000]. “Republic, Anti-Republic, and the Canon”.
    Constitutional Commentary.
    17. SSRN 224731.

  • Story, Joseph L. (1833).
    Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States. Vol. ii. Boston and Cambridge, Massachusetts: William Hilliard, Gray, and Company; Chocolate-brown, Shattuck and Co.

  • Walton, Hanes Jr.; Smith, Robert C. (2005).

    American Politics and the African American Quest for Universal Freedom

    (tertiary ed.). Pearson Longman. ISBN978-0-321-29237-seven.

  • Wiencek, Henry (2004).

    An Imperfect God: George Washington, His Slaves, and the Cosmos of America
    . Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. ISBN978-0-374-52951-2.

  • Williams, Francis Leigh (1978).

    A Founding Family: The Pinckneys of South Carolina
    . New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich. ISBN978-0-15-131503-1.

Which of the Following Correctly Describes the Three Fifths Compromise

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three-fifths_Compromise

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