Friday, January 28, 2011

Slavery, J Q Adams, and Representation

The precis on "3/5ths" excerpted from an essay on "why Chris Matthews is REALLY stupid." anyone who has spent, say, five minutes studying the U.S. Constitution and its history is fully aware the famous "three-fifths clause" was a compromise by the anti-slavery forces to keep slave-owners from being over-represented in the U.S. House of Representatives where population determined -- then as now -- the number of congressional seats per state. If slaves, specifically mentioned as "persons" in Article 1, Section 2, Paragraph 3 ("three fifths of all other Persons") were counted, the Southern slave-owners would have an even greater numerical advantage in Congress than they already were destined to have. With slaves counted as a whole person, slave owners' power would increase -- while slaves would be unable to ever win their freedom in a system dominated by slaveowners. Hence the compromise, which was in fact pushed by anti-slavery forces.

The population in the North would grow -- eventually destined to overwhelm the South in numbers. This was one of the reasons for the Dred Scott decision -- a desperate attempt to write slavery into the Constitution forever, written by the slave-holding Roger Taney -- the Democrat who was Chief Justice of the United States.

--Jeff Lord, AmSpec


Billiam said...

Now Dad, those like Matthews impose on The Constitution what they WANT it to say, not what it was intended, and clearly written about by those who drafted it. Just look at the perversion that is Church and State, the abuse of the Commerce Clause, the revision of the 2nd Amendment. I could go on, but why bother. Matthews knows he mis-stated the clause. I really don't think he's that dumb. Then again, maybe I give him too much credit.

Jim said...

From your cited article:

"according to Matthews, the Constitution deliberately counted slaves as only three-fifths of a person...

...This is historical misstatement..."

Your author then goes on to explain exactly WHY the Constitution deliberately counted slaves as only three-fifths of a person (proving Matthews right).

Methinks the balloon heads doth protest too much.

neomom said...

Nobody discounts the fact of the 3/5's inclusion...

What people like Mathews obfuscate is the why.

Methinks your being deliberately obtuse.

Jim said...

Really? I watched the program. Exactly how did Matthews obfuscate why?

Dad29 said...

Gee, that's a surprise! You watch MSLSD!

Read it again, Jim.

Jim said...

Yeah, and I watch Bill O'Reilly on Faux News, too, Dad.

Bachmann said that the founding fathers "who wrote those documents worked tirelessly until slavery was no more."

The 3/5 clause was a compromise. Assuming that some of the founding fathers who wanted reduced representation in slave states were motivated to do so because they wanted to end slavery (and not simply reduce the power of the slave states) there were some founding fathers who wanted to end slavery. Obviously other "founding fathers" did not. And they were all dead long before "slavery was no more" seventy years after they "wrote those documents."

Now, having said this, I do think Matthews was over-zealous on this, but Bachmann IS a balloon head.

Dad29 said...

O Reilly is a blowhard and often as fact-challenged as Matthews.

We agree that compromises are not ideal. It's worth recalling that not EVERY colonial wanted to separate from England, either.


Obviously, those founders who did NOT agree with slavery worked to eliminate it. That the Civil War occurred in 1861 is not germane to whether or not they were 'working to eliminate slavery.'

Some things take more than 2 weeks, you know.

Jim said...

Indeed, some do.