Skip to comments.Now I'm Only Going to Say This Once: The Three-Fifths Compromise (Blacks Were Never 3/5 of a Man)
Posted on 10/27/2009 2:14:48 PM PDT by FrontPageMag.com
While chiding Glenn Beck for his cherishing the U.S. Constitution, MSNBC talk show host Ed Schultz repeated one of the most oft-repeated lies about the Founding Fathers: they considered blacks less than fully human. In an episode of "Psycho Talk," Schultz blasted Beck for saying "Progressives" believe individuals are the problem, and "in Samuel Adams's day, they used to call them tyrants. A little later, I think they were also called slave owners."
Ed asked rhetorically, "Remember the three-fifths rule, where slaves counted as three-fifths of a person? It's in Article 1, Section 2, Paragraph 3 of the United States Constitution that you so passionately defend," he helpfully pointed out. "Maybe you should add that to your reading list."
Ed joins a throng of notables on the well-worn path of misinterpreting the three-fifths clause (not "rule" -- this isn't the NFL, Ed). No less a constitutional scholar than Louis Farrakhan noted, "The South argued, saying, 'Look, we gotta count these nigras.' And the North said, 'They don't count. Them is nigras. They don't count!' So you were counted as three-fifths of a human."
Farrakhan actually got the two regions’ positions correct: the North did not want to count slaves and the South did. Examining this logically, why would the North oppose slaves' humanity while the South acted as its defender?
Because, like most threadbare myths of Progressives or racists, this is transparent nonsense.
(Excerpt) Read more at newsrealblog.com ...
Barack Obama doesn’t want to call an infant born alive breathing under his or her own lung power, unassisted for hours in a utility closet, “human” or “alive”.
All because it exposes the myth that abortion is about “a woman’s right to control her body”.
There are still civil wrongs in this country and rotten politicians who perpetuate them.
“You can lead a leftist to reason, but you can’t make them think...”
Ed can say what he pleases. However, slave owners did not want to grant slaves the right to vote & thereby their freedom. But they did want them counted for purposes of apportionment. This would give the Southern States greater representation. The North opposed that approach. The resulting compromise used a 3/5 value for apportionment. Any way you look at it slaves, by virtue of denial of freedom, were counted as less than complete men.
None of that changes the fact that The Constitution, flawed as it was with regard to slavery, is the most profound political document concerning freedom, liberty and the rights of man, ever written.
Let us not forget that the first legal slave owner in this country was a black man.
(from the article)What makes Anthony Johnson a central figure in the debate is an utterly bizarre and politically incorrect twist of fate. From evidence found in the earliest legal documents extant, it is Anthony Johnson who we now must recognize as the nations first slaveholder. After all, the court battle he eventually won in 1655 to keep John Casor (Ceasar?) as his servant for life, identifies this unfortunate soul as the first slave in the recorded history of our country.
As I remember from looking into it five years ago, a liberal interpretation of the 3/5ths clause resulted in the high court’s judicial stamp of approval for slavery in the Dred Scott case. Conservatives have argued that had the constitution been rightfully and strictly interpreted as person meaning person, then the Dred Scott case would have found slavery unconstitutional. In later years, Fredrick Douglas believed the constitution, as created, was a freeing document, and you could look up his argument if you were so inclined. But as usual, Ed is incorrect in his revisionist history.
A slave was counted as less than a complete man, for the PURPOSES OF APPORTIONMENT of political power only.
The tragedy was not that they counted 3/5ths, but that they were counted at all!
Does the Representative from a slave state defend the interests of those who are enslaved within the state such that he could be called their ‘Representative’?
It was recognized within our Constitution that those in a condition of servitude were NOT “Represented” 100% by the political apportionment that went with their ‘head count’ in the same way that a free man was; thus they were counted as 3/5ths for the purpose of apportionment as a compromise.
It would be far worse if a slave were counted as an entire person for purposes of apportionment, becuase it would be an attempt to say that the interests of those in servitude was ‘represented’ 100%, and that is quite logically NOT the case.
None of that changes the fact that The Constitution, flawed as it was with regard to slavery, is the most profound political document concerning freedom, liberty and the rights of man, ever written."
Excellent post, covered all the bases.
Clearly, the Constitution was never intended to allow slaves to keep and bear arms, since individuals who were free to keep and bear arms would not be slaves.
Is there any logical problem with interpreting "the people" as referring to all free persons, bearing in mind that even today not all people are free? Obviously the government wouldn't like such an interpretation, but I can't think of anyone who may be legitimately disarmed who could not also be legitimately regarded as "not free".
I couldn’t said it better. Great comment.
The one Presidential election which may have been tipped because of the three-fifths provision was 1800, when Jefferson beat Adams. What would have happened if Adams had had a second term? Would he have agreed to buy Louisiana from France?
I suppose not. But then why did not the FF, in their specific and infinite wisdom simply include the actual word "free"?
I find it important to remember that not all the FFs were for slavery and that slavery was a compromise that wasn't meant to stand the test of time.
I also did not post on this thread to debate this issue, but to give points of reference (Dred Scott and Fredrick Douglass) to the OP who can take note as s/he wishes.
ED Schultz, you foulmouth Marxist PIG !!!
(apologies to John Banner)
If the Constitution had not allowed for slavery, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia (that’s five states out of thirteen) would never have ratified it. Thus resulting in no constitution at all.
IMO Obama is even less than 3/5 of a President.
It has nothing to do with his being 1/2 black
It has more to do with an inability to make decisions and accept responsibility.
Had you read the REST of the article, you would have found this sentence:
The Founders pointedly avoided using the term slaves, for fear that would legitimize the institution.
To specify "free" would have done no less to give tacit approval to slavery.
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