The 3/5 Rule

In 1787 the people in charge of the United States were faced with a problem. A lot of states were being formed and there was a question of how they were going to be represented in the government. The basic question was “How were Slaves to be counted?” If slaves were counted as 1 person it would give slave states more representatives and more power. The non-slave states, since slaves didn’t have the right to vote, didn’t want slaves counted at all. The solution was to count each slave as 3 fifths of a person. Since the population of slaves in the southern states was as high as 43%, Georgia, the result was more representatives and more say for the slave owners in the government. This was written into the constitution and later rescinded. How many seats there would be and how to decide the number was iffy until 1929, when a meeting took place and decided that the number of representatives should be 435. Each state will have 1 and the 385 to be fairly apportioned. This has been the mandated number ever since. Is this a problem, you decide.

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Categorized as Voting

By Bill

A retired teacher

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