When the Constitution was drafted, the men who drafted it were very particular in the way they approached the issue of slavery in our country. They carefully avoided it by only mentioning it or referring to it indirectly. They did not use the term "slave" but referred to everyone as "persons". It is rather ironic that neither the Constitution nor the Declaration of Independence, the two documents most known for establishing and declaring freedom and equality for men, never even mention slaves or slavery in a direct way. The founding fathers drafted the Constitution with the approach that the goal was to unite the nation. That is why they neither put an end to slavery nor condoned it in the Constitution. Some of them owned slaves. That along with the fact that they were trying to set up a national government with unity as a goal gave them the idea that if provisions to end slavery were to be made at that time, the southern states would not follow with ratifying the Constitution. Ultimately the framers tip toed through the issue and tried to advocate equality while avoiding the topic of slavery.
How did they manage to do this? Like any transaction or agreement done throughout history in any area of life, be it business, politics, or something else, compromise was needed. The framers of the Constitution made a major decision that became known as the "three-fifths compromise". This compromise is found in Article I, Section 2, Clause 3 of the Constitution, and says:" Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons. "The Three-Fifths Compromise had immediate impact on the political framework of our country. Because slaves were counted and not just the free population...
Cited: onstitution of the United StatesUnknown, (2009). Triangular Trade. Retrieved January 25, 2009 from Wikipedia web site: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three-fifths_compromise
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