What compromises were made by the north and south over the slavery issues addressed in the constitution?

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Perhaps the most notorious compromise between North and South on the issue of slavery was the so-called Three-Fifths Compromise made during the 1787 Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. Southern delegates worried that the proposed method of counting citizens for the purposes of allocating seats in the House of Representatives would leave...

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Perhaps the most notorious compromise between North and South on the issue of slavery was the so-called Three-Fifths Compromise made during the 1787 Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. Southern delegates worried that the proposed method of counting citizens for the purposes of allocating seats in the House of Representatives would leave them outvoted. They were certain that this would then open the way for slavery, the very foundation of Southern society, to be abolished outright at some point in the future.

As supporters of the proposed Constitution needed the Southern delegates on board to get the document ratified they came up with a compromise which they hoped would allay their opponents' fears. This was the Three-Fifths Compromise. Under this provision, each slave would be counted as three-fifths of a white citizen in calculating each state's population. This would give the Southern states a third more seats in Congress, thus giving the South a greater say in the proposed system of government.

It was widely expected, and so it turned out, that the South would use its increased representation under the Three-Fifths Compromise, to block any attempt to undermine the institution of slavery. Like all attempts at compromise between North and South on this vexed issue, the Three-Fifths Compromise didn't adequately deal with the problem of slavery; it simply kicked the can further down the road so that future generations would have to deal with it instead.

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