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The Three-Fifths compromise

To the editor:

A column in The Journal of June 27-28 touched briefly on the three-fifths compromise in the Constitution. At issue was how much representation in Congress, and therefore how much power, slave states would have.

Since slaves were considered property, a Northern delegate at the Constitutional Convention asked why they should be counted at all any more than cattle and horses in the North. He didn’t want increased power for slave states. Slave states of course wanted every slave counted, without reduction. The three-fifths compromise was not a statement that Black lives didn’t matter. Walter Williams is one writer who may be consulted on this.

Only in the West did a concerted abolitionist movement finally arise against the widespread and age-old institution of slavery. But the difficulty of dealing with and correcting a huge entrenched problem can be illustrated by the difficulty pro-lifers face today in combating the view that unborn infants are not persons.

Worthy of note: 1) The Abraham Lincoln Brigade (or Battalion) fought for the Communists in the Spanish Civil War. Sometimes a name conceals rather than reveals. 2) Episode 1686 of the Tom Woods Show is an excellent discussion of the meaning of Independence Day that includes references to current events. Listen, learn, enjoy, and act!

R.E. Wehrwein

New Ulm

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