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27 August, 05:18

How did the issue of slavery affect the debate on representation at the Constitutional Convention? Both regions recognized that how enslaved people were counted would significantly affect representation. The northern states were convinced that enslaved people should be included fully as a part of the population. The southern states knew counting enslaved people as part of the population would damage their governmental position. Neither region wanted the enslaved people counted as part of the population because it would skew their representation.

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  1. 27 August, 05:30
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    The right answer is "Both regions recognized that how enslaved people were counted would significantly affect representation."

    Many issues remained unresolved during the constitutional convention. Among the most important was the subject of slavery. Slaves were close to a fifth of the population in the American colonies. Most lived in the southern colonies, where they reached 40 percent of the population. Whether slavery should be permitted and continued under the new constitution was a matter of north-south conflict, with several southern states refusing entry into the union if slavery were forbidden. So there was no serious discussion about the abolition of slavery.

    The most debatable issue of slavery was the question of whether slaves would be taken into account as part of the population in determining representation in Congress or were considered as property and without the right to representation. State delegates with large populations of slaves defended the idea that slaves should be considered people in determining representation, but as property if the new government were to impose taxes on states based on population. The delegates of states where slavery had disappeared or had almost disappeared defended the idea that slaves should be included in taxes, but not in the determination of representation.

    Finally the Commitment of the Three Fifths was proposed by the delegate James Wilson and adopted by the convention. By this commitment only three-fifths of the slave population would be counted toward enumeration purposes both at the time of tax distribution and at the apportionment of the members of the United States House of Representatives.
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