Ms. Pollitt would do well to take a comprehensive American History course.
In 1788, chattel slavery was still lawful in Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York and New Jersey. While Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island and New York had "officially" abolished slavery within the preceding decade, they had adopted a course of "gradual emancipation" that would allow chattel slavery to continue in those states until at least the mid 1840s.
The so called three-fifths compromise of 1788 benefited small population states at the expense of larger states, regardless of the question of slavery. At the time the compromise was adopted only Vermont, which was not yet even recognized as a separate entity, had both in law and in fact abolished slavery.
In all of the thirteen original colonies save Massachusetts, institutionalized chattel slavery still existed as a fact in 1788. And Massachusetts was less than a decade past its own slave-state history.
The real beneficiaries of the compromise that established the rules for Senate representation were Vermont, Rhode Island, Delaware and Georgia, the five states with the least population as determined by the 1790 census.
Dividing the original fourteen states by population, four of the traditional "slave states"--Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, and South Carolina--were among the most populous, with population of half a million or more in the 1790 census; while six Northern states--Connecticut, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Vermont and Rhode Island--were among the least populous, with only Connecticut having a population greater than 200,000.
Feb 25 2010 - 5:17pm