Skip to main content

View Diary: Cuccinelli's running mate defended three-fifths clause as 'anti-slavery' (91 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  The 3/5ths debate (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    demjim, ChadmanFL

    was not only about political power.  It was also about a philosophical question about personhood.  The anti-slavery members of the constitutional convention challenged the Southern position based on the fundamental notion of slavery:  as property, slaves were denied personhood.  The South, insisting on greater legislative and electoral representation in order to prevent the majority from outlawing slavery, was forced into making the nonsensical argument of counting slaves for purposes of representational proportion, but not counting them in any other way.  

    The 3/5ths compromise was the only way to achieve approval of the constitution, both in the convention and in ratification by the states.  Sort of like Pat Leahy withdrawing his amendment that same sex spouses be recognized in the immigration bill in the Senate committee.  That amendment would have doomed the bill in committee, and perhaps beyond, so it was withdrawn.  Once again, southern conservatives play politics with the status of rights.

    •  The philosophical question counted for little (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      davidinmaine

      as the raw political power dominated the decision combined with the desire to have a common government across slave and non-slave states.

      Also keep in mind that in the late 1700s, slavery and serfdom was normal in the countries that most people lived in.  Slavery was far from a uniquely American experience at that time.

      With the exception of Massachusetts,  the "free states" at the time of creating the Constitution actually had slaves, as they ended slavery by not allowing the children of slaves to become slaves and blocking the importation of slaves but did not free existing slaves.  For example, New York did not end all slavery until 1828.

      Plato's Republic and Milton's Utopia visions of ideal societies even had slaves.

      I recommend reading Wikipedia's Abolition of slavery timeline

      The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

      by nextstep on Wed May 22, 2013 at 11:52:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Race-based slavery was uniquely American (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Heftysmurf
        Also keep in mind that in the late 1700s, slavery and serfdom was normal in the countries that most people lived in.  Slavery was far from a uniquely American experience at that time.
        Elsewhere, serfs were people without land, and slaves were usually prisoners of war. Unlike in this country, it was impossible to distinguish masters and servants simply by the color of their skin.

        261.A wealthy man can afford anything except a conscience. -Ferengi Rules of Acquisition

        by MaikeH on Wed May 22, 2013 at 01:02:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The History of Slavery does not support your claim (0+ / 0-)

          see http://en.wikipedia.org/...

          Consider Arab slave trade in Africans and Europeans.
          Consider Japan enslaving Koreans.
          Consider Brazil and African slaves.

          The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

          by nextstep on Wed May 22, 2013 at 01:23:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  "Race-based" = uniquely American??? (0+ / 0-)

          I think you have a major typo in your subject line, or I'm horridly misreading it.

          Race-based slavery was a uniquely WESTERN phenomenon - if you want to say that, that would be a defensible claim.

          Race-based slavery as a uniquely "American" phenomenon has to be a typo, b/c it is otherwise outlandishly wrong.

          Considering that the first African slaves were sold into North America in 1619, and the Virginia colony's House of Burgesses was already legislating racial restrictions on African slaves in the 1670s, and mandating the restriction of rights by color one hundred years before the Declaration, it must be a typo.

          They were British, at the time, if nothing else. Even that though also assumes that the slaves the Dutch ship in 1619 was carrying was specifically intending to come to the British North American colonies - which it was not. It had been bound for the Caribbean, where an even more massive slave-plantation society flourished.

          So how this can be a uniquely "American" affliction is entirely intriguing, considering that there would be no "America" for another 100 years.

          "You know, the only trouble with capitalism is capitalists; they're too damn greedy." - Herbert Hoover (Republican)

          by abdguyBOS on Wed May 22, 2013 at 02:21:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I should rephrase (0+ / 0-)

            While Europeans were of course heavily involved in the slave trade, the slaves were sold in the so-called "New World," not in Europe.

            European people not involved in seafaring, slave trade, or colonialism could spend an entire lifetime without ever seeing people looking different from themselves.

            261.A wealthy man can afford anything except a conscience. -Ferengi Rules of Acquisition

            by MaikeH on Fri May 24, 2013 at 12:11:36 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I meant "the Americas" (0+ / 0-)

            not the USA.

            261.A wealthy man can afford anything except a conscience. -Ferengi Rules of Acquisition

            by MaikeH on Fri May 24, 2013 at 12:28:59 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  (and apologies) (0+ / 0-)

              Got it. I did genuinely believe it was a typo, even if the tone didn't convey it. Sorry if it came across as asshole-ish. Too many terrible undergraduate papers.

              "You know, the only trouble with capitalism is capitalists; they're too damn greedy." - Herbert Hoover (Republican)

              by abdguyBOS on Fri May 24, 2013 at 02:48:56 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site