The Constitutional Convention

The Constitutional Convention

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  • Virginia will agree to nothing less then proportional power!
  • How is that fair? Us small states will be left in the dust!
  • Well, what do you propose?
  • Men, calm yourselves! We can do both!
  • Equal power! Then we won't be so useless!
  • What a great idea! We can both get our way and balance each other in process. I approve!
  • There can be two houses, one with proportional power and one with equal.
  • I do too! What an elegant solution!
  • One argument over the constitution is how power will be distributed between the states. Larger states, like Virginia, want power based on population. They will benefit from this greatly and render other states practically useless.
  • Why should the South get more power for enslaving people? Slaves shouldn't count for population!
  • On the other hand, smaller states want equal representation for all of the states. That way any state, weather it has 50,000 or 500,000 people will have the same power, giving smaller states more influence due to having equal power to larger states but less people.
  • Slaves should count! They are people too. You can not just ignore then!
  • Eventually a compromise is reached: there will be two houses of power, one having proportional representation for states and the other having equal power for states. Both houses will have to approve of actions taken by the government, pleasing both sides.
  • That does not seem like too many. Sometimes sacrifice must be made.
  • I have found a compromise! We will count three-fifths of slaves for population.
  • I don't love it, but it is better than the North's plan. I approve.
  • Another argument over the government revolves around slavery. The northern states want no slaves to count towards the population count, because that would make them less powerful due to their lack of farms, and therefore lack of slaves.
  • Contrary to the north, the southern states want every slave possible in the population total, because that will make them powerful states from their abundance of slaves and fertile farmland.
  • The resolution is now known as the Three-Fifths Compromise. Every slave would count as three fifths of a person in the population count. This was enough to please the South without angering the North.
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