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Constitution Counts A Slave As Three-Fifths Of A Person


The Constitution is adopted on Sept. 17, 1787. Article I of the Constitution specifies that both the number of members of the House of Representatives from each state and the amount of direct taxes will depend on the number of citizens in each state. Members of the military are included in the count. Since slavery is legal and common, at least in the South, and the issue is very much a dividing line among the framers, the framers agree that slaves are not to be counted as full citizens. Known as the Three-Fifths Compromise, Article I, Section 2, counts each slave as three-fifths of a person for state representation. This provision was changed after the Civil War with the passage of the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments that abolished slavery, guaranteed equal protection for all citizens against state actions and created voting rights.