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The Three-Fifths Compromise

With the drafting of the Constitution, Congress (comprised of the Senate and the House of Representatives) was created. However, in the 1780s, there was a bit of a dilemma--how would the number of Representatives be chosen? There are two Senators per state, but the number of Representatives varies. For the answer, those in charge of deciding how many members there should be looked to the census.

The Three-Fifths Compromise was a compromise reached between the Southern and Northers states during the Philadelphia Convention of 1787. The Three-Fifths Compromise is named such because it entailed that three-fifths of the enumerated slave population would be counted for representation regarding both the distribution of taxes and and approportionment of the members of the House of Representatives.

The Compromise was controversial because those who opposed slavery wished to count only the free inhabitants of each state while those who supported slavery wanted to count the slaves towards thei…