Dbq Slavery

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When slavery was still in its infancy in 17th century North America, the volume of enslaved African Americans brought to Virginia and Maryland was estimated at only a few dozen per year. Due to high demands for tobacco, by the end of the 17th century the number skyrocketed to a half a million. Given this information, how could the founding fathers possibly believe slavery would eventually eradicate itself? By the time the Constitution was written, slavery was already completely integrated into the economy. Slave-based agriculture was generating huge profits for the south. The southern elites who owned these plantations had no intentions to give up their slaves. The founders must have realized that the southern economy would be devastated if…show more content…
One issue they faced concerned how they would count slaves for legislative purposes. The free North states thought slaves shouldn’t be counted at all because it would give the slave states an unfair representation due to the high slave population. However, the South disagreed for they feared the Northern states would have a substantial population advantage if the slaves were not counted. They worried that the Northern states would use such an advantage against them to regulate or even abolish slavery. To appease the slavery states they enacted the Three-Fifths Compromise. The compromise said that each slave would count as three-fifths of a person for representational purposes. Though they circumvented the word slave and said a free person would count as one and “none free persons” would count as three-fifths. In The Half Has Never Been Told, by Edward E. Baptist, the author argues that, “by the 1810s, thanks to the Constitution’s bargains, seventeen southern congressmen represented three-fifths of the slave population. This increment allowed southern politicians to dominate the Republican faction, and thus—with the loyalty of northern Republicans—the entire government.” (Baptist 153) This legislation helped to ensure the South’s ‘cotton kings’ would control the presidency for many years to come. In 12 of the first 16 presidential elections, a Southern slave owner
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