Thread: 404 Justice
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Old 08-09-2007, 10:32 AM   #6
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 820

Originally Posted by Sam Beckett Fan
It's a great desplay of how Black People were treated as only 1/5 of a person.
Yes and no. First, it was 3/5 - not 1/5. This clause that was included in the Constiution had a two-fold purpose. First, it helped to strengthen the policitical power of slaveholders in the south. At the 1787 Consitutional Convention, anti-slavery delegates wanted to the base the size of each state's representation in the House of Reps. and the Electoral College on on the number of free people. The compromise was to count enslaved people as only 3/5 of a person. Second, Enslaved people were also only counted as 3/5 of a person for the purpose of taxation. This clause in the Constitution was rendered moot after the ratification of the 14th Amendment in 1868 which stated "Representatives shall be apportioned ...counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed..."

I will agree that this is definitely a very powerful episode. Despite the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment in 1870 which guaranteed all American citizens the right to vote without prejudice of race, skin color, or previous condition of servitude; "Justice" aptly demonstrates how, 95 years after that amendment was ratified, the southern states still found ways deny African Americans the franchise of the vote through the Jim Crow Laws.

The ideas and emotions brought forth is this episode do not relate solely to this period of time in US history but can be adapted to other places and other times. Dislike of another culture, race, religion is something that grows over time and can be handed down from one generation to the next without any real knowledge of "why" - just a hate.

Last edited by JuliaM; 08-09-2007 at 10:42 AM.
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