Last month’s very bad U.S. Supreme Court case reminds us how important the census was in running our country since our Constitution was adopted in 1787.
At that time, Southern slave owners wanted more voting power in Congress and choosing the President by counting their slaves in the census. Delegates from free states opposed this.
This dispute was settled with the “3/5 compromise”. The northern delegates believed that the United States would be too weak to avoid being conquered by England, France, and Spain if we broke up into separate countries. They also believed (before the invention of the cotton gin) that slavery was dying out on its own and not worth fighting over.* That is why the original 1787 Constitution counted only 3/5 of slaves in the census. This was designed to give slave owners less representation than if all slaves were counted the same as free citizens. According to Abraham Lincoln, most of America’s Founding Fathers believed that this provision diminishing the voting power of slave states, and a provision allowing the amendment of the Constitution would soon lead to the ending of slavery in America.
Ironically, while slave-owning Democrats in the past agreed to count only 3/5 of their slaves in getting representation in Congress and Electoral Votes for President, today’s Democrats demand and get 100% representation for their illegal immigrants!
*Unfortunately, slavery did not quickly die out as the founders of our country believed in 1787. Six years later, Eli Whitney invented a machine called the “cotton gin” that instantly made growing cotton (and slavery) as obscenely profitable as dealing in illegal drugs today. It said back then that cotton (and slaves) instantly made “a poor man rich, and a rich man a king.
In 1850, Mississippi was the wealthiest state in America. Half the millionaires in America lived in Natchez, Mississippi. Arkansas, the poorest of the 11 Confederate slave states had more wealth per capita than Connecticut, the wealthiest free state. Three hundred and thirty-five (335) Southern counties were wealthier than the richest Northern county. Counties which today are among the poorest in the nation were then among the most affluent. The very poorest counties were Northern, and the number of Northern counties with a per capita wealth under $300 and under $200 exceeded the number of Southern counties in these categories, even though there were more counties in the South. Source: https://www.abbevilleinstitute.org/blog/was-the-south-poor-before-the-war/
To many in the South between 1800 and 1860, getting almost instant wealth through cotton and slaves in the South between 1800 and 1860 was as irresistible as those who gained almost instant wealth from illegal drugs and stock and real estate fraud during the past 30 years.
On February 27, 1860, Abraham Lincoln gained national attention by presenting documented research that most of America’s founders intended to abolish slavery, and adopted our Declaration of Independence of 1776 and Constitution and Northwest Ordinance of 1787 with that in mind. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cooper_Union_speech
When Lincoln began his second term as President, he openly admitted that the massive death and destruction from four years of Civil War were God’s just punishment of America for failing to promptly end slavery as intended by most of our Founders and our founding documents:
“The Almighty has His own purposes. ‘Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh.’ If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fiftyyears of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said ‘the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.'”