Representation, Taxation, and Slavery

1148 Words5 Pages
Following the success of the colonists in the American Revolution and gaining their independence from Great Britain, the colonists achieved what they most certainly sought after—to separate from Britain and never again experience the horrific tyrannical ways of King George III. This is because the colonists feared tyranny and believed that having the power vested in one ruler is not such a good form of government. Thus, the Framers formed their first ever constitution—the Articles of Confederation. However, the Articles proved to be very weak because it did not have a strong central government. It did not have a tax base, a judiciary, and executive branch. In order to fix the problems under the Articles, specifically the dilemma regarding…show more content…
When they recognized this dilemma, proposals came in the Constitutional Convention, and the power to tax was eventually given to Congress, which is listed in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution. The issue on slavery was probably the most critical problems for the states to deal with. They quarreled over the concern of slaves being part of the population and taxation. The North did not want the slaves to count for representation but wanted to count for taxation. If the South paid for taxes, owners would have to pay taxes for their slaves. The South wanted the slaves to count in Congress but not for taxation. This is because they would have more power if the slaves counted for representation because they would have more seats in the Congress. Thus, in the Constitutional Convention they reached a compromise that would settle the dispute of representation and taxation for slaves. Three-fifths of the population of slaves would be counted for representation as well as distribution of taxes. Despite the compromise that dealt with representation and taxation issue of slaves, the dispute of either abolishing or keeping slavery was a problem that the Northern and Southern states would fight over until they could come up with a solution. The Northern colonies, who wanted to abolish slavery, saw this problem as a moral issue. They believed that slavery was morally wrong therefore they
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