According to Drake, the process of representation and taxation for the federal government appears in the three-fifths compromise (238). It involved determining whether slaves would be counted as part of the general population. The southern and the northern states differed when it came to a counting of the slaves. The states of the South supported the representation of slaves. Despite this want, they did not want to pay more taxes for the slaves because slaves were seen as part of their property. The northern states, on the other hand, did not support the counting of slaves for representation. An agreement was finally reached, “to count three out of every five slaves, towards states population and taxation” (Knoedl).
It was not the best use of power for the members of the constitutional convention to establish the practice of counting people for legislative seats if those people did not have representation. Historically, the northern states were abolitionists who believed that slavery was evil. On the other hand, the southern states advocated for slavery to the extent that every home had some slaves. The fact that they owned large plantations demanded them to have slaves to provide labor on their farms. Therefore, it is clear that the decision to count or not to count slaves was just mere use of power by members of both the northern and southern states to have their way. It determined how much power a political state would have; it had nothing to do with morality or the interests of the slaves, and how much tax they would end up paying depending on the decision they took (Pierce). This was purely an issue of the slaves being counted for presentation and not for representation. The metasyntactic capitalism text states, “3/5s was bad regardless of anything tangential simply because it treated blacks as subhuman. And anything that did that (be it, 0, 1/5th, 3/5ths, whatever) is simply unacceptable” (Frith).
The United States government should count everyone, and that includes the slaves and prisoners as a part of the congressional districts. This is to give the minorities a chance to have the people of their choice represent them. Lack of redistricting had led to rural bias and the fact that the Supreme Court ruled that each state legislature had to redistrict shows that the bias could reduce. Limited voting and cumulative voting have been adopted in the recent years, and this enables the minorities to elect the candidates of their choice. Slavery is already banned in the American constitution, and a question of whether they should be counted in the conventional district is irrelevant. Prisoners in most states are counted as part of the conventional zones. This practice is irrelevant, as the prisoners in most states are not allowed to vote (Pitner). Currently, they are counted at the prisons they occupy and not at the usual places of residence.
It is clear that the use of power to establish a practice of counting a part of the population for legislative seats does not auger well of the American Society of the previous years regarding its moral standing. The society advocated for their counting if and only if it benefited them. According to Pont in his capitalism text, he wrote, “So, the way it's often argued is that slaves should have been counted as whole people. But, realistically, the "good" would have been for slaves to not be counted at all” (qtd. in Frith). On the other hand, counting of the minority especially the prisoners today is a sign that the society recognizes them as people but only with limited rights. When it comes to the minority, the American culture is still biased, and advocating for their representation should not stop.
In conclusion, the process of representation by the three-fifths compromise was largely biased. It was survival of the fittest according. As mentioned, northerners fought against slavery but in this particular context did not support counting them. The southerners who had slaves in all homes campaigned for their counting as they viewed them as full human beings. It is obvious that all this was for selfish desires. In today’s world, the government should be encouraged to allow the prisoners, especially those accused of lesser crimes to vote, as this will help them represent their views and desires.
Drake, John C. "Locked Up and Counted Out: Bringing an End to Prison-based Gerrymandering." Washington University Journal of Law and Policy (2011): 37 (1):236-265. Print.
Frith, Lord. "Ars Legatus Legionis ." 2004. Arstechnica. Web. 22 January 2016 <http://arstechnica.com/civis/viewtopic.php?t=1151839>.
Knoedl, Michael. The Three-Fifths Compromise: Definition & Summary. n.d. Web. 22 January 2016 <http://study.com/academy/lesson/the-three-fifths-compromise-definition-summary-quiz.html>.
Pierce, Jeremy. Parablemania. April 2010. Web. 22 January 2016 <http://parablemania.ektopos.com/archives/2010/04/three-fifths.html>.
Pitner, Barret Holmes. The Real Felony: Denying Prisoners the Right to Vote. December 2015. Web. 22 January 2016 <http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/06/12/the-real-felony-denying-prisoners-the-right-to-vote.html>.