One of the compromises in the original U.S. Constitution provided that slaves counted as three fifths of a person for the purposes of computing populations and thus allocating seats to the House of Representatives. Where exactly does this provision fall in the Constitution and what amendment to the Constitution eliminates this or does it remain but no longer apply since there are no more slaves? How was the number 3/5ths arrived at, did it somehow provide population parity between the free and slave states?

1 Answer 1


Amendment 14, Section 2 updated Article 1, Section 2 from originally reading:

Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.

To read:

Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed.

This change removed the 3/5ths count, but left Indians not taxed.

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