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Founders / Framers Minute: Article I, Section 2, Clause 3a

In creating this clause the framers were faced with balancing the competing interests of representation vs. taxation

Founders / Framers Minute: Article I, Section 2, Clause 3a

Founders / Framers Minute:
Article I, Section 2, Clause 3a

by Cornel Rasor

Article I.

Section 2.

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.”

Minute 3

There are two issues here. Representation and taxation. Initially, set at one representative per 30,000, representation changed later by statutes, not amendment in 1911 and 1929 to the set number of 435. Frankly, this should still be the standard as it has not been properly changed.

This section dealt with free citizens, indentured servants, Indians and slaves. The first two were fully counted acknowledging full rights as citizens but were not to be counted as property. Indians, a sovereign nation were exempt from both representation and taxation. Slaves, sadly counted by law as both men and property had to be counted in such a way as to not create over-representation nor over-taxation for the slave states. The so-called 3/5th Compromise did not count each slave as 3/5thof a person. It allowed the slave owners to only count 3/5th of their slave population for purpose of representation. By limiting the representative power of the slave owners, the framers knew that the end of the “infernal practice” would be possible. Madison explains this in Federalist 54. In creating this clause the framers were faced with balancing the competing interests of representation vs. taxation:

  • In one respect the establishment of a common measure for representation and taxation will have a very salutary effect. As the accuracy of the census to be obtained by the Congress, will necessarily depend in a considerable degree on the disposition, if not the cooperation of the States, it is of great importance that the States should feel as little bias as possible to swell or to reduce the amount of their numbers. Were their share of representation alone to be governed by this rule they would have an interest in exaggerating their inhabitants. Were the rule to decide their share of taxation alone, a contrary temptation would prevail. By extending the rule to both objects, the States will have opposite interests, which will controul and ballance each other; and produce the requisite impartiality.” Federalist 54

Thus, the framers dealt with the horrid issue of treating slaves as men and property and by this and another clause, Art 1. Sec 9 Cl 1 ensured that the practice would die out.

The second issue, that of taxation will be dealt with in the next Founders/Framers Minute.


Minute 1: Article I, Section 1

Minute 2: Article I, Section 2, Clause 1-2


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3 Comments on Founders / Framers Minute: Article I, Section 2, Clause 3a

  1. The so called framers were divided into British sympathizers, who were also slave traders, who were also central banking frauds, and who were also war mongers – on one side – and on the other side were the anti-slavery, anti-central banking fraud, and anti-aggressive war for the profit of the few at the expense of everyone. Those for a federal government, for voluntary mutual defense, were against – anti – the slave trading, central banking fraud, war mongers. Which of the two groups called themselves the “federalist” party?

    • Answer to your question. The same people who populate and overwhelmingly oppose Republicanism – preferring what they call “our democracy” at every chance – the NE and West coast states – ruled by Democrats who EXPECT black people and poor people to vote for them in every election, so far, successfully.

      • Jim,

        I will respond to the answer you offer to my question. To do so I will access quotes, so as not to rely upon my subjective opinion on these mattes. First is a name of one of the Federalist Party members whose claims of authority turned out to be very destructive falsehoods.

        “But Hamilton wanted to go farther than debt assumption. He believed a funded national debt would assist in establishing public credit. By funding national debt, Hamilton envisioned the Congress setting aside a portion of tax revenues to pay each year’s interest without an annual appropriation. Redemption of the principal would be left to the government’s discretion. At the time Hamilton gave his Report on Public Credit, the national debt was $80 million. Though such a large figure shocked many Republicans who saw debt as a menace to be avoided, Hamilton perceived debt’s benefits. “In countries in which the national debt is properly funded, and the object of established confidence,” explained Hamilton, “it assumes most of the purposes of money.” Federal stock would be issued in exchange for state and national debt certificates, with interest on the stock running about 4.5 percent. To Republicans the debt proposals were heresy. The farmers and planters of the South, who were predominantly Republican, owed enormous sums to British creditors and thus had firsthand knowledge of the misery wrought by debt. Debt, as Hamilton himself noted, must be paid or credit is ruined. High levels of taxation, Republicans prognosticated, would be necessary just to pay the interest on the perpetual debt. Believing that this tax burden would fall on the yeoman farmers and eventually rise to European levels, Republicans opposed Hamilton’s debt program.

        “To help pay the interest on the debt, Hamilton convinced the Congress to pass an excise on whiskey. In Federalist N. 12, Hamilton noted that because “[t]he genius of the people will ill brook the inquisitive and peremptory spirit of excise law,” such taxes would be little used by the national government. In power, the Secretary of the Treasury soon changed his mind and the tax on the production of whiskey rankled Americans living on the frontier. Cash was scarce in the West and the Frontiersmen used whiskey as an item of barter.”
        Reclaiming the American Revolution: The Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions and Their Legacy 1st Edition
        by William Watkins

        The term Republic (according to Thomas Paine), at that time, meant The Public Thing; as in “of, for, and by” the public. We the people are the government. Thomas Paine also explains the misuse of the term democracy, which means almost the same thing as republic, and democracy does not mean “majority rule,” as people have been fooled into accepting as the true meaning of the word.

        Hamilton is one of the “Federalist” Party members, and that is the one who lied to get into power, and once in power that criminal extorted the American people through that well worn fraud known as central banking.

        “Not only the opinion of the greatest men, and the experience of mankind, are against the idea of an extensive republic, but a variety of reasons may be drawn from the reason and nature of things, against it. In every government, the will of the sovereign is the law. In despotic governments, the supreme authority being lodged in one, his will is law, and can be as easily expressed to a large extensive territory as to a small one. In a pure democracy the people are the sovereign, and their will is declared by themselves; for this purpose they must all come together to deliberate, and decide. This kind of government cannot be exercised, therefore, over a country of any considerable extent; it must be confined to a single city, or at least limited to such bounds as that the people can conveniently assemble, be able to debate, understand the subject submitted to them, and declare their opinion concerning it.”
        Brutus, 18 October, 1787, To the Citizens of the State of New-York.

        “He was pleased that, thus early in debate, the honorable gentleman had himself shown that the intent of the Constitution was not a confederacy, but a reduction of all the states into a consolidated government. He hoped the gentleman would be complaisant enough to exchange names with those who disliked the Constitution, as it appeared from his own concessions, that they were federalists, and those who advocated it were anti-federalists.”
        FRIDAY, June 20, 1788, Melancton Smith

        “Mr. Chairman—Whether the Constitution be good or bad, the present clause clearly discovers, that it is a National Government, and no longer a confederation. I mean that clause which gives the first hint of the General Government laying direct taxes. The assumption of this power of laying direct taxes, does of itself, entirely change the confederation of the States into one consolidated Government. This power being at discretion, unconfined, and without any kind of controul, must carry every thing before it. The very idea of converting what was formerly confederation, to a consolidated Government, is totally subversive of every principle which has hitherto governed us. This power is calculated to annihilate totally the State Governments. Will the people of this great community submit to be individually taxed by two different and distinct powers? Will they suffer themselves to be doubly harrassed? These two concurrent powers cannot exist long together; the one will destroy the other: The General Government being paramount to, and in every respect more powerful than, the State governments, the latter must give way to the former.”
        June 04, 1788, George Mason Speech Virginia Ratifying Convention

        “As it is necessary to clear away the rubbish of errors, into which the subject of government has been thrown, I will proceed to remark on some others.

        “It has always been the political craft of courtiers and courtgovernments, to abuse something which they called republicanism; but what republicanism was, or is, they never attempt to explain. let us examine a little into this case.

        “The only forms of government are the democratical, the aristocratical, the monarchical, and what is now called the representative.

        “What is called a republic is not any particular form of government. It is wholly characteristical of the purport, matter or object for which government ought to be instituted, and on which it is to be employed, Res-Publica, the public affairs, or the public good; or, literally translated, the public thing. It is a word of a good original, referring to what ought to be the character and business of government; and in this sense it is naturally opposed to the word monarchy, which has a base original signification. It means arbitrary power in an individual person; in the exercise of which, himself, and not the res-publica, is the object.

        “Every government that does not act on the principle of a Republic, or in other words, that does not make the res-publica its whole and sole object, is not a good government. Republican government is no other than government established and conducted for the interest of the public, as well individually as collectively. It is not necessarily connected with any particular form, but it most naturally associates with the representative form, as being best calculated to secure the end for which a nation is at the expense of supporting it.

        “Various forms of government have affected to style themselves a republic. Poland calls itself a republic, which is an hereditary aristocracy, with what is called an elective monarchy. Holland calls itself a republic, which is chiefly aristocratical, with an hereditary stadtholdership. But the government of America, which is wholly on the system of representation, is the only real Republic, in character and in practice, that now exists. Its government has no other object than the public business of the nation, and therefore it is properly a republic; and the Americans have taken care that this, and no other, shall always be the object of their government, by their rejecting everything hereditary, and establishing governments on the system of representation only. Those who have said that a republic is not a form of government calculated for countries of great extent, mistook, in the first place, the business of a government, for a form of government; for the res-publica equally appertains to every extent of territory and population. And, in the second place, if they meant anything with respect to form, it was the simple democratical form, such as was the mode of government in the ancient democracies, in which there was no representation. The case, therefore, is not, that a republic cannot be extensive, but that it cannot be extensive on the simple democratical form; and the question naturally presents itself, What is the best form of government for conducting the Res-Publica, or the Public Business of a nation, after it becomes too extensive and populous for the simple democratical form? It cannot be monarchy, because monarchy is subject to an objection of the same amount to which the simple democratical form was subject.

        “It is possible that an individual may lay down a system of principles, on which government shall be constitutionally established to any extent of territory. This is no more than an operation of the mind, acting by its own powers. But the practice upon those principles, as applying to the various and numerous circumstances of a nation, its agriculture, manufacture, trade, commerce, etc., etc., a knowledge of a different kind, and which can be had only from the various parts of society. It is an assemblage of practical knowledge, which no individual can possess; and therefore the monarchical form is as much limited, in useful practice, from the incompetency of knowledge, as was the democratical form, from the multiplicity of population. The one degenerates, by extension, into confusion; the other, into ignorance and incapacity, of which all the great monarchies are an evidence. The monarchical form, therefore, could not be a substitute for the democratical, because it has equal inconveniences.”
        Thomas Paine, Chapter III, Page 176, Rights of Man

        Sorry to say, sorry to know, most so called “patriots” have been sucked into the lies told by criminals since 1789.

        Powerless as my words may be, the modern patriot ought to at least consider the words offered by the actual patriots instead of blind belief in the words of the counterfeit “founders.”

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