Okay, first of all, who the fuck are you talking to?
I said that the 3/5ths Compromise was odious. Why? Because it was. We fought a war over the issues. Very few people actually think that ending chattel slavery was a bad thing these days.
With that matter settled we get to the second disagreement. A lot of the states with smaller populations had a whole bunch of slaves. They wanted their slaves to count as part of the population because that meant more representatives. The larger states didn’t want that because that meant the slave states would get those representatives off of a population that didn’t technically count. The slaves had no say, as they were, well, slaves. Given that the only people given the franchise at first were white men who owned land this was basically rich white dudes having a dick measuring contest.
Very little has changed since 1787. Mostly we got rid of the powdered wigs and invented the luxury yacht.
There is one thing we must make absolutely clear. This was not a moral debate for the men at the Constitutional Convention. This was a transactional debate. Few people actually worried about the humanity of slaves and the abolitionist movement wasn’t all that strong. Vermont and Massachusetts were leading the way in the fight to abolish slavery in the North but the two most prominent advocates for the abolition of slavery were Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, both slave owners themselves.
While some few people did want to see the Constitution as a true declaration of universal rights and justice there wasn’t enough demand to push that through. Moreover, the delegates knew that the slave states would never ratify the Constitution with such language. The idea, then, was to compromise and punt. This is what gave us the Three-Fifths Compromise. Slaves would count as 60% of a person for the purposes of taking the census and establishing representation in the lower house. This limited the influence of the slave states but also enshrined slavery as legal in the United States.
Absolutely everything that happened in the run-up to the Civil War must be viewed through this lens. The United States evolved rapidly and the push towards westward expansion forced the North and South to continually juggle the shaky balance between pro- and anti-slavery forces. Every gain by one side had to be countered by the other or the whole edifice would come crashing down.
Don’t tell me that I don’t know about the 3/5ths Compromise or how we got to it.
Third, at no point did I talk about Klansmen. I didn’t mention them at all. I didn’t talk about the Progressive Era. I haven’t even figured out what it is that you think I’m accusing you of or if you think I’m accusing you of it.
I don’t know what straw-men you think I was arguing with, since I wasn’t arguing with any strawman. I was pointing out that we cannot expect to get everything all in one go and then just quit when we don’t like it. I’m saying progress is incremental and if you look at the sweep of American history our progress as a nation has been amazing.
I haven’t even figured out if you’re on the side of progress or not. Hell, I can’t even figure out if you’re in agreement with my assertion that we’ve made a lot of progress.