Accept all changes in document…

US Constitution Manuscript - Preamble and Article I

I was tickled to hear that the Constitution was being read in the House under the Republican’s leadership, a nod to their Tea Party backers.  Great, let’s get back to sources!  And who would read Article I, Section 2, and how would it be read?  I’ve bold faced the really interesting part.

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.

There it is in black and white, the counting of slaves as 3/5 of a person, part of the Great Compromise that brought the slave states on board to ratify the Constitution and balanced the power of the states with a bicameral legislature, not to mention the fact that it was at the root of cataclysmic events in U.S. history. 

Well, according to the NYTimes article, an edited version was read that removed all text that was invalidated by later amendments, as well as the amendments themselves!  How’s that for history down the Memory Hole!  I guess that the congressmen and women are so used to tracking changes in documents with word processors – add edits and accept all changes, show Final without markup – that it makes sense to them.

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