Paterson asked: “To a man in Virga. a number of votes in relation to the number of his slaves? He found that the slaves were not counted when the representations were awarded in the southern provinces, and he asked, “Why should they be in the Generall.” Gov`t. [?]” Finally, Paterson argued that counting slaves for representation promoted the slave trade.20 The American Revolution was in part a contest on the very definition of representation. In England, the House of Commons represented every British subject, so that the subject could actually vote in favour of its accession. In this sense, most of the people who lived in British-ruled territories – including North America – were only “practically” represented in Parliament. American settlers, accustomed to controlling their local affairs in colonial parliaments elected by direct universal suffrage, had no votes in Parliament and were irritated by the British policy imposed on them. This is how they gathered behind the now well-known motto: “No taxation without representation!” After the war, the founders sought to design a system of government that better represented the people of the new country than the British model they once governed. The statutes of the Confederation created the first national congress that represents the interests of states: each state would appoint between two and seven delegates to the Congress and each national delegation would have one vote. The Convention ignored Madison`s proposal. But the subject kept coming up. Slavery-rooted sectionalism was clearly one of the main causes of division within the Convention and the Nation. Indeed, slavery complicated the debates of the Convention long after the division between large and small states had been dispelled.
On July 2, Charles Pinckney argued that there was “a strong distinction on the interest between the Southern and Northern States” and that the Carolinas and Georgia had “a strange interest that could be sacrificed” if they had no sufficient power in a new congress.18 Nationalist James Wilson expressed the paradox that delegates faced on the issue of slavery and influenced the current debate on the nature of government. Were slave people citizens? If so, why not be blamed on the population of the state? Or were they property? If so, why have other forms of ownership not been included in the tax determination equation? But William Davie, of North Carolina, saw a conspiracy to ensure that slave countries would not be able to calculate one of their slave populations to be represented in Congress. It`s “high time to talk now,” he said. North Carolina would never agree with the conditions of the Confederacy, unless black populations were identified with a ratio of at least 3/5. If black people were totally excluded, “business was over.” Many delegates repudiated the 3:5 ratio. Morris responded to Davies` challenge, stressing the voluntary nature of the pact in which states would enter. Morris summed up his position in this way – he should insult either the southern states or human nature itself, and in the face of this election, he would insult the southern states. The governor of New York criticized the proposed compromise. He questioned the fact that a direct tax, whose three-fifths compromise would increase the burden on the countries of the South, could actually be compared to the giant United States.