Filed under: History, The United States | Tags: disenfranchisement, government, John Steele Gordon, slavery, wealth
An excellent quote on the nature of government from John Steele Gordon’s An Empire of Wealth:
People in government will always try to help those who are powerful at the expense of those who might become so. What–is can always yield influence that what–might–be cannot match, regardless of any campaign finance laws that may be in place. The power of what–is made the abolition of slavery—by the 1780′s widely seen as immoral and inefficient—politically impossible. Indeed, what–is was able to force a provision in the new Constitution that counted the disenfranchised and powerless slaves at three–fifths their actual numbers for determining the distribution of seats in Congress, greatly increasing the political power of the states with large slave populations.