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Slavery Divides the Nation. John M. Sacher University of Central Florida Abraham Lincoln. “The word ‘slavery’ was hid away in the Constitution just as an afflicted man hides away a . . . cancer which he dares not cut out at once, lest he bleed to death.” .

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Slavery Divides the Nation

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Slavery Divides the Nation

John M. Sacher

University of Central Florida

Abraham Lincoln

  • “The word ‘slavery’ was hid away in the Constitution just as an afflicted man hides away a . . . cancer which he dares not cut out at once, lest he bleed to death.”

Hid Away in the Constitution

  • 3/5 compromise—slaves count as 3/5 of a white man for the purpose of representation in the House

    • Art I, Sec. 2 adds whole number of free persons including indentured servants plus “three fifths of all other persons” Indians excluded

  • Return of escaped slaves,

    • Art IV, Sec. 2, “No person held to service or labour in one state”

  • International slave trade, Congress could eliminate but not before 1808

    • Art I, Sec. 9 “The migration or importation of such persons as any of the states now existing shall think proper to admit . . .”

How the 3/5ths Compromise Worked

  • Suppose…congressional seats were assigned for every 50,000 people

  • And, suppose a state had 500,000 whites and 500,000 slaves

  • It would have 10 representatives based on white population. Based on the 3/5 compromise, it would have 16 reps—Because it would be weighted as if it had 800,000 people (500,000+.6*500,000)

  • FYI: Slaves did not vote. Individual white southerners did notget extra votes. Instead, they had extra congressmen (i.e. smaller districts)

Missouri Compromise

American Colonization Society

David Walker’s Appeal (1829)


Free Soil Politics

“Slave Power”


United States Expansion

Compromise of 1850

Kansas Nebraska Act (1854)

Voting in Kansas, 1855

Eligible Voters

approx. 3,000

Free Soil Votes


Proslavery Votes


??? Judged fraudulent

Sumner Brooks Affair, 1856

Chief Justice Roger Taney

Dred Scott, Slave

Abraham Lincoln, 1858

  • “. . . when we see a lot of framed timbers, different portions of which we know have been gotten out at different times and places, and by different workmen -- Stephen, Franklin, Roger, and James, for instance; and when we see these timbers joined together, and see they exactly make the frame of a house or a mill . . . and not a piece too many or too few, -- not omitting even the scaffolding, -- or if a single piece be lacking, we see the place in the frame exactly fitted and prepared to yet bring such piece in -- in such a case we feel it impossible not to believe that Stephen and Franklin, and Roger and James, all understood one another from the beginning and all worked upon a common plan or draft drawn before the first blow was struck.”

Fire Eaters

John Brown

The Presidential Election of 1860

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