Slavery, States’ Rights and Western Expansion. Chapter 6, Section 1. Slavery Divides the Union.
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Slavery, States’ Rights and Western Expansion Chapter 6, Section 1
Slavery Divides the Union • After the United States had gained independence from Great Britain, the North and the South developed very differently. The North’s economy concentrated on industries, while the South’s focused mainly on the cash crop of cotton.
Slavery Divides the Union • Compare and contrast the North and South’s views on slavery:
The Election of 1848 • The two major political parties—Democratsand Whigs, were split over the issue of slavery, depending on the region in which they lived. • A new political party even emerged in support of the Wilmot Proviso. This party became known as the Free-Soil Party because they supported freedom from slavery in the new territories. • They chose Martin Van Burento be their candidate in the 1848 election.
Election of 1848 • With the Free-Soilers adamantly opposed to slavery, the Whigs and Democrats were forced to choose a side in regards to the issue. • However, both parties embraced the idea of popular sovereignty, which in itself was a middle ground. • Popular sovereignty allowed voters in a territory, rather than Congress, to decide whether or not they wanted to allow slavery. • The Whigs had nominated Mexican War hero Zachary Taylorto be their candidate. • Although the Free-Soil Party did not win any states, they received 10%of the popular vote, showing that there was interest in a no-slavery ideology.
A Compromise Avoids Crisis • When California applied for statehood, they threatened to tip the balance between free and slave states. • Not only was California looking to enter the Union, but New Mexicoand Utah would look to enter shortly afterwards—also as free states. • Southerners hoped to have Congress enforce the outdated Fugitive Slave Law of 1793. This law stated that slaves should be returned to their masters. • As support for slavery dwindled, the South looked to hold on as long as possible.
A Compromise Avoids a Crisis • There were three main leaders that had emerged in the Senate: Daniel Webster, John C. Calhoun, and Henry Clay. • Known as the “Great Pacificator”, Clay once again came up with a compromise that provided both the North and the South with concessions. What were the five parts? • California would be admitted as a free state • Utah and New Mexico territories would decide • Slave trade would end in Washington, D.C. • Stricter fugitive slave law would be passed. • Texas would give up claims to NM for $10 million
A Compromise Avoids a Crisis • Calhoun, however, believed that Clay’s compromise did not give enough to the South. He remarked that if the North did not agree to terms, the South would secede, or remove themselves from the Union.
Senate Adopts the Compromise of 1850 • The Compromise of 1850would mark the third time in the United States’ short history that they had compromised over the issue of slavery. • Although Henry Clay had grown old, young Stephen Douglasmade sure to push through each part of the compromise. • The new Fugitive Slave Act restricted all citizens from helping slaves. If they did, they could be fined or imprisoned.