Daniel Webster is considered one of the greatest orators in the history of the American senate. In fact, this speech is considered one of the greatest of his orations(Annals 24). He was born and raised in the North. This helped to shape his political ideas in his future. Daniel was a senator for Massachusetts and a prominent figure among Northerners. Through his life he was a part of three different parties: Adams, anti-Jacksonian, and Whig. This speech was widely considered to be contrary to the ideals of the Whig party and after giving it Daniel Webster was never fully trusted again by his party(24 Annuls). As tensions grew in the States, a fear of secession also grew in Daniel Webster. He feared that a spilt between the States would dissolve into conflict. This was clearly a motivating force behind "A Plea for Harmony and Peace".
The speech "A Plea for Harmony and Peace" was delivered in 1850. It's content touches on problems that would eventually cause The Civil War. One of the main issues mentioned is what should be done with runaway slaves. The country was divided into three groups on this point. The North wanted to stop all expansion of slavery, the South wanted to, at least, retain it’s slavery and, at most, expand slavery into new states and territories. Finally, a third group urged that there should be compromise between the states. Daniel argues that fugitive slaves should be returned to their owners in accordance to the Supreme Court's orders. Another topic mentioned in his speech is the possibility of secession. The fact that it mentions secession tells us that this idea was in some people's minds at least as early as 1850. However, compromise, namely, The Compromise of 1850...
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Irving H. Bartlett, Daniel Webster (1978)
The Works of Daniel Webster by Daniel Webster; The Private Correspondence of Daniel Webster by Daniel Webster; Fletcher Webster; Life and Memorials of Daniel Webster by Daniel Webster; The Private Life of Daniel Webster by Charles Lanman
The North American Review , Vol. 104, No. 214 (Jan., 1867) , pp. 65-121
"Speech Costs Senator His Seat." United States Senate. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Jan. 2014.
Webster, Daniel. “A Plea for Harmony and Peace.” Annals of America. USA: Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc., 1968. 24-27. Print0
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