People often misunderstand the factors that led to one of the bloodiest wars in history, the Civil War. While many believe the question of the morality of slavery is what drove the South to secede, leading to the Civil War, that was not the main element. While main issue that led to the war was slavery, freedom and morality were not the center of this. It was a variety of political and economic aspects of slavery were what initiated the Civil War. Anti-Slavery writers such as Seward and Helper urged the country to abandon the extension of slavery in order to protect the union and the economy.
In an attempt to keep peace between the South and the North, the Missouri Compromise was passed. The compromise would allow Missouri to enter the union as a slave state, and Maine as a free state; keeping the number of states pro-slavery and anti-slavery even. However, the compromise did not accomplish everything that congress had hoped. The Missouri Compromise was a poor attempt to end the dispute over slavery in America because it did not please the Southern or Northern states, was unconstitutional, and contributed to the civil war. The Missouri Compromise was an effort to preserve the balance of power between pro-slavery states, and anti-slavery states.
(Doc. B) By 1850 the United States had achieved their goal of manifest destiny, however there was a slight problem, would the territories that they had acquired be free or slave? Cal... ... middle of paper ... .... C) Ralf Waldo Emerson had said that the Fugitive Slave Law was an immoral law which it was his duty to break, and that an immoral law, such as this one, should be met by civil disobedience. (Doc. D) Before the secession of the south, the issue of slavery was dividing the Union.
This act was supported by Southerners which lead to the North becoming more worried about ending slavery. In 1857 salves legal status was debated in Dred Scott verses Sandford, when a free slave argued for his freedom. His argument was that he had lived where slavery was prohibited by the Missouri Compromise. Scott lost the case because Congress had no power to control slavery there.
Missouri applied for admission into the Union as a slave state; this became a problem because missouri ruined the balance for free slaves and slave states. The northern states wanted to ban slavery from occurring in missouri because the unbalanced situation it put towards the other states. In response, the southern states declared how congress doesn’t have the power to ban slavery in missouri. However, Henry Clay offers a solution, the missouri compromise of 1820. Missouri admitted as slave state and Maine becomes a free slave state.
For Southern politicians the Kansas- Nebraska Act would help the extension of slavery which most of the Northerners were against. Ignoring the wishes of the Northerners and pushing the Democratic agenda which wanted not only the continuation of slavery in the Southern states, but for the expansion of slavery to Western parts of the country, played into the fears of the Northerners that believed the power of the Slavery-holding elites was reaching into Northern states. Although Douglass’s agenda may have been to unite the North and South with his transcontinental railroad and ease the growing sectional rift within the American political arena with is idea of popular sovereignty, his bill convinced non-Democratic Northern party factions to join together and oppose the Democratic power in American politics. The non-democratic parties that join forces were the Free-soilers, Anti- Nebraska Whigs, Anti- Nebraska Democrats, Nativist groups and Abolitionists. These groups created the Republican Party.
Similar to the ideologies of the Republicans, Seward believed that slavery was unjust and humans were granted the r... ... middle of paper ... ...ry as inhumane and against universal suffrage. Both abolitionists agreed that compromise was not probable and slave labor was morally wrong. Thus, its expansion must be halted. Similarly the Southern Democrats, although their ideology was the opposite, were not willing to compromise on the issue of the expansion of slavery. Southern Democrat, James Henry Hammond, believed that slavery was necessary for the economic growth of the nation and without it, the North would also perish.
Slavery was the main cause of increasing political strain in the 1850s. The slavery issue was mainly about whether the system of slavery was an obsolete evil that was unacceptable with Republicanism in the United States, or a state-based possessions structure protected by the Constitution. Those against slavery argued to stop the expansion of slavery, which would ultimately put an end to it. However, the Southern states who owned slaves thought this denied some of their Constitutional rights. The matter of slavery escalated during the 1850s, even after comprises in 1820 and 1850.
The controversy over how slavery would be extended into these new territories as they petitioned to become states were the major political crisis’ that eventually lead to the Civil War. Popular sovereignty participated in building the tension between the north and the south; popular sovereignty was a doctrine that stated that the sovereign people of a territory should themselves determine the status of slavery (Kennedy 378), the new doctrine, the Kansa Nebraska act, undid the Missouri compromise which stated that no states could enter as slave states pass the 36030. With this new act Kansas was allowed to determine, itself if it was going to enter the Union as a free or slave state. Fearing that the balance of power in the senate would be thrown off, if Kansas entered at a free state, southerners started moving into the territory to try and dominate the vote to be for slavery. However, at the same time northern settlers were moving to the territory to try and keep it a free state.
The long and continuous conflicting views on slavery between the North and South grouped with the political power struggles over the new western territories was only further fueled with their economical and social differences. To state that the Civil War was avoidable would be just be a plain lie. The war meant to take place and it did. Works Cited 1. “American Civil War.” History.