Underneath the talk of states’ rights, expansion, tariffs, and railroads there was always slaves, toiling on southern plantations and growing in number each day. As the country entered the nineteenth century, politicians found the unanswered issue of slavery demanded attention. This attention was necessary not only because of the expanding country, welcoming new states into the fold, but because of the slaves themselves and their actions. Despite talk of other political issues crucial to politicians as the years crept toward the Civil War, slavery was constantly an undertone in each debate. The presence of slaves and free blacks throughout the United States of America influenced both northern and southern politicians to create legislation that …show more content…
“For the Slave South to deter its most potentially destructive slave resistance, potential fugitives had to dread coercion outside as well as inside their masters’ estate” and the act provided that coercion. The free blacks, at the very least inspiring images to slaves, encouraged potential runaways through their lifestyles and knowledge. Without these slaves’ attempts to gain freedom, the act would not have been necessary. The northern states would not have made laws allowing citizens not to participate in slave catching, and the southern states would not have been nervous about northern state compliance with the return of their …show more content…
While northern Democratic senator Stephen Douglas introduced the bill purely to organize the western territory to build railroads in his home state of Illinois, the South grabbed at the chance to push their expansion agenda. Knowing that Douglas needed Southern Democrats in order to pass his bill, the senators would “no longer tolerate retention of the Missouri Compromise’s declaration that slavery must be ‘forever prohibited’ from Nebraska.” They needed to cancel this “retention” since slavery would not last trapped in the South. Douglas offered them the opportunity to demand a change. The growing number of slaves pressured the politicians to take this chance to better their chances for expansion, and therefore survival of
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Additionally, the majority of states had conflicts between slavery in their territory, one of them dealt with missouri. 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. Slavery is banned in Louisiana creating a 36 30 line in missouri’s southern border; this maintained the balance in the U.S senate.
Slavery was a political, economic, social and moral issue that divided the citizens of the United States. Sectionalism is “loyalty or support of a particular region or section of the nation, rather than the United States as a whole” (“Sectionalism and Slavery). Slavery was a main factor of the sectional issue, dividing the country into North and South to the extent that it led to the Civil War; the main conflict was that southerners supported slavery and northerners opposed it. Because of the differences in history, economics, etc. in the states slavery was a main factor in the sectionalism between the North and South. The questions were whether rights of slave owners would be protected throughout the country, whether new territories would
The Fugitive Slave Act was a very controversial law when passed. In 1850, the Fugitive Slave Act was a federal law that stated runaway slaves should be captured and returned to their owner. If anyone were to interfere and help a runaway slave, there would be severe punishments for the interferer. The Fugitive Slave Act denied slave the right of trial by jury and any citizens who helped any slaves were fined. This act resulted badly in free states. In The Slave Catchers, the author informs the readers that the Act of 1850 imposed “ the possibilities that free Negroes would be kidnapped and sold into slavery posed a constant threat” (Campbell 175). Slave hunters or slave holders would go into free states and enslave free black men. One victim of the Fugitive Slave Act was Northup. Northup was a musician. He was mistaken for a runaway slave and was sold into slavery for twelve years. This act made the Abolitionist mad because the federal government was so quick in enforcing this law. They believed that if the government can enforce this law so quickly, other slave laws could be enforced too. Northerners tried every way to bypass this law and work their way around it. They would help the runaway slaves through various methods, one most famously known as The Underground Railroad. For slaves that started a new life in the North before the act was enacted, it meant
Politics in America from 1846 to 1861 have been remembered mainly for being strongly influenced by slavery. It was the hot topic of the time. Abolitionism was on the rise while Americans who were proslavery stood by their beliefs. With the compromise of 1850 declaring Free states, the division of the north and south, incidents such as bleeding Kansas, the Dred Scott case, and the election of 1860, it was clear that American Politics were all about slavery.
For Southern leaders, the preservation of slavery emerged as a political imperative. As the basis of the Southern labor system and a major store of Southern wealth (see "Economics," below), it was the core of the region's political interests within the Union. The section's politicians identified as Southern "rights" the equal opportunity to introduce its labor system and property (i.e. slaves) into newly opened territories, and to retrieve escaped slaves from the free states with federal assistance.
In 1854, Congress passed the Kansas-Nebraska Act to create new territories. Stephen Douglass wrote the act in an effort to attract the transcontinental railroad to his home city of Chicago. Douglass needed Kansas, and Nebraska, to become official territories to make it happen. Douglass believed the act would help Chicago economically, and aid his hopes of becoming president by ending The Missouri Compromise. Popular sovereignty replaced geographic restrictions as the decided factor on the issue of slavery. The opportunity to move slavery further north galvanized the south, and outraged the n...
An issue that divided the nation was slavery and the constitution. This issue divided the nation along sectional lines. In order to insure the nations population southern voters agreed on the three-fifths clause. The three-fifths clause allowed three-fifths of slaves to be counted for as a representation in selecting a president. (Norton, A People and a Nation, 172). With the clause, the Constitution was able to get rid of future slave rebellions and riots. Slavery was the very thing that shaped the South’s social structure. It was the reason for economic growth, and was the main topic of political issues. If they gave too much freedom to slaves by being represented in the clause, there would be much needed focus on making sure a rebellion didn’t happen. Because of the Constitution, many argued that having slaves was a right to property. In the end, the Constitution was used in many arguments to support and oppose slavery at the same
In the early 1800s the most divisive and controversial subject and topic of discussion was by far Slavery. After the Revolution most of the states, which were north of Maryland, were starting to pass anti-slavery laws. While in the early decades of the 1800s most of the slave holding and pro-slavery states were in the South. There were three major compromises, which attempted to be the solution to deal with the problem of slavery however none of them were fully successful in their motives on the subject.
First, the Missouri Compromise of 1820 established the slavery line that allowed slavery below it and forbid slavery above it. It also gave the South another slave state in Missouri and the north a free state in Maine. Although each region gained a state in the Senate, the south benefited most from the acquisition because Missouri was in such a pivotal position in the country, right on the border. Later on with the Kansas-Nebraska Act in 1854, Missouri had a big role in getting Kansas to vote south because many proslavery Missourians crossed the border into Kansas to vote slavery. The Missouri Compromise also helped slavery because the line that was formed to limit slavery had more land below the line than above it. Therefore, slavery was given more land to be slave and therefore more power in the Senate, when the territories became state. In effect, the north got the short end of the stick and the south was given the first hint of being able to push around the north. The interesting thing is, the north agreed to all these provisions that would clearly benefit the south.
Abraham Lincoln’s original views on slavery were formed through the way he was raised and the American customs of the period. Throughout Lincoln’s influential years, slavery was a recognized and a legal institution in the United States of America. Even though Lincoln began his career by declaring that he was “anti-slavery,” he was not likely to agree to instant emancipation. However, although Lincoln did not begin as a radical anti-slavery Republican, he eventually issued his Emancipation Proclamation, which freed all slaves and in his last speech, even recommended extending voting to blacks. Although Lincoln’s feeling about blacks and slavery was quite constant over time, the evidence found between his debate with Stephen A. Douglas and his Gettysburg Address, proves that his political position and actions towards slavery have changed profoundly.
The presidential elections of 1860 was one of the nation’s most memorable one. The north and the south sections of country had a completely different vision of how they envision their home land. What made this worst was that their view was completely opposite of each other. The north, mostly republican supporters, want America to be free; free of slaves and free from bondages. While on the other hand, the south supporters, mostly democratic states, wanted slavery in the country, because this is what they earned their daily living and profit from.
The Fugitive Slave Act was part of the Compromise of 1850. This act required that authorities in the North had to assist southern slave catchers to retrieve and return slaves to their owners. Southerners favored this act because they saw no slavery in the territories to the west, by the passing of the Fugitive Slave Act it would help preserve slavery in the south. This act allowed southern slave owners to get their slaves back when they escaped to the North that is why this act was important and critical to southern survival. The view of this act by the North was the opposite, especially from those who were black, they feared this act. The blacks in the North were terrified that this act would make it so they could be ushered back to the south even if they were innocent. This led to the creation of resistance groups in the North.
We are Northern Abolitionist seeking request from all Northerners to come together and help free negroes from the atrocious acts of the Southerners. As you all may have heard, a compromise had just been passed yesterday called The Fugitive Slave Law, where the government to heavily assist slaveowners recovering runaway negroes. This has made it harder for us to free slaverunners due to government having more weapons and technology than anyone else. There will be penalties given if caught assisting or hiding negroes. We have been assisted runaway slaves back to 1786, when the first organized group, Quakers, was assembled to help assist slaves escaped. We help free negroes because Southerner slaveowners are inhumane and unfair to negroes.
This act authorized the for the capture and return of runaway slaves causing more tension between the north and the south. It sates “required citizens to assist in the capture of fugitives” (Fonner, 2015, P. 25). It became extremely hard for them to escape and be free. It also states, “slave hunters… were lurking about the city” (Foner, 2015, P.164). Many wanted the reward that was given if they returned a runaway slave, so many African Americans would be terrorized every day. With the slave catchers on the lookout it made the fugitives be more discrete and made them have more elaborate plans to not get
As Politicians in Washington scrambled to puttogether and pass new legislation, the South remained in upheaval, the economy now had to accommodate millions of newly emancipated blacks and battles for political power emerged. As freed slaves tried to begin a new life for themselves and take advantage of their new rights unde...