Civil War While Compromise Over the System Term Paper

  • Length: 5 pages
  • Subject: American History
  • Type: Term Paper
  • Paper: #52281595

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Civil War

While compromise over the system of slavery was possible in 1850 it was not effective in 1860's." The paper is an analysis of the compromise of 1850, which was the continuation of the system of slavery, and the description of the events, which led to freeing of the slaves in 1860's. The fundamental differences in agriculture and the adoption of slavery in the South of America gave rise to the early American History. The thirteen states had each developed separately and had differences in beliefs and their culture and issues between them were always irreconcilable. Along with the cultural differences even the geographic differences were made apparent between the North and South America during the hundred-year period that followed after the Constitution was drafted.

Conflicts arose and reached its climax in 1850 regarding the concept of holding people as slaves in the territories that were being formed. In the years that preceded the Civil war the United States was constantly involved with various issues relating to slavery and the role that the federal government played in comparison to the state rights. The compromise of 1850 included nearly five legislative enactments that were actually passed by the U. S Congress during August and September that year. These proceedings basically led to resolve the political causes, which were causing divisions in the antislavery and the proslavery groups of the Congress and in the entire nation. These measures were at times also called the 'Omnibus Bill', and this basically was concerning the aspect as to whether slavery was to be allowed in the areas that were acquired from Mexico during the Mexican War. (McPherson, 2000)

There were five measures and two out of these dealt with special considerations by the South to the north, out of which one was regarding the sanction of the elimination of slave trade in areas in the Districts of Colombia and another was the permission given to California to operate as a free state. The third bill was the Fugitive State law of 1850 which was a considerable allowance given to the South, which made available for the slaves who had run away to return to their masters. The fourth bill dealt with dividing the portion east of California that was given to the U.S. By Mexico into various provinces of New Mexico and Utah and this area was made open to settlement to the slaveholders and the antislavery settlers.

The fifth bill mentioned that Texas, which was already regarded in the union of slave state to be granted ten million dollars as settlement of the claims to its adjoining territories in the process of which the South was further strengthened. This bill also further suggested any state that may have the inclination to join the Union will have the power to decide whether it would want to be a slave or a free state and also agreed that California was a free state. The individuals who were working against abolition of slavery were rudely surprised by the Compromise of 1850 because of which the ones for slavery were given support by the North. The slave owners did not need to any longer prove that they had ownership of the slaves. In comparison to all the bills that actually made up the Fugitive Slave Act, the Compromise of 1850 was the most divisive. The citizens were asked to help in locating the slaves who had ran away, and the ones who helped the slaves to runaway were charged a thousand dollar fine and six months in prison. The slaves who were captured were not given the chance for trial in front of a jury. With the help of the Compromise of 1850 the congress's main aim was to calm the turbulence between the Northern and the Southern states. This act also permitted the South slave owners to catch hold of their slaves in the Northern states.

The passing of the fugitive slaves act made the abolitionist keener on putting an end to slavery. This act also put forward this concept of slavery before the entire nation. Many people who had been apprehensive as to which side they should be on took a firmer action now.

The Compromise of 1850, helped keep the Nation United, but only for a short while. In the next decade that followed individuals became more alienated on the terms relating to slavery. But the later years, which followed, made the compromise difficult. The years between 1850 and 1852 are known in American political history for the deaths of three eminent figures, Clay, Calhoun and Webster. Though each of them had their own opinions and ideologies they were all fervent statesmen. Clay who was very much known as the 'Great Compromiser' had great influence to sort out the trouble after the Missouri Crisis, the Nullification Controversy and the Wilmot Proviso. It was the death of these great individuals, which was followed by some weak Presidents which ended the conciliation in the Congress and also made it seem more remotely likely to end the sectional conflict in a peaceful manner. This ultimately led to a distinction between the various states, the North was in constant support of abolition slavery, and hence this paved the path more towards the Civil war. This conflict turned violent in 1854, when the Kansas-Nebraska Act revoked the Missouri Compromise and the Cass' concept of dominion was put into effect. The Underground Railroad was used more frequently especially between 1850 and 1860.

Though it appeared to be thorough, this sovereignty was the cause of a mini civil war in Kansas, where the abolitionist and the slaveholders had arguments over the question of slavery and as to which of these individuals would run the state. In 1856, in Pottawatomie, the Missouri pro-slavery activist attacked a free soil camp and burnt it down. This Incongruity turned violent here, where both parties need to be fairly blamed. By a ballot system of the Southern individuals, an act was passed that allowed slavery to be practiced though the number of free soldiers was nearly three to one in comparison with the ones for slavery. This event was then named, 'Bleeding Kansas'. But when Anthony Bums, a runaway slave, was returned to his owner at a very high price of nearly 14,000 to 100,000 dollars many Northerners did not agree to this law. The event helped to bed conservationist unionist and in place of them we could see abolitionist who had only one thought in their mind that of removing slavery.' This brings to realization the increasing tension during such times that actual convert normal docile individuals into epitomized humans with a statement to make. (McPherson, 2000)

The Southern proslavery Chief Justice Taney fueled the explosive situation during this period more. In an 1857 Dred Scott case he stated that Negroes were not citizens and hence had no right to bring a case to court, and also stated that the Missouri Compromise had deprived these individuals of their property. The implied assertion that the act of the Congress was unconstitutional was not only rare but it also aggravated individuals in the North. Where the Northerners were angry against the Dred Scott case at the same time, the southerners got furious after John Brown's attack at Harper's ferry. Brown had tried to provoke a slave revolt and had also tried to get the federal weapon store caught. When he was executed many of the Northerners treated him as a martyr. Though the concept that Brown had adopted was no good, but he was applauded for his bravery by the south and this was too much for the Southerners to bear. To top it off, the election of Abraham Lincoln who the Southerners thought to be an abolitionist, though Lincoln did state otherwise to president ship was too much to bear.

Many did not appreciate the panorama of the federal government, which was actually controlled by the 'Black Republican Party', and South Carolina was first to react and was followed by seven others. This did not really have to lead to the civil war but not many in the north were ready to accept the Union being torn into pieces. It was Lincoln's election that triggered off the war. Where Emerson had stated that ' Mexico will poison us', make to be very true, because of the battle had over it by the sections. When Clay, Calhoun and Webster dies all hopes of a peaceful solution to this conflict also died along with them. This ultimately lead to Bloodsheds in Kansas, weak presidents, weird events in the congress and Chief Justice who was bias along with extremist like John Brown and then the first party of the United States that differentiated the two sections along with the election of Abraham Lincoln all lead to the factors that ultimately shrank the Union, until ultimately it was blown apart. (McPherson, 2000)

Later on November 6, 1860 that Abraham Lincoln was elected to be the Sixteenth President of the United…

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