The Sectional Struggle

Report
The Sectional Struggle
A. Mexican American War Fallout
1.
2.
3.
4.
13,000 lives lost – mostly from
disease
Training ground for most Civil
War Generals
Ugly turning point in Latin/US
relations
National territory increased by
1/3rd
a.
b.
Surge in Manifest Destiny belief
Slavery issue aroused with a
vengeance
i.
ii.
iii.
North feared a southern
“slavocracy” with new land
acquisition
Rep. David Wilmot introduced
amendment in 1846 to prohibit
slavery in ANY territory wrested
from Mexico.
South rejected “Wilmot Proviso”
in Senate
B. Election of 1848
1.
2.
3.
Zach Taylor
Polk done after one term –
Democrats nominate Lewis Cass
– advocate of popular
sovereignty.
Whigs choose military hero
Zachary Taylor.
a.
b.
Lewis Cass
4.
Free Soil Party forms because
they do not trust either.
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.
5.
Never held civil office nor voted
Large slave owner in LA.
Pro Wilmot Proviso
Federal aid for internal
improvements
“Conscious Whigs” who opposed
slavery on moral grounds
People upset that Polk did not
push for all of Oregon.
Trotted out Martin Van Buren
Taylor (163-127-0) with Free
Soilers spoiling election for Cass.
C. Gold Rush!
1.
2.
Gold discovered at Sutter’s
Mill, CA in 1848
“Gold fever” encouraged
massive settlement
a.
b.
c.
d.
Some “struck it rich, most
didn’t)
Many lawless men
followed gold trail – crime
and vigilante justice
increase.
Burst in industries
supporting miners
(launderers)
California population
grew so fast that they
applied for statehood in
1849 with slavery
EXCLUDED.
D. Southern Reaction
1.
2.
CA admitted as free would
upset 15-15 state balance in
the Senate.
Potential slave territory
running short
a.
b.
3.
4.
Rumblings from NM and UT to
be admitted as free
CA admitted as free would set
a precedent for the rest of the
Mexican Cession
Worried about northern
demands to end slavery in
Washington D.C.
Most alarming was rate of
runaway slaves
a.
b.
Assisted by Harriet Tubman’s
Underground Railroad
Demanded a new, more
stringent fugitive slave law.
E. “Great Triumvirate” Takes Stage
1.
2.
“Fire eaters” of South threatened to
secede in 1849 if CA admitted as free.
Debates rage in Congress on how to
prevent this
a.
Clay
Calhoun (South) – called for two
Presidents, one from North and South
– died in 1850 from TB before debate
settled,
Clay (West) – urged North to make
concessions (like Fugitive Slave Law) to
appease South.
Webster (North/East) – gave famed
“Seventh of March Speech” – helped
turn North towards tide of
compromise and strengthened Union
sentiment.
Calhoun
b.
c.
i.
Webster
ii.
Free Soilers and abolitionists assailed
Webster as a traitor
Unfair assessment
F. Changing of the Guard
1. William Seward (NY) –
strong anti-slaveryite
who argued that God’s
“higher law” trumped
man-made Constitution.
2. Taylor also not willing to
give concessions to South
3. Dies suddenly of
intestinal ailment
a.
b.
c.
Millard Fillmore becomes
President
Impressed with
arguments for
conciliation
signs compromise after 7
months of debate
Seward
Fillmore
G. Compromise of 1850
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
CA admitted to Union as
free state
Territories of NM and UT
open to “popular
sovereignty” – ppl would
decide for themselves by
vote whether to be slave or
free.
Texas $10 million debt
assumed by US to give up
part of territory to NM.
Slave trade (but not slavery
itself) abolished in D.C.
New Fugitive Slave Law (see
next slide)
H. Fugitive Slave Law
1.
2.
3.
4.
Runaway slaves denied ability
to testify or get jury trial.
Judges given $5 is runaways
were freed; $10 if they were
not.
People aiding the escape of a
slave liable to heavy fines and
jail sentences.
Northern Reaction
a.
b.
c.
d.
Many moderates driven to
anti-slavery camp
Underground Railroad
stepped up its activity
Some states refused to
enforce it or lend jail space to
federal officials
South further angered by
North’s unwillingness to
enforce it
I. War in 1850?
1. South would have been ready and willing.
2. Luckily for the North, it did not
a. Extra 10 yrs added population and wealth to the
North
b. Delay also added moral strength to Union cause
3. Could be argued that time bought from
Compromise of 1850 helped win war for the
North.
J. Election of 1852
1.
Democrats chose unknown, enemy-less war general Franklin Pierce.
a.
b.
2.
Whigs chose General Winfield Scott
a.
b.
c.
3.
4.
Pro-southern northerner
Endorsed Compromise of 1850
Only won with military heroes in the past (1840, 1848) – why not try again
Pompous, devisive character
Whig party split over Fugitive Slave Law
Pierce wins easily in E.C.
Whig Party irreparably split – Webster and Clay die in 1852 and Whig
Party goes with them.
K. The South Looks South
1. Attempt by slave owner
William Walker to seize
Baja California and
Nicaragua to create new
slave states failed.
2. Ostend Manifesto
a. Secret deal devised to
offer $120 million for
sugar-rich Cuba; if Spain
refused, may be grounds
for war.
b. Northern anti-slavery
forces got wind of plan
and went bananas –
Pierce dropped plan.
L. Connecting East and West
1.
2.
3.
4.
Newly acquired CA 8,000 away
from DC.
Transcontinental travel dangerous
and tine-consuming – Railroad
became the answer
Rockies a road block and Northern
Plains unorganized territory.
Southern route would be easiest
a.
b.
c.
d.
James Gadsden, minister to
Mexico offered $10 million for
southern NM and AZ in 1854
Santa Anna, in need of $ as
always, accepted
Northerners outraged with
Gadsden Purchase, as they
thought RR should run further
North.
Southern Pacific Railroad finished
in 1882
M. Kansas- Nebraska Act
1.
Stephen A. Douglas
a.
b.
c.
Senator from Illinois
who owned real estate
in Chicago and would
greatly benefit from
Transcontinental RR
terminus there
Pushed for northern RR
to rival southern RR
through Gadsden
Purchase.
Needed to organize
Nebraska Territory
before this could
happen.
2. Popular Sovereignty Doctrine
a.
Douglas proposed carving
TWO states out of NE Territory
and opening up slavery issue
to popular sovereignty
i.
ii.
b.
c.
d.
e.
Kansas – just west of slave state
MO so presumably would be
slave.
Nebraska – just west of free IA
and would presumably be free.
Directly violated Missouri
Compromise that mandated all
states north of 36’30” be free.
Southern states all for it –
President Pierce threw his
support behind it too.
North held MO Compromise as
sacred and again, went nuts
Douglas rammed bill through
Congress in 1854
3.
Impact of Kansas-Nebraska Act
a.
Greased slippery slope to Civil
War.
North unwilling to compromise
any further with “Nebrascals”
Fugitive Slave Law, which had
been weakly enforced in North,
now a dead letter.
Democratic Party shattered –
won Presidency in 1856
(Buchanan) who would be the
last Dem for 28 years.
Gave birth to new Republican
Party
b.
c.
d.
e.
i.
ii.
iii.
rose up in opposition to the
gains of slavery
Disgruntled Whigs, Dems, Free
Soilers and other opponents to
KN Act.
Became a major second party
almost overnight and would win
Presidency in 6 short years.

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