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A Nation Divided (Chapter 21)
Transcript of A Nation Divided (Chapter 21)
The houses were deadlocked over the issue of slavery in Missouri. In 1820, the question of Missouri's statehood was once again debated. But, now Maine was asking to join the Union. As a free state. With threats of a secession, Congress finally found a compromise.
Henry Clay of Kentucky created a compromise that made Missouri a slave state, and Maine a free state. The balance between free and slave state was maintained. The Missouri Compromise did not please the Northerners or Southerners. Congress told them that they had no power to interfere with slavery in the states. In 1836, Congress voted to set aside all anti-slavery petitions. It was nicknamed the "gag rule," because it "gagged" all debate about slavery. The Gag Rule prevented the forethought of an anti-slavery proposal by John Quincy Adams. Adams recommended an amendment that said that no one could be born into slavery after 1845. For ten years, the Gag Rule kept slavery out of Congress. David Wilmot proposed an amendment called the Wilmot Proviso. It stated that "neither slavery nor involuntary servitude shall ever exist" in any territory collected from Mexico. Southerners in Congress strongly disagreed with the amendment. They said congress had no right to decide where slave holders take their property. The amendment passed the house but was rejected by the Senate. Southerns proposed a bill that would stretch the Missouri Compromise line all the way to the Pacific Ocean. In 1849, California asked for admission to the Union, as a free state. Once again Congress became deadlocked. Northerners readily accepted California, but the Southerners warned that making California a free state would once again upset the balance between slave and free states. Henry Clay of Kentucky, the same man who is responsible for the Missouri Compromise, came up with the answer to end the debate over California. The Compromise of 1850 had amendments to satisfy almost everyone. It began by admitting California as a free state, which would please Northerners. To please the South, New Mexico and Utah would be territories allowing slavery. Clay's idea also ended the slave trade in Washington D.C. He thought human beings should no longer be bought and sold in the nations capital. Lastly, Clay's scheme initiated a firm fugitive slave law. This would make it easier for southerners to claim their runaway slaves. The Compromise of 1850 In September 1850, Clay's plan was finally adopted by Congress. The Compromise of 1850 pleased neither sides. Both were troubled with the Fugitive Slave Laws, but for different reasons. "Uncle Tom's Cabin," was first published its installments in an Appilitionist newspaper In 1854, a document called the Ostend Manifesto was sent sent to the Secretary of State by three American diplomats. The Ostened Manifesto advised the US Government to take Cuba by force if Spain would not sell the island. Northerners charged that the government wanted Cuba so they could add another slave state to the Union. Southerns in Congress supported the bill, but only if Douglas made a few changes. It also discarded the Missouri Compromise by leaving it up to the settlers to vote on whether to permit slavery. This is called popular sovereignty. In the South, towns sent their young men to Kansas. In the North, abolitionists raised money to send weapons to anti-slavery settlers. Very quickly, Kansas had two competing governments, one for slavery, and one against. On May 21, 1856, the debate over slavery became violent. "I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half-slave and half-free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved- I do not expect the House to fall- but I do expect it will ceaze to be divided. It will become all one thing, or all the other" Lincoln replied that slavery was not a legal issue, it was a moral issue. Lincoln lost but he soon became a national figure Dread Scott was a slave who lived in Missouri. Scott traveled to Wisconsin with his owners and he claimed that his trip made him a free man. Our nation was deeply divided... First Meeting on December 20, 1860 In Spingfield, Illinois President Lincoln made it clear that he would not let slavery spread into the territories. On March 4, 1861, Lincoln became president of the United States of America. He told of his belief that secession was wrong and unconstitutional. He ask for the states to return in peace. "In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war." On April 12 southerners opened fire on Fort Sumter. After 33 hours of raging battle, the fort finally surrendered. The time for compromise was over. The issue of slavery would be decided by war. In his inaugural speech, he said...