Our American History
The multiple causes of disunion in the sass’s stemmed from decades of differing views between Americans in the North and South. From the time of the American Revolution through the Secession of the seven states which made up the Confederate States of America, each part of the country held differing views on government, economics, territorial expansion, and slavery. One other factor was a tipping point: the Presidential election of a lawyer from Illinois.
It was inevitable that our nation would be torn apart. II. Who Shall Control: State or Federal? 1 Around the time of the Declaration of Independence through the Revolution, two very different factions came to be: those who argued for greater states’ rights and those who desired more federal government control. After the American Revolution, our first true government was under the Articles of Confederation, created at the Constitutional Convention set in Philadelphia on May 25, 1787. An extremely weak federal government was formed with the thirteen former colonies (now states).
When problems Egan to surface, the leaders at that time came together during the Constitutional Convention and secretly created the Constitution of the united States. However, proponents for states’ rights such as Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry were not present at this meeting. Many felt that the new constitution took away the states’ rights to act independently. This resulted in the concept of nullification, where the states would have the right to determine that particular federal acts were unconstitutional.
The federal government denied the states this right, and when it was felt they were being oaken for granted, there began the movement toward secession. Early Economic Differences nearly 70 years before “King Cotton” was a slogan used by southerners to support secession in 1860, Eli Whitney had invented the cotton gin (1793). This invention reduced the time necessary to separate the seeds from the cotton and was one major reason cotton became so profitable. Simultaneously, southern plantations were motivated to move toward cotton crops only, related to the profitability of the fiber.
This in turn, led to an increased demand for cheap, plentiful labor. At this point, the economy of the south became dependent on slaves and cotton. During this same time period, the North Was more industrialized than their southern agrarian neighbors. The textile industry in the north produced finished items with the raw cotton they had purchased. At this point, the two cultures were seen as very different, and it put into motion a disparity in economic attitudes: the plantation “system” with slaves and slave owners vs.. The more elite city life.
Expansion and Slavery Both the North and South had tried to resolve the issue of slavery on numerous occasions, but were unable to agree completely. The Missouri Compromise of 1820 had established the 36′ 30′ parallel as the border teen the slave states and the free states. Eventually, this compromise became too restrictive for the South. The Compromise of 1 850 also sought to end the debate over slavery after the Mexican War. It was a series of five bills that were intended to deal with the spread of slavery to territories in order to keep northern and southern interests in balance.
California would be admitted as a free state; New Mexico would be organized (without prohibition to slavery); for relinquishing land claims, Texas received financial compensation; slave trade was allowed (but not slavery); Washington, D. C. Abolished slavery; and the Fugitive Slave Law was passed. This was to be the final compromise before disunion. In addition, the Willow Proviso raised the question of slavery in the West-?but all these resolutions were ultimately unsatisfactory. The Question of Slavery non the North, sympathy began to grow for the abolitionists and there was a feeling of anti-slavery and ill-will toward slaveholders.
Major events occurred which were the impetus toward these feelings: the Dread Scott Case, the publishing of Harriet Beechen Stole’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin, John Brown’s Raid, and the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act that held individuals responsible even in non-slave states) for harboring fugitive slaves. A slave named Dread Scott moved with Dry. John Emerson from Army post to Army post. After living in a free state, they returned to Missouri (a slave state). Dry. Emerson died, and Dread Scott sued for his freedom and won.
He argued that he was free because he had lived in a free state and a free territory for a time. The Missouri Supreme Court overturned the lower court decision and eventually the Supreme Court upheld the ruling of the Missouri Supreme Court maintaining his slave status. The Dread Scott decision, in which the former slave sued the state of Missouri, overturned the Kansas- Nebraska Act and the Missouri Compromise. Both of these legislative acts had made tensions even greater between North and South. 5th Fugitive Slave Act was one of the Compromises included in the ‘Compromise of 1850’.
The passage of this Act along with slaveholders rights in Texas allowed California to enter the union as a free state and prohibited the slave trade in the District of Columbia. This Act was particularly hated by abolitionists and encouraged the members of the Underground Railroad to continue their work. The Presidential Election Of Abraham Lincoln Things were already tenuous when Lincoln was elected President in 1860. The “Declaration of the Causes of Secession” was issued by South Carolina because they believed he was more in favor Northern interests and was anti- slavery.
By the time he was sworn in as president, Lincoln administration had seven states which had seceded from the Union: South Carolina was first, followed by Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas. Abraham Lincoln, The Emancipation Proclamation (1863) there was one thing that made the Northern army more determined than before-?the chance to abolish slavery in the South. Perhaps more than anything, Lincoln decision to free the slaves in the states of the Confederacy propelled the Union to fight-?no longer was it a war over state secession: this was the fight to end slavery once and for all.
According to our text, Created Equal, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation just after the Union army was able to halt the advance of the Confederate army at Intimate, Maryland. This official document was the impetus for altering the objectives of the war for the Union. In this historic presidential legacy, Lincoln freed the slaves, but only in the Confederate states. His final version of the Proclamation was issued on January, 1863. Lincoln believed it would be a political mistake if he freed all slaves everywhere.
To keep more states from seceding, he allowed the Border States of Kentucky and Missouri to maintain slavery-?in the hopes it would keep them from joining the Confederacy and fighting against the Lotion Army. (Pearson Ill. In Conclusion Because Of the great social divide, and the many political and economic issues, disunion (and then war) was inevitable. Although there were attempts at compromise from both sides, they eventually met with failure. As horrific as the war was, it also brought the states-?both North and South-?closer together.
After the war, our nation was truly united; although the war did not end the debate, it abolished slavery and preserved the united States.