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THE SECTIONAL CRISIS America: Past and Present, Chapter 14.

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Presentation on theme: "THE SECTIONAL CRISIS America: Past and Present, Chapter 14."— Presentation transcript:

1 THE SECTIONAL CRISIS America: Past and Present, Chapter 14

2 The Compromise of 1850 n North and South conflict violently over slavery’s extension into the territories n Professional politicians mediate conflict

3 The Problem of Slavery in the Mexican Cession n Slavery traditionally kept out of politics n Congressional power over slavery includes – setting conditions to make territories states – forbidding slavery in new states n Mexican Cession of 1848 puts status of slavery in new territory into question

4 The Wilmot Proviso Launches the Free-Soil Movement n Mexican War mobilizes antislavery groups n Wilmot Proviso--ban all blacks from new territories to preserve for white farmers n Proviso passes in House, fails in Senate n Battle over the Proviso foreshadows sectional conflict of 1850s

5 Squatter Sovereignty and the Election of 1848 n Democratic presidential candidate Lewis Cass proposes popular sovereignty – Congress allows territorial settlers to decide – Supported by many antislavery forces n Free-Soil candidate Martin Van Buren demands definite limits on slavery n Whig Zachary Taylor takes no position n Taylor wins election with less than 50%

6 Taylor Takes Charge n Taylor proposes admitting California and New Mexico as states immediately n South reacts angrily – Not enough time for planters to settle – Immediate admission would result in ban n Proposed Nashville convention prompts fears of Southern secession

7 Forging a Compromise n Henry Clay’s compromise package – California admitted as a free state – Slave trade prohibited in District of Columbia – Strong fugitive slave law – Enlarged New Mexico territory to be admitted on basis of popular sovereignty n Taylor’s death permits passage of slightly altered Compromise as separate measures

8 Political Upheaval, n Whigs and Democrats manage controversy in 1850 n Sectionalism destroys both parties in 1850s

9 The Party System in Crisis n Parties need new issues after 1850 n Democrats succeed – Claim credit for the nation's prosperity – Promise to defend the Compromise of 1850 n Whigs fail, become internally divided n Whig Winfield Scott loses a landslide to Democrat Franklin Pierce

10 The Kansas-Nebraska Act Raises a Storm n Stephen Douglas introduces Kansas- Nebraska bill – Apply popular sovereignty to Kansas, Nebraska – Repeal Missouri Compromise line n Act passes on sectional vote n Northerners outraged

11 Political Fallout of Kansas- Nebraska Act n Whig indecision causes party to disintegrate n Mass defection among Northern Democrats n “Anti-Nebraska” candidates sweep North in 1854 congressional elections n Democrats become sole Southern party n President Pierce’s effort to acquire Cuba provokes antislavery firestorm

12 An Appeal to Nativism: The Know-Nothing Episode n Know-Nothings (American Party) appeals to anti-Catholic sentiment n American party surges n By 1856 Know-Nothings collapse n Probable cause: no response to slavery

13 Kansas and the Rise of the Republicans n Republican party unites former Whigs, Know-Nothings, Free-Soilers, Democrats n Appeals to Northern sectional sympathies n Defends West for white, small farmers n “Bleeding Kansas” helps Republicans – Struggle among abolitionists, proslavery forces for control of Kansas territory – Republicans use conflict to appeal for voters

14 Sectional Division in the Election of 1856 n Republican John C. Fremont seeks votes only in free states n Know-Nothing Millard Fillmore champions sectional compromise n Democrat James Buchanan defends the Compromise of 1850, carries election n Republicans make clear gains in North

15 House Divided, n Sectional quarrel becomes virtually irreconcilable under Buchanan n Growing sense of deep cultural differences, opposing interests between North and South

16 Cultural Sectionalism n Major Protestant denominations divide into northern and southern entities over slavery n Southern literature romanticizes plantation life n South seeks intellectual, economic independence n Northern intellectuals condemn slavery n Uncle Tom's Cabin an immense success in North

17 The Dred Scott Case n Dred Scott v. Sanford (1857): Supreme Court can decide on slavery in the territories n Court refuses narrow determination of case n Major arguments – Scott has no right to sue because neither he nor any other black, slave or free, a citizen – Congress has no authority to prohibit slavery in territories, Missouri Compromise unconstitutional n Ruling strengthens Republicans

18 The Lecompton Controversy n rigged Lecompton convention drafts constitution to make Kansas a slave state n House defeats attempt by Buchanan, Southerners to admit Kansas n Lecompton constitution referred back n People of Kansas repudiate n Stephen Douglas splits Democrats in break with Buchanan over Lecompton

19 Debating the Morality of Slavery n Lincoln – Decries “Southern plot” to extend slavery – Promises to work for slavery’s extinction – Casts slavery as a moral problem – Defends white supremacy in response to Douglas n Douglas accuses Lincoln of favoring equality n Lincoln loses election, gains national reputation

20 The South's Crisis of Fear n October, Brown raids Harper’s Ferry n Brown executed, North mourns as martyr n December, Republican candidate for Speaker denounced as seditious “Helperite” n Republicans seen as radical abolitionists n Southerners convinced they must secede on election of Republican president

21 The Election of 1860: Democrats n Party splits n Northern Democrat Stephen Douglas n Southern Democrat John Breckenridge

22 The Election of 1860: Constitutional Union Party n Candidate John Bell n Promises compromise between North and South

23 The Election of 1860: Republicans n Abraham Lincoln nominated – Home state of Illinois crucial to election – Seen as moderate n Platform to widen party’s appeal – High tariffs for industry – Free homesteads for small farmers – Government aid for internal improvements n Lincoln wins by carrying North

24 Explaining the Crisis n Republicans a strict sectional party n Fundamental conflict of ideals n Southern ideals – paternalism, generosity, prosperity – slavery defended on the grounds of race n Northern ideals – inspired by evangelical Protestantism – each person free and responsible – slavery tyrannical and immoral


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