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Renewing the Sectional Struggle 1848 - 1854. Popular Sovereignty  Intense debate occurred over what to do with slavery in the Mexican Cession lands.

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Presentation on theme: "Renewing the Sectional Struggle 1848 - 1854. Popular Sovereignty  Intense debate occurred over what to do with slavery in the Mexican Cession lands."— Presentation transcript:

1 Renewing the Sectional Struggle 1848 - 1854

2 Popular Sovereignty  Intense debate occurred over what to do with slavery in the Mexican Cession lands

3  Wilmot Proviso (1848) l Northern abolitionists favored l Southern “fire-eaters” condemned l Brought slavery into forefront of American politics until Civil War

4  Democrats & Whigs split over slavery expansion issue l Both were national political parties l No true geographic sectionalism in parties

5 l Most people wanted to ignore the issue l But, a split along sectional lines would threaten the Union

6  “Popular Sovereignty” emerged as way to avoid the issue l Lewis Cass: “Father” l Sovereign people of the territories should decide for themselves

7 Election of 1848  President Polk, in bad health, chose not to seek reelection

8 The Democrats  Choose General Lewis Cass l “father of popular sovereignty”

9 The Whigs  Henry Clay, the leading Whig, had too many enemies  Chose General Zachary Taylor, the “Hero of Buena Vista”

10 Taylor Fever  Taylor was a slave owner but had not come out on either side of slavery extension

11 Zachary Taylor

12 Free Soil Party  Party organized by Anti- slavers in the North  Nominated Martin Van Buren

13  Free-Soilers supported: l Wilmot Proviso l Internal improvements l Homesteads  “Free soil, free speech, free labor, and free men.”

14  Condemned slavery because it limited the ability of whites to gain upward mobility

15  Slavery became a non- issue - mudslinging prevailed  Taylor won 163 to 127 to 0 in the electoral vote

16 California - Gold & Statehood  1848 - Gold discovered at Sutter’s Mill in California

17 John Sutter

18 Yerba Buena - became San Francisco


20  Tens of thousands flooded into the territory  1849: California applied for Statehood as a free state - bypassing territorial status

21  California reopened the issue of sectional balance  Utah & New Mexico also sought to enter as free states

22 Compromise of 1850  15 free & 15 slave states in 1850  South dominated the executive & judicial branches & had a balance in the Senate

23  Southern issues threatening Union: l Texas’ claim to territory in the west l North wanted abolition of slavery in the Wash. DC

24 l South wanted tougher fugitive slave laws l California’s statehood threatened balance in Senate

25  Clay, Calhoun, & Webster speak in favor of compromise

26  Clay, aided by Stephen Douglas, proposed a series of compromises l Supported a more effective fugitive slave law

27  Calhoun sought to protect slavery, return runaways, & restore political balance l Died during the debate

28  Webster’s 7 th of March Speech: l Slavery could not exist in the West since cotton could not l Supported compromise with South

29  William Seward of New York led fight against slavery & compromise l Believed in a “higher law” (God’s moral law) l Influenced President Taylor against compromise

30  Taylor threatened to use troops against Texas if they moved against New Mexico

31  At the height of the debate, President Taylor died (of Cholera?)  VP Millard Fillmore took over l Signs compromise measures

32 President Millard Fillmore

33 The Compromise of 1850

34 For the North: For the North:  California entered the Union as a free state  Territory claimed by Texas went to New Mexico  Slave trade abolished in DC

35  Remainder of the Mexican Cession divided into two territories (New Mexico & Utah) & open to popular sovereignty For the South:

36  Stronger Fugitive Slave Law passed  Texas received $10 million in compensation for land


38 Fugitive Slave Law (1850)  Abolitionism given huge boost  Seen as appalling by North l Slaves could not testify & denied jury trial

39 l Heavy fines & jail time for aiding & abetting runaways  Harriet Tubman & Underground Railroad continued to help slaves escape to the North & into Canada

40  Massachusetts sought to nullify the law  Some states passed “personal liberty laws”  South upset about northern refusal to carry out the law

41  Why did delaying war aid the North? l 10 year window to expand economy & sentiment for Union cause l 1850s controversies convinced northerners to resist secession

42 Election of 1852  Democrats nominate dark horse candidate Franklin Pierce l Weak former military officer in Mexican War, but without enemies

43 l Pro-South northerner & agreed with the Compromise of 1850, including the Fugitive Slave Law

44  Whigs nominates Winfield Scott over President Fillmore & Daniel Webster

45  Whig party split over the issues of the Compromise of 1850  Pierce won 254 – 42  Election marked the death of the Whig Party

46 Franklin Pierce Democrat Franklin Pierce Democrat 1852 Presidential Election General Winfield Scott Whig General Winfield Scott Whig John Parker Hale Free Soil John Parker Hale Free Soil

47 1852 Election Results

48 President Franklin Pierce

49 Pierce & Expansionism  Trans-Isthmus Canal l West coast ports created the interest l Nicaragua considered the ideal site


51  Clayton-Bulwar Treaty (1850) l British also have interest in a canal l Conflict with the Monroe Doctrine l US & Britain agreed to no exclusive control of a canal

52  Asia l 1854 - Commodore Matthew Perry sailed his black ships into Tokyo Bay “opening” Japan to trade

53 Commodore Matthew Perry

54  Cuba l Spain turned down Polk l 1850-51: Slave owning adventurers send “filibusters” to Cuba in failed attempt to gain the island for the US

55  Ostend Manifesto (1854) l US ministers to Fr., Engl. & Sp. sent an ultimatum to Spain – sell Cuba or lose it by force l Info leaked out & northern outcry embarrassed Pierce administration

56 Railroad Dreams  Mexican Cession created a drive to build a transcontinental railroad  Debate: Should there be a southern or northern route?

57  1853: Sec. of War Jefferson Davis sent James Gadsden to Mexico to purchase land south of the Gila River  Santa Anna sold area for $10 million


59  Gadsden Purchase upsets many northerners  Southern route was flatter & the territory already organized

60  Northern railroaders now sought to organize Kansas to make a northern route feasible

61 Kansas-Nebraska Act  Senator Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois wanted a northern train route terminating in Chicago

62 “The Little Giant”

63  Proposed legislation to split the Nebraska Territory into two sections: Kansas & Nebraska l Slavery open to popular sovereignty l Violated Missouri Compromise of 1820


65  Douglas’s oratory & Pierce’s support rammed the bill past northern opposition  Missouri Compromise repealed in the process

66  Northern Reactions: l Missouri Compromise was sacred pact l Fugitive Slave Law died l Abolition movement grew l No longer willing to compromise later

67  Southern Reactions: l Angry at North for trying to control Kansas l Shattered Democratic party

68  Law wrecked Compromises of 1820 & 1850  Considered to be main short-term cause of Civil War

69  Republican Party l Formed in response to Kansas-Nebraska Act l 2 nd political party overnight l Not allowed in South


71  Northern Whigs  Northern Democrats  Free-Soilers  Know-Nothings (Nativists)  Other miscellaneous opponents of the Kansas-Nebraska Act  Northern Whigs  Northern Democrats  Free-Soilers  Know-Nothings (Nativists)  Other miscellaneous opponents of the Kansas-Nebraska Act Birth of the Republican Party, 1854

72 Assess the moral arguments and political actions of those opposed to the spread of slavery in the context of TWO of the following: Missouri Compromise Mexican War Compromise of 1850 Kansas-Nebraska Act QUICKWRITE

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