01:512:104 Lecture Notes - Lecture 15: Fugitive Slave Laws, Slave Power, Constitution Of Alabama

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Chapter 15 - The Coming Crisis
- Lincoln/Douglas debates showed the sectional divides that appeared in the
mid 1800’s
- Lincoln - Abolition
- Douglas - Pro-Slavery
America in 1850
- Economically, culturally, and politically, Americans had a strong sense of
identity
Expansion and Growth
- America is hugely expanding
- Through war / diplomacy, country triples in size from 890,000 to 3,000,000
mi2
- Population grows from 5.3 mil to 23 mil (4 mil Blacks, 2 mil Immigrants)
- Cotton still #1 export, but manufacturing has grown in the Northeast
- Railway systems opened the door for rich farmland
- As South’s share in the economy waned, so did it’s political importance
- Undermined the role of the slave South in national politics
Cultural and Social Issues
- Many forms of media availiable to the masses
- Increasingly becoming less Jacksonian
- This time period became known as the “American Revolution”
- Series of famous books and plays written
- Includes Moby Dick (Melville) and Uncle Tom’s Cabin (Beecher Stowe)
- Cabin became an instant bestseller
- Called to action after Fugitive Slave Law (1850)
Political Parties and Slavery
- No solution to south because things were becoming increasingly sectional
- No more appealing to a nation with big sectional differences
- Sectional differences began to split apart Whigs and Democrats
- Slavery disagreements also began to split religious groups
- Presbyterians (1837), Baptists (1845), Methodists (1844)
States’ Rights and Slavery
- John C. Calhoun argued that slaveowners, as a minority, should have full
access to territories because territories are property of both the North and the
South
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Northern Fears of “The Slave Power”
- “The Slave Power- a small oligarchy of slave owners who run the southern
economy, politics, and society
- James Birney felt this was a conspiracy against the federal government
Two Communities, Two Perspectives
- Southerners wanted expansion into Cuba and supported the Mexican-
American War because they were running out of land in which to expand the
slave system
- Free Soilers - Believe in the liberty of all
- South - Believed in the freedom to own slaves as property and as a way of
life
- Both groups wanted to expand
- South did not want exposure to abolitionist literature
- Accused the North of helping slaves escape and revolt
- Northern View - South: Blocked work for other whites because of plantations
- North: Freedom for all
- Southern View - South: Owning slaves was a right and a way of life
- North: Practiced “wage slavery” and were hypocrites
- These conflicted views brought questions of unity to the divided country
Compromise of 1850
- Question arose if new states admitted to the Union should be slave or free
Debate and Compromise
- Henry Clay (West), John C. Calhoun (South) and Daniel Webster (North)
met in Congress to discuss a Compromise
- Stephen Douglas brought it all together and ended up pushing it through
Congress
- The Compromise - California admitted as a Free State
- Former Mex. territories use pop. sovereignty (vote by inhabitants)
- Texas cedes land to New Mexico, govt assumes $10 mil debt
- Slave trade but not slavery ended in the District of Columbia
- Stronger Fugitive Slave Laws
- Union is saved for a while
- Sectional animosity grew and Southern Whigs and Northern Democrats lost
popularity
The Fugitive Slave Act
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