Chapter 18: Renewing the Sectional Struggle 1848-1854

  • Debate over slavery in the area of the Mexican Cession split politics along North-South lines.

The Popular Sovereignty Panacea:

  • Polk decided to retire after one term (that chronic diarrhea's a killer)
  • Democrats turned to pompous General Lewis Cass -> thought slavery should be decided by popular sovereignty, dissolve national issue into local issues, but could spread slavery (uh-oh)

Political Triumphs for General Taylor:

  • Whigs nominated Zachary Taylor "Hero of Buena Vista" - Clay had too many enemies -> Taylor owned slaves but didn't take stand on slavery expansion issue
  • Antislavery northerners made Free Soil Party: attracted Democrats, those mad at Polk, "immoral slavery" abolitionists, and northerners. They ran Van Buren.
  • Taylor's wartime popularity won him the election 1848.

"Californy Gold":

  • Gold Rush -> huge impouring into Cali. Lawless men => crime - needed good state government.
  • Cali drafted constitution 1849 that excluded slavery and applied it to Congress - Souther politicians arose in violent opposition.

Sectional Balance and the Underground Railroad:

  • South doing well - cotton, Zach Taylor, majority in cabinet and Supreme Court
  • 15 slave and 15 free states - Cali would destroy balance in the Senate
  • Texas claimed part of New Mexico as their own and threatened to seize it.
  • North wanted Washington DC to be free area - South upset.
  • South also upset about Underground Railroad to Canada - Harriet Tubman - losing slaves.
  • South wanted stricter fugitive slave law

Twilight of the Senatorial Giants:

  • Congressional Convention 1850: Clay, Calhoun, Webster.
  • Clay (backed by Stephen A. Douglas) thought N&S should compromise, and N should enact better fugitive slave law
  • Calhoun wanted more safeguards for South - leave slavery alone, return runaway slaves (and elect 2 presidents, one for N and one for S). Then he died.
  • Webster pushed Clay's idea - reasonable concessions to the South. Webster stood by Wilmot Proviso - and said slavery (cotton-growin') wasn't possible on Mexican territory anyhow. (7th of March Speech 1850).
  • Webster regarded slavery as evil but disunion as worse.

Deadlock and Danger on Capitol Hill:

  • Also at Congressional debate of 1850 - younger northern radicals - Seward - against concession, strong antislaveryite, Christian morals, NO compromise.
  • Deadlock in Congress - Taylor was for "Higher Law" Seward - and bent on vetoing any compromise. Determined to hang and use force to stop Texan dissenters if they marched on Santa Fe.

Breaking the Congressional Logjam:

  • 1850, Prez Taylor died! VP Millard Fillmore (complete my opinion) took over - gladly signed compromise measures.
  • Compromise of 1850: North gradually started to accept it, but South violently opposed (tried to start boycott movement, but there were enough Southern Untionists to stop it)
  • Southward opp0sition - but 2nd Era of Good Feelings ensued - brief!

Balancing the Compromise Scales:

  • Compromise benefitted N b/c Cali was admitted as free state and Senate tipped to the N. S needed more territory for another slave state.
  • New Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 "Bloodhound Bill" - got opposition from N. Commisioner payed $5 to free a slave and $10 to not.
  • MA refused to enforce slave law - much of N didn't enforce it.
  • War could have broken out in 1850, but N was set on preserving Union.

Compromise of 1850:

For the North:

  • Cali admitted as free state
  • Abolition of slave trade in DC
  • Disputed NM territory that TX wanted was given to NM

For the South:

  • NM and Utah slavery choice based on popular sovereignty
  • TX got $10 million as compensation
  • Fugitive slave law

Defeat and Doom for the Whigs:

  • 1852, Democrats chose Franklin Pierce for election. Proslavery, pro-Compromise of 1850.
  • Whigs ran Winfield Scott.
  • Whig pary split - N antislavery, S proslavery. AYY what will happen next?? FIND OUT IN CHAPTER 19....dun dun dun


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anisha said...

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Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

Anisha you're a beast...don't listen to stupid ungrateful people.

Thanks a lot for everything :)

Anonymous said...

You didn't finish the chapter... You stopped at "Defeat and Doom for the Whigs."

There are 5 sections after. Just a heads up to the people using the notes.

Anonymous said...

OMG THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!

Tyler said...

Gently tipping the scales in favor of what is right.

Anonymous said...

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