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American History Essay

1832 words - 8 pages

The American Civil War was Unavoidable

The bloodiest time in history for America was during The American Civil War; a time when Americans fought against themselves for their own rights in which they believed they were entitled to. To many it would be considered shocking and absurd to say the Civil War was something that could have been avoided – and they’re right. The Civil War was an unavoidable and ultimately inevitable conflict that was essential to the evolution of our nation. The differences between the North and the South, economically, geographically, and politically, were major players on why the two divided halves of the America could not prosper together at that time; that and ...view middle of the document...

They were convinced that if the Constitution restricted the slave trade, South Carolina and Georgia would refuse to join the Union. Primarily to appease these southern pro-slave states slavery received important protections in the Constitution. The Three-fifths clause--which counted three-fifths of the slave population in apportioning representation-gave the South extra representation in the House and extra votes in the Electoral College. The Constitution also prohibited Congress from outlawing the Atlantic slave trade for twenty years. A fugitive slave clause required the return of runaway slaves to their owners. The Constitution gave the federal government the power to put down domestic rebellions, including slave insurrections.
The United States continued to grow and as the new territories were being settled the conflict between slave and free-states continued to escalate. The Missouri Compromise was an agreement passed in 1820 between the pro-slavery and anti-slavery factions in the United States Congress, involving primarily the regulation of slavery in the western territories. It prohibited slavery in the former Louisiana Territory north of the parallel 36°30′ north except within the boundaries of the proposed state of Missouri. Congress's consideration of Missouri's admission also raised the issue of sectional balance, for the country was equally divided between slave and free states with eleven each. To admit Missouri as a slave state would tip the balance in the Senate (made up of two senators per state) in favor of the slave states. For this reason, northern states wanted and were able to add Maine as a free state.
In 1848, the United States and Mexico signed the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, which ended the Mexican-American War, and gave the U.S. more new territory - enough to become six new states, and all located in the Southwest. Northerners were afraid that the new territory would become slave states and give the South a great advantage in the U.S. Senate. The end of the Mexican-American war started the sectional crisis that would ultimately take the nation in the 1850s. Texas was in a land dispute with Mexico, Washington DC was unacceptably the largest slave market in the states, and California, a territory that had grown tremendously with the gold rush of 1849, had recently petitioned Congress to enter the Union as a free state which would unbalance the free and slave-states. For eight months members of Congress, led by Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, and John C. Calhoun debated a compromise for solution to these issues. With the help of Stephen Douglas, a young Democrat from Illinois, a series of bills that would make up the compromise were ushered through Congress.
According to the Compromise of 1850, Texas would relinquish the land in dispute but, in compensation, be given 10 million dollars - money it would use to pay off its debt to Mexico. Also, the territories of New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, and Utah would be organized...

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