AN03b_An Era of Growth and Disunion: Compromise to the Rescue
Timeline: 1850 – 1861
FS: Compromise holds the nation together once again- barely.
I. North & South Develop Differences
1. Industrialized Quickly (“The Business of America is Business”)
2. Adopted Technology, Employed Innovations
b. Vulcanization of Rubber (Goodyear)
c. Sewing Machine (Singer)
3. Expanded Railroads
4. Population, via Immigration, grows.
b. Generally anti-slave in views.
2. Agricultural: Cash Crop (Cotton) dependent.
3. Slow to adopt technology/ innovations.
4. 5 Southern States, out of the 11 that will form the Confederacy in 1861, had a slave population of 50% or more.
II. New Territories – New Disputes
A. Wilmot Proviso: Prohibits Slave Institution in the New Territories => Debate on Federal Representation Reopened
1. New territories gained via the Mexican Cession opened the debate about slavery in new territories. This issue harks back to the Northwest Ordinance under the Articles of Confederation.
2. Constitutional Issues: Is property, which is protected in the Constitution, transportable by it’s very nature? (See the Dred Scott case for another view).
B. California Statehood
1. Gold Rush => Rapid population growth allows the former Spanish colony to bypass the ‘Territorial’ phase of the process to join the Union.
2. California’s constitution forbade slavery, but most of the future state fell south of the latitude line established by the 1820 Missouri Compromise (36.30).
3. 1849: Zachary Taylor, President of the US.
a. Favors a ‘Free’ California.
b. To appease Southern States, offers “Popular Sovereignty” as an option regarding the Slave question in the new territories.
C. Everyone Contributes to the Squabble => Southern States Threaten Secession.
1. Southern States want California as a ‘Slave’ State.
2. Texas claims a portion of New Mexico Territory, but Northern States Oppose.
3. Northern States want Slavery abolished in Washington, DC.
4. Southern States want 1793 Fugitive Slave Act enforced thoroughly by Northern States.
III. Henry Clay comes to the Rescue- Again!
A. Compromise of 1850
1. California is admitted to the Union as a ‘Free’ State.
2. “Popular Sovereignty” becomes the method to address issue of Slavery in the new territories.
3. Federal Government pays Texas for it’s claim on New Mexico territory: $10 million.
4. Slave Trade is abolished in Washington, DC. Owning slaves is still permitted.
5. The Fugitive Slave Act is re-enforced as the law of the land (Constitutionally mandated).
B. Deaths & Changes make compromise possible.
1. Senator John C. Calhoun and Pres. Zachary Taylor die.
2. Millard Fillmore becomes President of the US => Supports Compromise.
3. Senator Stephen Douglas of Illinois pushes Compromise through Congress. He accomplishes this by dividing the legislation into many smaller bills, rather than one, large, bill that could be easily voted down.