• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

US History. How would you characterize the positions of the North at the time leading up to the Compromise of 1850?

Extracts from this document...


BSGE Zakir Hussain 11-2 3/17/12 How would you characterize the positions of the North at the time leading up to the Compromise of 1850? During the antebellum period the North and the South lived two very distinct ways of life. The citizens of the South were mostly slave owners and controlled commerce such as textiles because they had slaves to do their labor. Since the South had financial prosperity in the early 1800s, their power in the government was stronger than that of the North. The North wasn't fond of this and needed ways to stimulate their economy. Northerners claimed that British goods that were flooding into the US were hurting North's businesses and demanded that protective tariffs be implemented to protect their economy and way of life (Jordan 243). One of the earliest indications of sectional tension became evident in 1819 when Missouri applied for admission to the Union. The North didn't want Missouri entering the Union as a slave state, seeing that it would give the South/slave states greater power in Congress. The Missouri Compromise was passed in 1820 stating Maine would enter as a free state and Missouri as a slave state (Jordan 247). The 36�30` dividing line was settled as the boundary of southern slavery extension. Although the compromise settled slavery in federal territories for a generation it was apparent that the issue would arise again. ...read more.


Daniel Webster didn't want the South to secede and so he wanted the North to support the stricter Fugitive State Act (Jordan 327). Not only did politicians like Daniel Webster want the Union to stay intact but also common workers and farmers approved the 1850 compromise so the Union would not break up (Levine 396). While some Northerners had the interest of the Union at heart other Northerners at the time wanted to get rid of slavery in the nation; they were considered abolitionists. When Frederick Douglas presented his speech, "The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro" he explained that the whole point of the holiday is to celebrate the notion that all people within the country are free from the chains and bondage that was imposed upon them by Great Britain. Yet he emphasizes that while the white colonists are celebrating freedom, slaves are being reminded on this holiday that they are held captive to great injustice, brutality, and being stripped of free rights. To help the slaves get freedom abolitionist had "local vigilance committees" which helped keep the Underground Railroad, pathway for slaves to escape the South, operational (Levine 395). While ordinary workers and farmers were hoping the Compromise of 1850 would make sure the Union stays intact, abolitionist were having huge meetings where they attacked the compromise for keeping slavery in the growing West and for the compromise having a Fugitive Slave Act (Levine 396). ...read more.


Free-soilers didn't think slavery was wrong, but they didn't like African Americans and believed that if there was no slavery then there would be fewer of African Americans in the states. The prejudice stems from the economic concept of slave labor versus "free labor" (Norton 359). In slave labor a slave works for nothing while a free labor man works like a slave to get a little money. Free-soilers wanted to keep the African Americans out of the West and wanted slavery of out the West. Free-soilers also feared that slaves would ruin the lands in the West as they have nothing to lose and don't have a care for America (Norton 249). All Northerners in general didn't want the South getting power through legislation involving slaves as property. This infuriated the South greatly, as it guided them to consider that the North was trying to eliminate slavery as America expanded west while the South viewed the west influential in expanding slavery throughout America. In 1858, Abraham Lincoln gave an address called the House Divided Speech in which he states "A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure, permanently, half slave and half free" (Norton 320). However the house was indeed dividing, as Northerners (abolitionists, free-soilers, and Unionist) wanted to eliminate slavery while Southerners wanted slavery to expand throughout the land. Slavery was becoming a prominent issue within America and one that would be ultimately decided by a bloody civil war. Word Count: 1376 ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level History of the USA, 1840-1968 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level History of the USA, 1840-1968 essays

  1. What did the Compromise of 1850 offer to people who supported slavery? What did ...

    the debt and expenses that were a result of the war with Mexico. Henry Clay urged both the North and South to take him into consideration. The only other possible alternative was the regions becoming two nations, which would lead to war.

  2. Free essay

    The Missouri Compromise. Since the bulk of the settlers in the territory of Missouri ...

    To be more precise, it brought about the quarrel between politicians and citizens and led to a larger sense of sectionalism. The United States transformed into a hand tools, animal-power society into a mechanized, market-oriented society that came into sight in the North and West during the 1800s.

  1. Reasons for the Missouri Compromise

    Instead northern politicians worried more about the undue influence that the South already seemed to have in Washington, and that if there were more slave states there would be more southern congressmen and electoral votes in their favour. It was this political calculation rather than the moral outrage against slavery that played the key role in dividing north from south.

  2. The Underground Railroad

    assure the owners of the safe house that they were runaway slaves and not slave hunters. Some safe houses used lit lanterns in windows signaling that it would be safe to approach (Scher 14-15). Conductors often hung quilts along clotheslines or fences with secret messages disguised in the pattern ("Secret Language" par.

  1. A contented, successful and united nation. How far is this an accurate comment on ...

    prosperity, in particular the slaves which were the basis of the entire southern economy. They were shipped over from Africa in what was known as the ?Triangular Trade? route which went through Britain and America and rich landowners would buy them to work their land, increasing the profitability of the agriculture.

  2. US History - the life of Henry Ford

    ?The Fords became the parents of their only child, Edsel, in 1893?. In the year of 1889 Henry Ford established the Detroit Automobile Company with the support of a group of investors.

  1. Why is the American Constitution called the Great Compromise?

    James Madison (delegate for Virginia) proposed the ?Virginia plan?, whereby there would be a bi-cameral legislature with both chambers solely representative of state population. However, in response, William Paterson (representative of New Jersey) proposed the ?New Jersey plan? which was based around the formation of a uni-cameral legislature in which each state was equally represented.

  2. Religion in the West -The United Brethren Missionary Train to Oregon

    I visit the cemetery about twice a year. Once during Christmas and during the summer when I spend time with my grandparents. Prior to The Brethren arriving in Oregon, the Shipley?s, a slave owning family, came to Oregon. Ruben ?Shipley?, their best slave, also came with the promise of freedom.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work