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

By the 1850’s attitudes towards the union had become so divergent as to make compromise, in practice, impossible. Discuss.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

By the 1850's attitudes towards the union had become so divergent as to make compromise, in practice, impossible. Discuss. When answering this question we must consider the way that attitudes towards the union had evolved over time in the United States, and how these changes affected the possibility of compromise. Firstly, one must point out the ideas of the union and the original views expressed at the time of the time the union was conceived. The union had been created amongst a wave of patriotic fervour in America, and at the time it was set up, the 'Founding Fathers' of the constitution had organised a system, which, while providing a largely democratic (for its time) government, was most importantly, federal. This system provided government on two levels, and this was supposed to satisfy the sections that even then were becoming very apparent - North and South. As the US grew in population, gained more wealth, and expanded massively in territory, it became clear that there were some very potent differences between the two sections. This idea of sectionalism existed on two levels: the first was cultural and the second economic. It is this movement that changed attitudes to the union and as such, I will be considering the impact this movement had on attitudes to the union. The development of the US had, by the early 1800's led to two clear systems being set up. ...read more.

Middle

The now famous "Missouri Compromise" satisfied both sides, but the issues raised during its conception filled many of the 'old guard' with fear - such as Thomas Jefferson: "This momentous question, like a fire bell in the night, awakened and filled me with terror"1. Slowly but surely, the Union began to represent different things to the sections. The South began to look upon it as an oppressive state that was attempting to wipe out its way of life, while the North continued to look upon the union as the basis of government by the people. However, the question of the extension of slavery into new territories came back in 1836-1837, with the Texan fight for independence from Mexico. Once the army that had gathered from the South and West defeated General Santa Anna and Texas had effectively gained independence, its citizens hoped that it would be allowed to join the union. However, this is where the flames of mistrust were rekindled. Some Northerners feared that slave owners had orchestrated the Texas rebellion against Mexico, in order to allow the South to gain control of government. It was the sheer size of Texas that frightened them: it would be perfectly possible for it to be split in to 3 or 4 slave states, which would severely change the balance of power. It became clear that the problem would not stop at Texas. ...read more.

Conclusion

Any such deal would have to placate both the abolitionists, by ensuring that, at the very least, slavery would no longer expand; the slave owners, by ensuring that they no longer felt threatened by the North; and all the groups in between, by offering a solution that would not only save the honour of the South, but also the union from the internal tensions that are threatening to tear it apart. The problem is that, as with every compromise, not everyone will be completely pleased, and even if they could be convinced to accept the terms as the best on the table, there is no way to allow for future practical problems (such as the enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Bill which the South viewed as a key failure in the attitude of the North). The compromise of 1850 did indeed seem to offer a solution, but the problem remained that there was no way to erase the memories of the sections, and as such, any incident against the compromise could cause all the old demons to return. In conclusion, I believe that, due to the nature of the sectional conflict, and because the views towards the union had changed so dramatically, by 1850, it had become impossible to work out a long-term compromise. A conflict was needed, because, as Lincoln put it: "A house divided against itself cannot stand...this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free", and possibly war proved to be the ultimate kind of compromise - the compromise of loss of life versus loss of government. ...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 European Union 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 European Union essays

  1. The Institution of the European Union and Theories.

    The treaty has enabled Boots to transport goods from one country to another without having to pay taxes such as tariffs and quotas. By doing so Boots costs have been lowered . *The scale of the European market means that firms can specialise in particular niche markets and earn sufficient profits.

  2. European Union

    25 Member States), differentiates the European Union from any other international organization. Legislation takes the form primarily of regulations and directives. 'Regulations have general application: they are binding in their entirety and directly applicable in all Member States. Directives, on the other hand, are binding only on the Member States to which they are addressed.

  1. To what extent was the fall of Olivares due to the Union of Arms?The ...

    Despite the fact that "reform was in the air"10 during Philip IV's reign, the plan challenged entrenched interests at both state and personal levels, especially the influence held by high-ranking figures.

  2. The EU's CFSP and the Iraq Crisis: A Catalyst for Change?

    He further asserted that any UN resolution was unlikely to have much effect, thus intimating that a pre-emptive strike was inevitable. Just prior to the November 2002 elections, both the House and the Senate overwhelmingly approved resolutions authorizing the use of force in Iraq.

  1. The Importance of the Cyprus Issue in terms of the Accomplishment of the ESDP

    This change of heart was brought about by the Greek threat to veto EU enlargment towards Eastern Europe if Cyprus was not taken on board first. From then on, the European Council envisaged the speedy accession of the whole island, and started to press the inclusion of representatives of the

  2. Is it possible to talk of civil society beyond the nation-state? Although a clich, ...

    of civil society was enough to overcome the collective action problem because it would root individuals in a community and so "present a coherent vision of society beyond its individual members."6 John Keanes defines global civil society as "...a vast, interconnected, and multi-layered social space that comprises many hundreds of

  1. Blockade runners enabled the Confederacy to survive for as long as it did.

    Such immense profits made blockade running worth the risks. In order to meet the new difficulty, a new device was adopted. Cargoes were sent out to Nassau, and were there transshipped, sometimes directly, from vessel to vessel, in the harbor, sometimes after being landed on the wharf; and thence were transported in a new conveyance to the blockaded port.

  2. C1 Analyse the factor, which contribute towards an effective team.

    5-10 is a workable communication group, however more than 15 it may be impossible to have an effective communication. Team members sometimes take time to establish and are committed to making plans and achieving them. Smaller teams can communicate effectively.

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