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"Why was there a need for compromise in 1850 and why had the compromise not reduced section tensions by 1856?"

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"Why was there a need for compromise in 1850 and why had the compromise not reduced section tensions by 1856?" B.Pringle In 1803 Thomas Jefferson bought Louisiana from Napoleon for $15 million. It was at this point where 'Manifest Destiny' began, white people wishing to spread throughout the whole of the USA. Also at this point it became clear that in the near future people inhabiting the new territories gained by the Louisiana Purchase would want to join the union. The North and the South of the USA lived in two very different cultures. The people of the South were slave owners and this meant that the South could dominate industries such as textiles due to the cheap slave labour they used. Due to the South's economic advantage in the early 1800's, they had more political sway. The North resented this. The first signs of sectional tension became apparent in 1819 when Missouri were applying to be made a state. The North didn't want Missouri becoming a slave state, as this would give the slave states (i.e. the South) a plurality in the Senate. This was unacceptable to the South. The Northerners in The House of Representatives created a bill called the Talmage Amendment, which banned any more slaves entering Missouri and there should be gradual emancipation. ...read more.


and that anyone who went against this policy should be deemed as unconstitutional. The two bills could not have contrasted more. In 1847 it was Congress met, both North and South sought a compromise but neither side were going to back down and make any concessions towards the opposing section. Amongst other notions, there was an idea to further pursue the compromise used in the Missouri Compromise, which was to extend the 36?30` line. This was voted down. Another more popular idea was the concept of inhabitants of an area seeking state-hood democratically voting on whether or not the state should be slave or free. This idea was known as 'popular sovereignty'. This idea was generally supported and it seemed a short-term compromise had been reached. However, the 'California Gold Rush' of 1849 saw this idea ignored. California and Utah became very quickly inhabited and within a year, the territories had the population to apply for state-hood. Neither section wished to see this new wealthy territory be assigned to the other. A compromise was needed. No side would back down and it seemed if a compromise was not met, there would either be a southern secession or a civil war. Not only was there anguish between geographical sections but also political. ...read more.


The North were going to be just as stubborn due to ever increasing numbers of abolitionists and sectional sovereignty. When Congress met, members of either side were reduced to physical blows. It seemed that there was no way of dissolving this issue by passive means. However, President Pierce (elected in 1852) sought a way of pushing through the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which allowed the areas to determine their slavery stance by popular sovereignty. He made the vote on the act a vote of confidence within the Democratic Party. Under the pressure of a section/personal party position, the Democrats managed to push through the act, with help from southern Whigs. This caused huge uproar amongst the North and within the Whig Party. From this point on sectional relations deteriorated even further. The first stirrings of the Republican Party came in February 1854, when Northern Whig Party defectors met privately to call for the creation of a new political party which would specifically rally for the interests of Northerners and Abolitionists. The emergence of a solely sectional party was enough to proverbially blow any chance of further compromise out of the little proverbial water that was still remaining. Neither section had any time for passive debate or political confrontation from the time after the Kansas-Nebraska Act. Neither side was making any attempt to hide their contempt for the opposition. Compromise was now virtually impossible. ...read more.

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