Rising Sectional Tensions Zackery Taylor was a slave holder and he believed California statehood could become the solution for the issue of slavery in the territories. As long as land was a territory the federal government was responsible for deciding slavery but once it became a state individual governments were in charge of the question of slavery. California got a Constitution that prohibited slavery in December 1849 California was admitted as a free state. New Mexico wanted to be a state too. Congress had controversies about slavery. Anti-slavery forces wanted to stop slavery in the District of Columbia and the Southerners were against that. Personal liberty laws in northern states stopped courts and police from returning runaway slaves to their owners. The South was afraid that more free states would be added to the northern majority. In 1849 there were 15 free states and 15 slave states. California would upset the balance. New Mexico Oregon and Utah might make it even worse. People were talking about succession from the union.

Compromise of 1850 Henry Clay was in charge of the effort. One piece of single legislation to deal with all the problems January 1850. Admission of California as a free state, forming a territorial government in the rest of the land acquired from Mexico without restricting slavery, abolish slave trade but not slavery in the District of Columbia, and an effective fugitive slave Law. Henry Clay talked about nationalism to try to make people vote for it. Six months of debate in Congress defeated the Clay proposal in the first phase. Then a younger group of men came in and produce a compromise. Everybody wanted economic growth. They broke up the bill into a series of separate measures to be voted on one by one. The compromise of 1850 was not about widespread agreement on common ideals it is a victory of self interest

Uneasy Truce both parties endorse the compromise and picked presidential candidates not likely to arouse opposition and either the north or the South. The North picked Franklin Pierce and the whigs picked Gen. Winfield Scott. The Whigs wouldn’t openly condemn slavery and there were divisions in the Whigs that produced a victory for the Democrats in 1852 in Franklin Pierce. Franklin Pierce didn’t want to cause any problems mobs formed to prevent enforcement of the fugitive slave Law in the North. Northern states pass laws to prevent the deportation of fugitive slaves.

Young America the Democratic Party had a movement called Young America to expand American democracy throughout the world to take away attention from slavery. There were movements in Europe. We wanted to buy Cuba from Spain. And the anti-slave Northerners were mad because Cuba would’ve been a pro slave state. The South didn’t want any new territory that wouldn’t support slavery. Hawaii joined the United States in 1854 but they didn’t get admitted because they were against slavery. Some people wanted to annex Canada into the United States. Canada wanted to become part of the US because they wanted access to American markets. The plaine states were good for farming and even though we gave the plains states to the Indians they had to make room for white settlers.

Slavery, Railroads and the West white settlers wanted to go West they wanted to build a transcontinental railroad across United States. They couldn’t decide where to start it Chicago a non-slave state or St. Louis a slave state in Missouri. The southern route went through Mexico so we purchased part of Arizona and New Mexico for $10 million called the Gadsden purchase.


Kansas-Nebraska Controversy Stephen Douglas Democrat wanted the railroad in Chicago and a northern route for the railroad. But it would run through Indian country so he introduced a bill a huge new territory known as Nebraska for white settlement. The South would be against this because it would be a new free state it was anit slave territory because of the Louisiana purchase. He got around it by saying slavery would be by popular sovereignty so every region could choose slavery or not. There are two states Kansas and Nebraska Kansas was most likely can become a slave state. It divided the Whig party which almost disappeared by 1856. It started in new party called anti-Nebraska Democrats and anti-Nebraska wakes they call it the Republican Party

Bleeding Kansas white settlers from the North and South began to move into the territory after the Kansas Nebraska act. 1855 1500 legal voters in Kansas but war than 6000 people voted because thousands of people from Missouri crossed into Kansas just about. The result proslavery elected a majority to the legislature which enacted a series of laws legalizing slavery. President Pierce put his full support to the federal government behind the proslavery territorial legislature. Proslavery marshals arrested free state leaders and they burn the governor’s house and destroyed printing presses. John Brown was against slavery he moved to Kansas to fight to make it a free state. He murdered five proslavery settlers Charles Sumner of Massachusetts opposed to slavery gave a speech he was beat up by somebody and became a hero against slavery and the violent people of the South.

Free-Soil Ideology in the North they believe the proper structure of society centered on free soil and free labor that the existence of slavery was dangerous not because of what it did to black people because what it did to white people. The heart of American democracy was the right to citizens to own property to control their own labor and have access of opportunities of advancement where everyone could the capitalist and the upwardly mobile. According to this vision the South was the opposite of a democracy because only the white Southerners could get ahead. This ideology was the heart of the new Republican Party.

Pro Slavery Argument in the South a very different ideology came out. Expansion of the cotton economy in the deep South was very profitable but it was unprofitable and other areas in the upper South. Thomas do wrote a book outline the case for slavery it said Southerners need to stop apologizing for slavery and defended as good and positive. It was good for slaves because blacks are inferior and the need the guidance of whites they were better off as slaves and they would have been if left alone. They also argued slavery was good because it was the basis of Southern life a life superior to any others that said that the population was secure and content it talked about medical reasons why blacks were inferior.

The Dred Scott Decision president Buchanan endorsed the Dred Scott decision. Supreme Court had to decide the fate of the slave but the he decided that the slave couldn’t bring suit in the federal courts because he was not a citizen and he had no rights slaves were property and the Fifth Amendment prohibited Congress from taking property without due process

Deadlock over Kansas president Buchanan admitted Kansas into the Union as a slave state first slave people won the election and in a new election and anti-slave people one both sides had fraud and violence but it was clear the majority of people in Kansas were against slavery. April 1858 Congress approved a compromise the LeCompte and Constitution Kansas would be admitted to this union the voters rejected it 1861 some states withdrew from the union and Kansas entered as a free state.