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Slavery and Politics Part One

Slavery and Politics Part One - Slavery and Politics...

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Slavery and Politics, 1846-1860 Part One The Presidential Election of 1844 can be viewed as a real turning point. Wars often create more problems than they settle, and the Mexican War was no exception Campaign not generally regarded as turning point election these usually involve change of party administration Can be viewed as turning point nomination of Van Buren instead of Polk by Democratic National Nominating Convention or election of Henry Clay instead of Polk in the general election would have changed entire timetable of American history by preventing or delaying territorial expansion that resulted in the Mexican War and revived sectional war over slavery of the territories taken from Mexican Bitter struggle over slavery and its expansion into new territories gained from Mexican war = unintended consequence Southern rebellion (civil war) was a consequence of the Mexican War Knew America would capture Mexico but the capture would poison America Wilmot Proviso (1846). The Wilmot Proviso provoked Deep South planters as nothing else had in years ***** August 8, 1846 debate on administration bill appropriating $2 million as a bribe to Santa Ana (in power in Mexico) to sell California to America as part of peace David Wilmot (Free-Soil Democrat from Pennsylvania Democrat opposed to extension of slavery) proposes amendment o “As an expressed and fundamental condition to the acquisition of any territory from the Republic of Mexico, that neither slavery or involuntary servitude shall ever exist in any part of said territory except for crime whereof the party must first be duly convicted” o Phraseology copied from Northwest Ordinance of 1787 barred slavery North and West of Ohio River Signaled sectional controversy over slavery extension Save Democratic party by not expanding slavery crucial to appease Northern people by not expanding slavery as a result of the war Wilmot said he didn’t introduce Proviso because he felt sympathy for slaves wanted poor white farmers to have equal opportunities o “I plead the cause and the rights of white freemen [and] I would preserve to free white labor a fair country, a rich inheritance, where the sons of toil, of my own race and own color, can live without the disgrace which association with negro slavery brings upon free labor.” Passed House (northern majority) Defeated in Senate as many free states as slave states admission of free state needed to be counteracted by a slave state or vice versa Became standard attachment to House bills although it was always turned down by the Senate Lincoln said he voted for the Proviso at least 40 times in two years To settle controversy Polk proposed Missouri Compromise be extended to any
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Mexican territory can be slaves South of line but not North Northern California would be free soil and Southern California slave soil few on either side refused this compromise o
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Slavery and Politics Part One - Slavery and Politics...

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