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Unformatted text preview: THE POLITICS OF SLAVERY ELECTION OF 1848 Wilmot Proviso represented the position of ppl wanting to bar slavery from the territories- Democrats were split over the issue of slavery Southern Dem John C. Calhoun formulated the "southern rights" position Challenged Priviso and introduced a bill allowing slave owners to take their slaves into any territory He reasoned, Constitution protects personal property, so Congress can not bar a person from taking slaves into a territory no more than it could bar him from taking horses to the territories Lewis Cass (D-Mich) was another contender for the Dem nomination He endorsed "popular sovereignty" - like Northwest Ordinance, let the settlers decide for themselves In an attempt to maintain party unity, Dem convention nominated Cass to run for pres. Whigs, also trying to keep the party together, didn't adopt a platform at all Nominated a hero from the Mex War, Zachary Taylor for pres--FREE SOIL PARTY Free soilers had a convention in Aug. They were against slavery and argued that it must be ended. Platform was "no more Slave States and no more Slave Territories" (no expansion of slavery) During the election, whigs and dems attempted to bury the slavery issue But free soilers would not let the issue die. As a result of this pressure, northern Dems and Whigs took a stand against slavery in the territories, While southern dems and Whigs pointed to their expansionist record Taylor won the election with his southern appeal (owned several plantations in MS and LA) also carried enough Northern states to win GOLD RUSH AND CALIF. STATEHOOD 9 days before Nicholas Trist signed the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, officially bringing territory of Calif into the US gold discovered by a couple of guys building a sawmill by August, 1848 (7 months later) secret had leaked all the way to the east coast in spring 1849, 100,000 gold seekers were heading to Calif political organization of Calif was needed immediately , mining camps needed law and order, needed courts, mail service, land and water laws, etc....
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