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Unformatted text preview: Robert Wu US I AP – GL Mr. Riotto Period 5 Political parties contributed to national unity in spite of the slavery issue because the North and South supported them. In the 1848 election, Democrats elected Lewis Cass rather than Polk and sat on the lid of slavery as their Democratic platform. Nevertheless, Cass showed his support for popular sovereignty or the idea that the sovereign people of a territory should determine whether or not to permit slavery. While the public liked popular sovereignty because it was democratic, politicians supported it because it was a compromise for the Free Soilers’ bid for a ban on slavery and southern demands that Congress protect slavery. The Whigs nominated Zachary Taylor rather than Henry Clay because Clay possessed many political enemies while Taylor stood neutral and possessed a favorable reputation from the Mexican War. As their political platform, the Whigs along with Taylor dodged all risky issues extolled the virtues of Taylor. Organized by antislavery men in the North, the Free Soil party supported the Wilmot Proviso, opposed slavery, advocated federal aid for internal improvements, and free government homesteads for settlers. Condemning slavery for hurting the American dream, the Whigs attracted industrialists turned off by Polk’s reduction in tariffs, Democrats resentful for Polk’s settling for part of Oregon but all of Texas, northerners against sharing Western land with African Americans, and...
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