A.P. U.S. History Notes
Chapter 19: “Renewing the Sectional
~ 1848 – 1854 ~
The Popular Sovereignty Panacea
Treaty of Guadalupe Hildalgo
, but it started a
whole new debate about the extension of slavery, with Northerners rallying around the
; however, the Southerners shot it down.
Before, the two national parties, the
had strong support from all
over the nation; now, that was in jeopardy.
In 1848, Polk, due to tremendous overworking and chronic diarrhea, did not seek a second
term, and the Democrats nominated
General Lewis Cass
, a veteran of the
War of 1812
senator and diplomat of wide experience and considerable ability, and the originator of
, the idea that issues should be decided upon by the people (specifically,
it applied to slavery, stating that the people in the territories should decide to legalize it or not.
It was good because it was a compromise between the extremes of the North and the
South, and it stuck with the idea of self-determination, but it could spread slavery.
Political Triumphs for General Taylor
The Whigs nominated
General Zachary Taylor
, the hero of Buena Vista, a man with no
political experience, but a popular man, and they avoided all picky issues in his campaign.
Disgusted antislavery Northerners organized the
Free Soil Party
, a party committed against
the extension of slavery in the territories and one that also advocated federal aid for internal
improvements and urged free government homesteads for settlers.
This party appealed to people angry over the half-acquisition of Oregon, people who
didn’t like Blacks in the new territory, a well as “conscience Whigs” who condemned
slavery on moral grounds.
The Free Soilers nominated Martin Van Buren
Neither major party talked about the slavery issue, but Taylor won narrowly.
In 1848, gold was discovered in
, and thousands of men flooded into the state, thus
blowing the lid off of the slavery issue.
Most people didn’t “strike it rich,” but there were many lawless men and women.
As a result, California (privately encouraged by the president) drafted a constitution and then
applied for statehood, thus bypassing the usual territorial stage and avoiding becoming a slave