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New territories getting popular sovereignty and California becoming a free state where both controversial. California becoming a free state gave the north a little more political power. Popular sovereignty made it harder to maintain a balance in Congress of slave and free states. Before the Compromise of 1850This compromise took several months to hammer out. One of the most famous speeches regarded this crisis.
“Peaceable secession! Peaceable secession! The concurrent agreement of all the members of this great republic to separate! A voluntary separation, with alimony on one side and on the other. Why, what would be the result? Where is the line to be drawn? What States are to seceded? What is to remain American? What am I to be? An American no longer? Am I to become a sectional man, a local man, a separatist, with no country in common with the gentlemen who sit around me here, or who fill the other house of Congress? Heaven forbid! Where is the flag of the republic to remain? Where is the eagle still to tower? Or is he to cower, and shrink, and fall to the ground? Why, Sir, our ancestors, our fathers and our grandfathers, those of them that are yet living amongst us with prolonged lives, would rebuke and reproach us; and our children and our grandchildren would cry out shame upon us, if we of this generation should dishonor these ensigns of the power of the government and the harmonyof that Union which is every day felt among us with so much joy and gratitude.”Seventh of March Speech, Daniel Webster, 1850 After the Compromise4.Agitation Over Slavery, pp 249-251Key Concepts & Main IdeasNotesAnalysis
The institution of slaveryand its attendant ideological debates, along with regional economic and demographic changes, territorial expansionin the 1840s and 1850s, and cultural differencesbetween the North and the South, all intensified sectionalism.The North’s expanding economy and its increasing reliance on a free-labormanufacturingeconomy contrasted with the South’sdependence on an economic system characterized by slave-based agricultureand slow population growth. National leaders made a variety of proposals to resolve the issue of slaveryin the territories, including the Compromise of 1850 and the Kansas–Nebraska Act.Abolitionists, although a minority in the North, mounted a highly visible campaign against slavery, adopting strategies of resistance ranging from fierce arguments against the institution and assistance in helping slaves escape to willingness to use violenceto achieve their goals. States’ rights, nullification, and racist stereotypingprovided the foundation for the Southern defenseof slavery as a positive good.Agitation Over Slavery…Between the Compromise of 1850 and the Kansas-Nebraska Act in 1854, tensions loosened a little. However,anti-slavery literature and the strict enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Act quickly escalated tensions.