Sovereignty therefore there was no such thing as an

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sovereignty. Therefore, there was no such thing as an “implied power.” (3) This was the argument Calhoun made and Jackson rejected. (4) In 1832 South Carolina was unable to muster additional Southern support for its position. (5) However, by 1860 this would not be the case. (6) Just as Jackson rejected Calhoun’s arguments, Lincoln rejected South Carolina’s but by this time, South Carolina was not alone. F. THE GAG RULE 1836-1844: What was the gag rule? Why was it passed? How did abolitionists use it as propaganda in their war with the South? (1) This was a parliamentary device that permitted legislative bodies to suppress or shorten debate. (2) This House of Representatives (supported in harmony by the Senate) used this rule from 1836-1844 to avoid debating thousands of antislavery petitions being sent to Northern Congressmen. (3) Southern legislators had come to interpret any debate of slavery as a hostile act, and many Northerners, though personally opposed to slavery, were prepared to avoid the topic, either out of a belief that Congress had no rights in the matter, simply in the interests of political harmony, or as a complicit act in support of white superiority within the nation. (4) The petition movement, sponsored by the American Anti-Slavery Society and supported strongly by Congressman John Quincy Adams, enraged Southerners and made it more difficult for Northern politicians to remain silent. (5) Despite Southern success in subverting any Congressional debates on the slave question, abolitionists actually gained an advantage from their failure on the gag rule. (6) They were able to use it to support their argument that “slave power” was gaining control of the federal government and would eventually destroy all Americans’ liberties. (7) By its demonstration of how efforts to placate the South led directly to the abridgement of constitutional rights, the gag rule made converts even among those who did not originally favor abolition. G. PRIGG V. PENNSYLVANIA 1842: What were the essential points in the Prigg decision? Why was it significant? (1) The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a state law forbidding the seizure of fugitive slaves in the state of Pennsylvania was unconstitutional but went on to say that the enforcement of fugitive slave laws was entirely a federal function. (2) Thus, state officials realized that they were no longer required to participate directly in the enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793. (3) Several Northern states then adopted laws (personal liberty laws) forbidding state officials from helping to capture runaway slaves. (4) This
Originally written by Chris Miller Updated by Tony Saavedra 9 obviously weakened the Fugitive Slave Law as it had been originally enacted, but did not preclude future federal legislation that would create a federal bureaucracy that would meet the same goal (Compromise of 1850).

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