describe a specific event from each of these sections: a) slavery in the territories, b) political realignment, and c) the road to disunion
"The Politics of Sectionalism" (ch.14) is divided into 3 main sections. Describe a speciafic event from each of these sections and desrcibe how each event contributed to the sectional conflict between the north and south.
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Slavery in the territories was a major catalyst leading to the outbreak of the Civil War. A significant event here would be the Wilmot Proviso, which sought to prevent the extension of slavery into any territory gained from the Mexican War. In a speech before the House, Wilmot, in supporting his resolution, stated
God forbid that we should be the means of planting this institution [slavery] upon it."
Wilmot's resolution drew a response in the form of the Calhoun Resolutions, proposed by John C. Calhoun which stated that Congress had no right to prevent citizens from carrying lawful "property" (meaning slaves) into the territories. The two resolutions together acutely sharpened the sectional debate.
Political realignment can only refer to the even division of slave and free states in the union. This necessarily meant equal representation in the Senate. This balance threatened to be broken when Missouri petitioned to come into the Union as a slave state. It was resolved by the Missouri Compromise which allowed Missouri into the Union as a slave state; and Maine as a free state, thus preserving the balance in the Senate.
The road to disunion is a broad topic. The first instance that comes to mind is John Brown's actions in "Bleeding Kansas" and his later attack on the federal arsenal at Harper's Ferry in hopes of provoking a slave revolt. He failed, of course, but was vilified in the South as a treasonous villain, and praised in the North as a hero and martyr. You might also consider the book, Uncle Tom's Cabin. It was quite inflammatory in nature, and factually inaccurate; yet readers in the North loved it for its portrayal of the cruelty of slavery; while it was forbidden reading in the South; some states even attempted to prevent its distribution by law.
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