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It was all about slavery, and always had been

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  • #46
    Presidential confusion:
    Under Monroe's presidency, the country functions as a simple political unit, called the Democratic-Republican Party. At the end of Monroe's second term, four candidates will compete in 1824 (John Q. Adams / North, Crawford / Deep South, Clay / Midwest and Jackson / West). The result of the vote is presented to the House of Representatives, where Adams concludes "a corruption case" with Clay to be elected.
    In 1836, Van Buren became president, but because of the Panic of 1837; he loses the support of his electorate and will not be re-elected in 1840. Harrison, who succeeded him, dies of a pneumonia after a month of office. As the Constitution does not say what should be done in the event of death, Tyler, then Vice President, proclaims himself President.
    The same thing happens to Fillmore, who replaces in 1850 Taylor (elected in 1848). Fillmore, having signed the Compromise of 1850, will be disavowed during his candidacy to the Presidential elections of 1852. That year, Pierce easily defeated Whig Scott whose party will weaken.
    In 1856 Pierce, in turn, was considered ineligible because of his support for the Kansas-Nebraska Act, the ensuing war in Kansas, and for his support of the Lecompton pro-slavery Constitution. This is how the Democrats elect Buchanan, the minority president. Prior to Lincoln's election in 1860, the South saw 9 presidents in 24 years. At the end of each administration, voters are less happy than four years ago, and the candidates have been forced to bypass the essential issues that divide the country.

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    • #47
      Political Confusion:
      James Monroe's "Era of Good Feelings" ends with the 1824 election and the accession of John Quincy Adams to the presidency. In response to anti-Jacksonian sentiments of 1828, the Whig Party was formed to oppose both Jackson and the modern Democratic Party. While the power of the Whig Party will weaken in the early 1850s, the Whigs will be divided into several factions, with most parties having only one subject in their political platform.
      The Free-Soil Party is based on a strong belief in abolition.
      The "Know-nothing Party" thinks that America's problems come from its acceptance of foreigners.
      By combining northern Whigs with Free-Soilers, the Republican Party flourishes, and its main subject is abolition.

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      • #48
        Regional conflicts:
        ……….The Mexican American War. The Polk War against Mexico is a seizure of land, cleverly disguised. The Democrats were interested in an expansion of the Nation, under the concept of "Manifest Destiny". Two things come from this war and are causes of the Civil War. The United States won California, which enters the Union as a free state, according to the Compromise of 1850. The first of many attempts to restrict slavery in the Territories, come from the Mexican War. The "Wilmot Proviso" will be presented to the House of Representatives (who votes for) but it will be rejected by the Senate.
        ……….Border quarrel between New Mexico and Texas. Texas in 1850 claimed a large part of the New Mexico Territory. When the Constitutional Convention of New Mexico drafted a document excluding slavery in that Territory, this posed serious problems for Texans. The latter begin to support their claims on the eastern third of the Territory. President Taylor receives a delegation of Southern Whigs. When Alexander Stephens brandishes the threat of "impeachment", Taylor responds that he will hang the rebels as he did hang "spies and deserters in Mexico." Tensions will subside with the Compromise of 1850. At the very beginning of the Civil War, the Texan rebels will try to recover land in New Mexico.
        ……….Bloody Kansas. Some historians perceive the Civil War as a conflict created by the "boiling" caused by the fighting in Kansas. Established as Territory by the 1854 Kansas-Nebraska Law, this is a life-size test of the Democrats' "People's Sovereignty" program, and it is a dismal failure. Proposed by Stephen Douglas, it gives the Territory the power to choose to enter the Union either as a slave state or as a free state. Pro-slavery voters, mostly from Missouri, flock to Kansas. Their number is compensated by "Free-Soilers" of New England. The result is a total confusion, with four different Constitutions, one of which will fracture the relations between Buchanan and Douglas. This will be the omen of the 1860 Democratic Convention Division. In 1859, the "Bloody Kansas" is transported to the East, by the abolitionist John Brown, who seizes the Arsenal of Harper's Ferry, Virginia . The news spreads quickly, not only from the raid, but also from Brown's hope of fomenting a slave revolt.
        ……….Utah War. Mormons who have tried to settle in various states in the West, finally reach lands that nobody wants, Utah. Brigham Young uses an intriguing argument, combining religious freedom and his own opinion of the federal government, to justify the formation of an independent nation and to raise his own army. Fearing that the southern states might not interpret this as a warning for secession, Buchanan sends Johnston with troops to quell the rebellion in the Utah Territory.

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        • #49
          Rise of Abolitionism:
          The concept of abolition was introduced by the Quakers around 1760. Vermont is the first state to abolish slavery in its 1777 Constitution, then follow Massachusetts and Pennsylvania in 1780, New Hampshire in 1783, Rhode Island and Connecticut in 1784, the Northwest Territories in 1787, New York in 1799 and New Jersey in 1804.
          Gradual emancipation and colonization are the most popular plans to end slavery. In 1830, immediate emancipation began to gain popularity. It is fueled by abolitionist journals such as William L. Garrison's "The Liberator" or Frederick Douglass’ “North Star and is also adopted by gradual "emancipators" and "colonizationists". Societies, first in New England, then swarming across the country, support the ideas of the abolitionists.
          The vote of the "Wilmot Proviso" in the House of Representatives is the first sign of the ruin of the Union. In 1849, calls were made from Mississippi for a secessionist convention in Nashville. During the winter of 1849-50, the "Deep South" agreed to send delegates to the Convention to discuss options for California to reverse the balance between slave states and free states. It is this threat that brings the Compromise of 1850, but it appears as a kind of bumpy road. The Southerners seem calmed, at least until the fighting in Kansas. This "sectionalist" war strengthens the abolitionists who will form the Republican Party. In the 1856 Presidential elections, their candidate, John C Fremont, is close to winning the election. If this is not yet clear to the Southerners, the mid-term elections are in favor of the Republicans and prove that they are strong enough to end slavery.
          During the Lincoln-Douglas debates, Abraham Lincoln led Douglas to admit that part of the idea of "Popular Sovereignty" is illegal. This will cause most of the South to leave the Democratic Convention, while Douglas appeared to be the Party candidate. While the Whig Party is out of the running, the Southern Democrats are trying to rally behind John Breckinridge, while the Constitutional Unionists support John Bell of Tennessee. Lincoln, an abolitionist candidate under a moderate program, won the Presidential elections of 1860, with about 40% of the popular vote. South Carolina, not wishing to wait for another meeting of the other southern states, secedes in December.
          Last edited by daddut roger; 21 Sep 19, 07:39.

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