1850's Dbq Essay

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1850’s DBQ Essay “In a government where sectional interests and feelings may come into conflict, the sole security for permanence and peace is to be found in a Constitution whose provisions are inviolable” (Document B). But, what if the answer is not found in the Constitution? At this time there was an increasing sectional conflict between the North and the South. The problems arose mainly from the issue of slavery, and came largely after the Mexican war. Although the issue of slavery had never been fully resolved, it became a very heated subject during the 1850’s. The Constitution never took a clear stand on the issue, and the people began to see it more as source of sectional discord and tension and they ultimately began to see it as a…show more content…
The conflict took a bigger turn when Ralph Waldo Emerson addressed the Fugitive Slave Law. He strongly argued that that in 1807 it was punishable with death to enslave a man from Africa, but in 1850 it was punishable with fine and imprisonment to not reenslaving a man on the coast of America (Document D). Most of the northern states seemed very upset with the Fugitive Slave Law. At this time it seemed that the issue of slavery was the only problem in the United States, almost as if a slave was being forced down the throats of the freesoilers (Document F). Stephen Douglas drafted the Kansas-Nebraska Acts in hopes of adding two new states: Kansas and Nebraska. Although it seemed that one would be a slave state, and the other a free state, the slavery issue would be decided by popular sovereignty. Many opposed this decision but did not know how to deal with it. The reason they did not know was because the Constitution did not mention it. William Lloyd Garrison said “the Constitution which subjects them to hopeless bondage is one that we cannot swear to support” (Document E). He was trying to say that the constitution can’t answer the question of slavery because the words “slave” and “slavery” are not in the constitution. The Constitution was a compact between independent states in it was drafted by delegates from each
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