Alison Brady. Period 5. December 4, 2012. Dbq #1. Slavery
1637 WordsMay 11, 20177 Pages
December 4, 2012
Slavery was the main cause of the breakup of the Union and influenced other factors, such as territorial expansion, industrialization and economic tensions, and political alignments. Combined, all of these conflicts, with slavery at the root, led to the conflicts in the nation that started the Civil War. The issue of slavery caused conflict regarding new territories, economic stratification, and political turmoil. All of these tensions served to divide the nation, North against South, to start the Civil War.
Slavery, in itself, was the most predominant reason for the breakup of the Union. It fundamentally divided the Free northern states and the Slave southern states, causing immediate…show more content…
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, in Document C, that “the United States will conquer Mexico, but it will be as the man swallows the arsenic.” This statement points out a key similarity between this war and the Civil War- both were tainted by slavery. The Mexican War would result in new slave states, making abolitionists angry, resulting in the conflicts that started the Civil War. Document D, written by David Wilmot of the Wilmot Proviso, reveals the tensions created by the Mexican cession, saying, “I ask not that slavery be abolished, I demand that this government preserve the integrity of free territory against the aggressions of slavery-against its wrongful usurpations.” Up until that point, there were an equal number of slave and free states. How would the balance be maintained? Wilmot suggested that slavery remain only in the current slave states and not spread to any new territories. However, his plan was rejected, showing that neither side would compromise, but, instead, that the Union would break apart. Therefore, the Compromise of 1850 was passed as a way to appease the north and the south. Document E shows the distinct separation of slave and free states resultant of this compromise. This reveals a major breakup of the Union over slavery. Document F points out the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, created by Stephen Douglas, which divided the newly gained Nebraska Territory into two states, Kansas and Nebraska, and