Compromise in the Pre-Civil War Era APUSH DBQ

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Ever since declaring its independence from Britain, America has developed on the foundation of compromise. Upon the drafting of the Constitution, the Founding Fathers were succumbed to compromise in order to incorporate the needs of the different parts of the nation. During the early eighteenth century, Americans achieved reconciliation of political disputes, predominately between the North and the South, through compromise. By 1860 this was no longer feasible and the nation was faced with disheartening threats to its unity. Sectionalism in the Union was further increased. Tariffs were commonly accepted by one part of the nation and debated by the other. The economy of the North and South was becoming increasingly divergent- the North…show more content…
As a result of the Compromise of 1850, California was admitted as a free state, the territory disputed between Texas and New Mexico was surrendered to New Mexico, the slave trade was abolished in the District of Columbia, the Mexican Cession was open to popular sovereignty, and a stronger Fugitive Slave Law was enacted. In a speech to the Senate on March 7, 1850, Senator Daniel Webster stated his opinion that the North is wrong for not obeying the Fugitive Slave Law and that succession is amiss [Document D].The tone of Webster’s speech is objective as he attempts to see both sides- the North and the South. Webster is unbiased because as a Northern man, he agrees with the South. The peace was only temporary. The Fugitive Slave Law upset Northerners and the Underground Railroad became more active, peaking between 1850 and 1860. Massachusetts went so far as to making it a penal offense for a state official to enforce the act. The act also brought the issue of slavery into the limelight before the entire nation. In fact, by 1858, there was no avoiding the subject of slavery. During the Lincoln-Douglass Debates in a speech at Alton, Illinois on October 15, 1858, Abraham Lincoln stated that slavery was no longer just a political issue [Document G]. Slavery was splitting the nation and during the Second Great Awakening, even churches split over the issue. Lincoln’s speech is
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