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The Compromise of 1850 and the Kansas Nebraska Act Essay

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The Compromise of 1850 was the last compromise between Northern and Southern political factions before the civil war. Although Steven Douglass, the man instrumental in getting the bill to pass Congress, designed it to ease sectional tensions, it led the way for a series of political events that would change America’s history. The acceptance of popular sovereignty which was a key component of the 1850 Compromise open the interpretation of former compromises, specify the Missouri Compromise of 1820 which stated that all states over the 36-30 line would be considered free. Northern Democratic senator Steven Douglass took the acceptance of the Compromise of 1850 as an acceptance of popular sovereignty and applied it to his Kansas- Nebraska…show more content…
The practice of favoring proslavery agenda which was common during President Pierce’s time in office, led to aggression within Congress between proslavery and anti-slavery forces. In 1856 Charles Sumner, a Massachusetts anti-slavery Republican senator, gave a scalding speech called Crimes against Kansas. In this speech Sumner, he blamed Steven Douglass and proslavery South Carolinian senator Andrew Butler for “the rape of a virgin territory, compelling it to the hateful embrace of slavery” (Walther 97). Sumner continued to use highly sexualize language when describing the violence in Kansas and degraded Butler for his involvement in the Fugitive slave act, a component in the 1850 Compromise. He stated Butler “touches nothing that he does not disfigure” (Walther 97), a jab at Butler’s facial disfigurement. For Douglass, Sumner called him the “the squire of slavery” (97), insinuating that Douglass’s concerned lied with the Southern Democrats instead of his Northern constitutes. Along with insulting Douglass and Butler’s honor, Sumner insulted the South most prize social and financial institution slavery. Sumner called slavery a “mistress who was ugly and polluted in the eyes of the world” (97). Sumner’s attack on a Southern heroic figure like Butler and his attack on the institution slavery caused violence
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