Compromises Leading to the Civil War

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The Missouri Compromise was the first serious attempt at a solution to slavery. Little did the people who made the compromise and the citizens of the United States know that an era of 41 years of compromising was to follow. The tensions that were prevalent throughout the country had to be tended to, even though the multiple attempts were unsuccessful. The Government actions, Supreme Court cases, and individual movement failed to eliminate North-South tensions because the issue of slavery was so deeply rooted within the mindset of Northern and Southern people.

The Missouri Compromise’s initial attempt to ease sectional tensions ultimately failed as the sectional differences between the North and South were increased. The main reasons the tensions were increased after the making of the Missouri Compromise were due to shortcomings in the compromise, and the failure of agreement between the North and the South. The purpose of a compromise is to make both sides happy, but prior the Civil War, neither side was ever happy at the end of a compromise. It was nearly impossible to satisfy both the slave-dependent southerners and the abolitionist northerners (Documents B and F). Because it was so difficult to make compromises with both sides, tensions continually rose even though people like Daniel Webster and Henry Clay were attempting to keep the Union intact. Webster and Clay, the great compromiser, were known as Unionists, or people who wanted to keep the Union as one, and do anything to promote this somewhat unrealistic idea (Documents A and D). The never-ending compromises from Unionists and the stingy, stubborn thoughts from the Northern and Southern citizens and Congressmen severely increased tensions. Although the Civil War may have been postponed by compromises, it of course was not prevented. The shortcomings of the Missouri Compromise were also seen in later years. The unforeseen strain on the Union was greatly swelled as the Missouri Compromise brought both...
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