Did the Constitution Contribute to the Failure of the Union It Created?

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 738
  • Published : March 3, 2008
Open Document
Text Preview
By the 1850's the Constitution, originally an instrument of national unity, had become a source of sectional discord and tension and ultimately contributed to the failure of the union it created. This was shown by ambivalent interpretations of the constitution and other important documents when assorted together.

It is known that the union did not last, for there was the Civil War. If everyone could agree on what the constitution implied, then there probably would not have been a civil war. From several of the documents, there are arguments about what the constitution states. (Document E), "To the Argument, that the word ‘slaves' and ‘slavery' are not to be found in The Constitution, and therefore it was never intended to give any protection or countenance to the slave system, it is sufficient to reply, that no such words are continued in the instrument, other words were used, intelligently and specifically, to meet the necessities of slavery." This indicates that the constitution CAN be interpreted differently, and when used with other pertinent documents, can be incongruous. Those views that differentiated were of those in the North and South.

The Constitution can be interpreted in many different ways, which leads to sectional discord and tension. For many reasons, the South evidently did not like what the constitution said. There were many conflictions with the compromise of 1850, map shown in (Document A) and the fugitive slave act. Certain northerners were so against slavery and the fugitive slave act that they even posted warnings for the slaves. (Document C), [shows how kidnappers were being sent after the slaves, and how Northern abolitionists were revolting against the South's rules and regulations.] This fugitive slave act also helped drive the tension deeper into the Un-United States.

With drama now rumbling in the American underbellies, the small weight of anything slightly bad could set off a secession bomb. A freesoiler does not want to...
tracking img