Slavery’s Effect on Political Party’s

Topics: Compromise of 1850, American Civil War, Whig Party Pages: 2 (726 words) Published: March 11, 2012
Slavery’s Effect on Political Party’s

During antebellum America there were a lot of different parties, acts, and compromises created due to slavery. This issue is what eventually led our nation to the Civil War. Although U.S. expansion during the 1850’s was not the main reason why the nation got torn apart, the increase of land was a catalyst to it. The fact that there was equilibrium in congress between the North and the South was basically the last hanging thread before war. After the conquest of Oregon territory and the land in the Southwest, however, tensions rose because there were new states coming into the Union and people were afraid that the balance of power would shift to one side or another. Due to the Compromise of 1850 and the Kansas-Nebraska Act, these areas were forced to figure out the status of their region, hence popular sovereignty. The notion of popular sovereignty was extremely complicated and it tore a lot of regional political groups apart. Slavery was a very controversial issue in the 1840’s, 50’s and early 60’s and it heavily impacted many political groups such as the Free Soil Party, Whig Party, and Republican Party.

The Free Soil Party was a short-lived political party that formed primarily to oppose the expansion of slavery into the Southwestern territories. Their line of arguing was that free men on free soil comprised a morally and economically superior system to slavery. With the help of the Compromise of 1850, the party gained many followers from the North, specifically the state of New York. In 1854, however, the Republicans absorbed many of the Free Soilers supporters because the two groups shared extremely similar views on slavery and the Republicans appealed to a wider variety of voters. Another reason why the group ended was because in the Dred Scott Case the Supreme Court ruled that the federal government could not regulate slavery, which was the Free Soilers main issue.

In 1833 the Whig party was formally...
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