In the nineteenth century, the great nation of America that had been so successfully founded and developed by its united citizens was threatened by civil war. The early part of the century sought compromise that would end disputes between the Northern and Southern regions of the country; however, by 1850, tensions between the two parties had risen far beyond conciliation. These tensions that made compromise impossible centered mostly on the issue of slavery, and the zeal that many people had in defending their own view of slavery. The division of political parties, economic standing, and moral beliefs that slavery caused in the Antebellum Era ultimately led to the collapse of a united nation.
Before tensions in the country had reached an extent that made compromise impossible, there were many attempts to appease members of the North and South through negotiation. The first attempt at pacification of the two parties is seen in the Missouri Compromise in the years of 1819-1821. As the nation expanded with the Louisiana Purchase, Jefferson’s acquisition of a large amount of French land in America, many questions concerning the extension of slavery into Western territories arose. The Southern states advocated for the expansion of slave labor, while citizens of the North sought the containment of slavery to the South. The Compromise attempted to maintain an equal amount of free states and slave states, and admitted Missouri as a slave state, while Maine became a free state. It also divided the Louisiana Purchase at the 36°30’ line to make all states north of its border, excluding Missouri, free states, and quell future debates over the expansion of slavery. Another example of compromise in the early 19th century is found within the Tariff/Nullification controversy. A tariff issued in 1828, known as the “Tariff of Abominations” threatened southern cotton exports and caused suffering states to question the rights of federal government in imposing protective tariffs....
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