What Was the 1850 Compromise and Why Did It Fail Essay

In 1850. Henry Clay one of the most influential political leaders in American history introduced a set of declarations. which aimed to delight both North and South America. The five proposals were rolled into a individual ‘omnibus’ measure. which offered a solution to the turning sectional struggle over bondage and westbound enlargement. which arose from the 1846 Mexican War. The 1850 Compromise. which Senator Douglas stripped down and efficaciously helped base on balls. failed for a figure of grounds. the greatest of which was that it was unable to delight both anti-slave and pro-slave groups.

In fact it simply ‘papered over the crack’ . and did non turn out. as Daniel Webster a Clay protagonist had hoped. ‘a conclusiveness that would give peace to a state long distracted by the wrangle over slavery’ . Why did the Compromise finally fail. and lead to polarisation. having a party. which had begun to set up itself in the 1820s.

The struggle between the North and South stemmed back to 1846. when the U. S. A won a immense country of Mexican district as the consequence of what became known as the Mexican War. The land acquired revived contention over the extension of bondage. as many Northerners wanted the new district to go a free province with no bondage. and many Southerners wanted bondage to spread out. Numerous via medias were conceded. to seek to decide the sectional struggle. for illustration the Wilmot Proviso of 1846 attempted to except bondage from any district gained as a consequence of the war.

The Calhoun Doctrine issued in 1847. and known as ‘The Platform of the South’ . asserted that the districts were common belongings of all the provinces. However the statement of whether bondage should be allowed to spread out. still continued and even threatened to rupture the brotherhood apart. therefore a via media of some kind seemed indispensable. To decide the sectional discord throughout America. Henry Clay offered a set of declarations. which jointly was known as the ‘omnibus’ measure. and was designed to satisfy both pro-slave and anti-slave groups.

This via media said that California was to be admitted into the brotherhood as a free province ; that New Mexico and Utah were to be organised into districts. leting popular sovereignty ; and as a sop to win over both sides. the Fugitive Slave Act which already existed was to be made more rigorous. and slave-trading but non bondage was to stop in the District of Columbia. Clay made the error of seeking to past all five measures at one time. this accordingly caused in every call for via media. some Northerners or Southerners to lift and in A. Farmer. a historians words ‘Inflame passions’ .

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In July 1850 Clay’s ‘omnibus’ measure was defeated. due to countless Northern senators voting against it. on history of the benefits it brought for the resistance. It was merely in September of the same twelvemonth. when Senator Douglas of Illinois replaced Clay as the leader of the dialogue. and holding separated out the conciliation into a five-part via media was able to go through it. This as A. Farmer believed was an ‘ingenious strategy’ . that simply played on what the Northern and Southern people wanted. sing that Southerners voted for those proposals they liked ; and frailty versa for Northerners. the protagonists of the Compromise merely swung the balance. so many of the proposals merely passed by really little bulks.

The difference over popular sovereignty was one of several jobs. which lead to the failure of the 1850 Compromise. A portion of the declaration said that the districts of Utah and New Mexico. would let popular sovereignty. which meant that the colonists of the district would make up one’s mind if to let slaves.

Popular sovereignty was to the full supported by Democrats such as Senator Cass of Michigan and Senator Douglas of Illinois. and seemed to offer something for both the North and South. It met the South’s want for federal non-intervention and held out the chance that bondage might be extended into some of the Mexican districts. Besides popular sovereignty appeared to the North as an exclusion strategy because it was improbable that most of the colonists in the new districts would really vote for the debut of bondage. Nevertheless there were rather a few jobs with popular sovereignty.

First it went against old practise. seeing that in the past Congress had decided on what should go on in the districts. However there was besides the practical trouble of when precisely a district should make up one’s mind on the inquiry of bondage. Many Northerners including Cass and Douglas envisaged that the determination should be taken early. in fact every bit shortly as the first territorial assembly met. On the contrary. Southerners acute to let adequate clip for bondage to develop in the districts. saw the determination being made late – near the terminal of the territorial phase. when the district was about to go a province. seeking admittance to the brotherhood.

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Popular sovereignty was defended in different ways by Northerners and Southerners. and supported by Democrats. This method. which allowed the colonists to make up one’s mind. was opposed by Southerners ( like Calhoun ) . who believed they had a right to take their ‘property’ wherever they wished. and Northerners who believed that bondage should non be allowed to spread out under any fortunes. non even if the bulk of white colonists wished it to spread out.

Stephen Douglas one of the chief designers of the 1850 Compromise continued to back up popular sovereignty as a declaration for the slavery issue. even though it proved to be a failure for the New Mexico and Utah districts. In 1854 Douglas introduced the Kansas-Nebraska measure ; finally taking to serious clash between two authoritiess of Kansas. which resulted in an event known as ‘Bleeding Kansas’ in 1856. which proved that popular sovereignty didn’t work.

The Kansas-Nebraska Act divided the North district into two ; Kansas and Nebraska. and allowed the two districts to make up one’s mind their ain destiny – this Douglas believed had succeeded in winning over the South. but his Kansas-Nebraska measure created the ‘hell of a storm’ . Many Northerners believed that the slave power confederacy was still at work. act uponing determinations of Senator Douglas and Congress. Which resulted in a great battle in Congress and the eventual prostration of the Whig party. that a big sum of Southerners supported every bit good as the Fugitive Slave Act.

The Fugitive Slave Act was one of a figure of grounds why the Compromise of 1850 failed. The jurisprudence. which was originally enacted in 1793. and authorised slave proprietors to recapture at large slaves beyond the province lines. aghast Northern emancipationists. However besides Southerners complained that the Torahs were circumvented. due to legal lacks. and the turning popular ill will towards enforcement. State personal autonomy Torahs over-ruled the Fugitive Slave Act. During the 1850s. nine new Northern State Torahs were passed to with the purpose to do it hard to implement federal jurisprudence.

In the 1850s merely 532 fleeting slaves were of all time returned to the South from the free provinces. this wasn’t due to the Northern opposition. but because comparatively few escaped slaves managed to make the North. and besides the cost of repossessing a slave was frequently greater than the slave’s value. In 1851 Harriet Beecher Stowe began printing a book called Uncle Tom’s Cabin. which doubtless aroused Northern understanding for bondage. The novel presented a ferocious onslaught on bondage. though the author had small cognition of the curious establishment ; Stowe based her description of slavery’s ferociousnesss on abolitionist literature.

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Therefore it is possible that propaganda was used to overstate bondage. and as a consequence pushed some Northerners toward a more sharply anti-slavery stance. When in 1863 President Lincoln met Stowe. he reportedly said ‘So you’re the small adult females who wrote the book that made this Great War’ . Even though the 1850 Compromise did finally neglect. there were many grounds why it should non of. but as these weren’t influential plenty. failure was inevitable. In some ways the declaration steps of 1850 were successful.

For one the Compromise did prevent war for a decennary. but surely its possible it was partially to fault for the Civil War. The Northern economic system was based on the trade industry. which came from Southern slave-run cotton plantations. Therefore even though many Northerners opposed bondage and the enlargement of the South’s curious establishment. possibly in some ways they were afraid to be wholly against it. in fright of the affects to their economic system. However many Northerners who did defy bondage likely had a free labor political orientation ; that Northern husbandmans could turn cotton to fuel the trade industries of the North. as a replacing for slave labor.

The events that had occurred before and after 1846 had shown that enlargement of America created major sectional struggle and green-eyed monsters. due chiefly to the inquiry of bondage. The declarations had really managed to detain the immediate danger of sectional split. However as the evident equity of the Compromise was false. like all other efforts at via media it failed. Slavery was a moral issue. which proved that more than a via media was needed to decide it. The Compromise of 1850 finally resulted with a big figure of Southerners splintering from the brotherhood. moreover political polarisation of the Democrats.