It all started after the American Revolution when the north states decided to abolish slavery within their states constitution. The south did not abolish it and they kept having slaves working for them. Little by little the north and the south started to have problems because they could not agree in anything. The north wanted the south to abolish slavery but the south refused. The life for a black slave was really different in the north and in the south. In the north the slaves had a better life and a good life expectancy. By 1847 all northern states abolish slavery. The first one to abolish slavery was the states of Vermont in 1777. Blacks would be free at birth but some masters would grant freedom to their slaves. Since most of the slaves were free in the north they would start working in little shops. You would even have some blacks that have their own little shops, but it was really difficult to get white customers. Even though the slaves were free form birth they were not considered citizens of the United States.
In 1892 congress limited the rights of citizenship they would only give it to white persons. They also restricted blacks from joining the military. They did have some rights, in Massachusetts they offered free slaves the right to vote and the right for blacks and white to intermarry. They would not allow blacks to serve as jury and they were not able to move freely to place to place. Some blacks wanted more freedom; in 1787 some black leaders in Philadelphia formed the “Free African Society”. By 1790 the first independent black church in the north would be establish. Churches were very important to blacks because they would practice their own culture. Everything was so different in the south. Slaves did not have any rights what so ever. South would not care about the slaves they would only care about their work production and making sure that the job was done correctly. The south was based on agricultural economy. In the agricultural economy one slave would produce one pound of cotton in one day. They later invented the cotton gin and with this one slave would be able to get fifty pounds of cotton.
The south was known as the cotton king, because they would produce a lot of cotton. A lot of slaves were being sold down the river. The river was called “black belt”. The river would include states like Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, and Arkansas. The slaves would be forcefully relocated. The journey was super hard and for some it was tormenting. Some of the masters will carry rifles and whips with them just in case some blacks would refuse to listen to them. They would argue that slavery was necessary and that southerners said that they were kind to the slaves, they would give them clothes, food and sometimes they would Christianize their souls. There was a lot of tension between the north and the south so they came up with the Missouri compromise. The Missouri compromise was an effort by congress to try to calm down political rivals at the time. In 1819 Missouri was trying to come in as a slave state.
This would be a big conflict because there were a total of 22 states and they were equally divided so if Missouri would come in it would make things uneven. The north did not want that. Just as they were fighting to see what was going to happen Maine also wanted to be a free state. This would help everything because know the things would be equal again. The senate and the House of Representatives came up with a plan that Missouri was admitted as slave state and Maine as a free state. This would calm down things but there was still some tension. Now slavery was excluded from all of Louisiana Purchase, north of latitude 36” 30” but with the exception of Missouri. A big issue that contributed to the civil war was the nullification crisis. In 1828 congress would pass a tariff on imported goods coming in the country.
The north would be in agreement with this law but the south did not. The goal of this tax was to protect the United States manufactures from other nations. South would be really angry because they sell cotton to other countries and they would have to raise their taxes too so in result they will have to reduce the price of the cotton. There was a big fight between then north and the south. John Calhan will write the South Carolina exposition and protest in 1828. This protest said that the national government and economic policies favored the north. He also stated that there was a way to remedy this injustice and the only way was with nullification. This is a theory that was a political argument balancing the power between the states and the national government. The state rights thinkers said that the states created national government therefore they had authority over the government. Southerners will start to redefine what the states’ rights were. Southerners argued that the states’ rights were that the state had the right to secession and might have to the right to leave the United States.
In 1830 the Webster-and Hayne debate took place. This was a debate that lead to the start of actual physical fights. This added more tension to the south and north. The Mexican and American war happened when Texas wanted to leave Mexico. Texas split into two groups the peace party and the war party. The war party wanted slavery so in March 2, 1836 they proclaimed independence and would adopt a constitution allowing slavery. Mexico’s army would wipe out a group of men who were defending the Alamo because they wanted to put down the rebellion of the war party. Other Americans heard about this so they came and help them out. The Americans would defeat Mexico in the Battle of San Jacinto, they would declare independence but Mexico would deny it. In 1844 James Polk became president and he had certain ambitions so they made the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Here Polk paid $15 million in return for the rest of Texas. This war caused big sectional tensions.
This would lead to tensions that would lead to the civil war. The civil war was not to end slavery but to keep slavery were it was. David Wilmot said to make the new territory free of slaves. This was accepted by the House of Representatives but not by the Senate. At last they came up with the Compromise of 1850. This compromise was trying to find out what they were going to do with the free territory. This divided many people and the south threatened secession over this issue. They also came up with the fugitive slave law; this was that a runaway slave was not entitled to a trial by jury and anyone helping a slave was jailed. Kansas was trying to come in as a state and they were trying to let popular sovereignty decide. They there was some tension building up in Kansas so they came up with the Kansas and Nebraska act in 1854.
This allowed people in these states to decide for themselves if they want slavery or not. This will contradict with the Missouri compromise and they will have to repeal it. The north would be so mad so they would go to Kansas so they can vote to make it a free slave. At the same time Missouri would go to have slavery there. These two groups would crash and that’s what started the bleeding Kansas. The north and the south would get to fights and some actually kill some people. South Carolina stated the secession movement in 1860. They would separate from the United States and would make their confederate nations; their president would be Steven Douglas.
The south was fed up with all the north trying to stop slavery so they wanted their freedom. The north said to let them move but the president Abraham Lincoln said no because then the United States would fall apart. Later Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama, and Florida followed South Carolina. All these issues were the ones that led to the civil war. Since the beginning the north and the south had their problems and they knew they were never going to agree on anything. Little by little the tensions would grow and they would find ways on how to hurt each other. They could never find an agreement so it had to end up in a war.
Courtney from Study Moose
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