US HISTORY Class Notes 4/13 & 4/15
US HISTORY Class Notes 4/13 & 4/15 1376
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This 12 page Class Notes was uploaded by Meredith Johnson on Saturday April 18, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to 1376 at University of Houston taught by Dr. Lawrence Curry in Spring2015. Since its upload, it has received 115 views.
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Date Created: 04/18/15
Notes History 1376 41315 Remember morality at the core of this argument over slavery Outside of the south abolitionism develops calling for immediate emancipation What was happening in the South as abolition developed According to Prof Curry south had two options Adapt to nation39s more liberal ideas and end slavery despite its economic dependence would have been painful Not adapt and just1y essentially invent a new set of moral standards Chose the second to defend protect commend slavery as a quotpositive goodquot But to do this they had to reject the morals of the rest of the country in fact most of Western Civilization at the time quotNo greater tragedyquot according to Prof Curry than the Old South 0 The Paradox the South claiming its devotion to American ideas while maintaining the institution of slavery which contradicted those American ideas 0 What was the Old South the Ante Bellum South like 0 Myth a wonderful place full of beauty happy slaves gentlemen quotmoonlight and magnoliasquot Source of that myth quotthere was a land of cavaliers and cotton elds called the Old South Here in this patrician world the age of chivalry took its last bow Look for it only in books for it is only a dream Remember A civilization gone with the windquot 0 Reality much like the rest of the country Most white southerners were yeomanfarmers did not own slaves nor live on plantations Characteristics of individualism equality excepting blacks valued religion 0 In many ways very similar to the northerners But important differences not enough to create two different worlds and cultures but nevertheless important Economically less divergent Population more rural and dispersed Wealth more concentrated a few had much quotCultural attainments negligiblequot Political democracy less complete Pessimistic attitude a sharp contrast to the optimistic rest of the country 0 Mostly associated with attempts to justify slavery SLAVERY Large black population 0 As a consequence of this they were losing strength in the House 355 of a slave counted as a quotpersonquot still gross which meant that the large slave population actually reduced its power 0 Immigration gravitating to the north as well as natural increase 0 This also meant a sense of being an embattled minority South being threatened by quotoutside agitatorsquot the abolitionists and feared an internal revolt Nat Turner s revolt seemed to con rm this fear No other region facing these problems The Old South feeling threatened took steps to protect itselfpersuade itself that slavery was a good thing 0 A return to the paradox Slavery against American ideas yet South were 39devoted39 to those ideas 0 First part of the paradox the devotion to American ideals Liberty the extension of liberty When south attempted to describe highest social value almost every time word chosen was liberty Southerners thought they had won libertyin Revolutionary War associated with patriotic pride 0 Liberty was the end for which the Union existed A famous toast quotTo the declaration of independence and the cost of the united states liberty and union now and forever one and inseparablequot But to believe this lie had to ignore slavery Dif cult to maintain this deceit in time impossible to continue to ignore 0 Before 1830 many Southerners who saw this paradox said it would die out by its own add more here 0 But by 1830s it was apparent that it would not die out on its own in fact the opposite The cotton gin amp cotton culture had revived slavery To complicate things abolitionists demanded immediate end In 1831 the Nat turner revolt shocked the south into facing the issue Richmond Virginia newspaper quotwe may shut our eyes and avert our faces if we please but there it is the dark and growing evil at our doors And meet the question we must at no distant date What is to be done Oh My god I do not know but something must be donequot 0 So what was done 0 After Nat turner revolt the Virginia legislature debated for two weeks a bill that would emancipate all salves in Virginia a gradual emancipation plan but eventually free them all Had support of newspapers and government but not the support of the citizens And after two weeks tabled and never taken up again 0 Virginia debate important after they decided notto emancipate slaves other states followed Virginia was the leader all others followed o The last free debate before the civil war Why not simply free the slaves 0 Financial reasons the cost of solving the problem was far too high they had too much money involved in their slaves Huge economic stake in the institution of slavery Cotton quotkingquot in the south slavery was essential to the cotton economy By 1860 4 million slaves valued at 3 billion dollars 0 Social reasons too dangerous Remember Thomas Jefferson believed impossible to integrate the two races Most southerners agreed would create chaos and turmoil perhaps lead to widespread death and destruction South reluctantly accepted the need to ght for slavery something would have to change 0 Facing certain obvious problems Slaves restless and unhappy Nat turner39s revolt Powerful antislavery sentiment in western world Most southern whites were not prepared for a erce proslavery struggle could not ease their conscience with the idea that it would fade on its own 0 Southern leaders decided that slavery must be preserved that it could not fade on its own had to maintain a united front in opposition to aboH on 0 Had to convince themselves that slavery was quotA good a positive goodquot John C Calhoun And so the south protects defends commends o How Legislatures restricted freedom of the press freedom of speech in the south to ensure antislavery ideas would not upset and confuse the Southern people Georgia made punishable by death circulating pamphlets to incite slave revolts Made it more dif cult to free slaves put more restrictions on slave owners slaves free blacks Slaves not allowed to gather in groups more than 5 unless a white person present 0 Many states made it illegal to teach slaves to read or write Essentially attempted to end all discussion close itself off to the idea of emancipation Almost all abolitionist discussion was suppressed And the South closed its mind on slavery Southerners acquiesced to suppression of speech press circulation of ideas 0 Did this all in the name of slavery o In the end insisted that south was a region separate and superior from the North Had to avoid being quotcontaminatedquot by contact with outsiders would have to close its mind on everything pertaining to slavery Had to become separate and apart A proslavery argument was offered maintained that slavery was quota positive goodquot Proslavery apologist sources 0 Aristotle justi ed Greek slavery on the grounds that it recognized the natural inequality of man 0 History showed that free blacks could not manage their own affairs shiftless criminally disposed Cited the ruin ofjamaica after the emancipation of those slaves o The Bible based on a literal interpretation quotsubmit yourself to every ordinance of man for the Lord s sake for so is the will of Godquot quotservants be subject to your masters with all fearquot quotlet all under the yoke of slavery regard your masters as worthy of all honorquot That Blacks were the sons of Ham a mark of inferiority 0 quotScientificquot theories one writer said different races were separate species that Blacks were at the lowest scale of human creation permanently inferior Also repudiated many basic American values In general north accepted and south rejected 0 Vision of free society of farmers and honest workers 0 Concept of democracy and equal opportunity for all 0 ldea that all men are born equal and entitled to freedom 0 Mission to extend liberty Democracy for all 0 By 1830s most Americans believed that democracy was ideal society that quotcertain unalienable rightsquot were universal 0 john c Calhoun argued slavery was a necessary condition of democracy quotThere has never yet existed a wealthy and civilized society in which one portion of the community did not live on the labors of anotherquot quotWe regard slavery as the most safe and stable basis for free institutions in the worldquot quotIn the present state of civilization where two races of different origin and distinguished by color and other physical differences as well as by intellectual are brought together the relation now existing in the slaveholding States between the two is instead of an evil a good a positive goodquot 0 Professor Curry39s Thesis 0 The antebellum south tied to slavery by economic gain and fear of blacks and attacked by abolitionists moved in 1830s from defense to offense 0 Old South Developed proslavery argument Suppressed all internal criticism of slavery o By 1840s and 18505 the south was out of step with the US and in general with Western culture 0 To defend what could not be defended the South turned its back on morality the declaration of independence and the enlightenment belief in the essential goodness of man 0 Could only create a schism between the two parts of the nation grew wider and wider and could only be closed by war The causes of the civil war three separate questions that must be answered 0 What were the causes of the sectional con icts What were the causes of secession Why did the North refuse to allow the peaceful secession of the South A brief answer to these three questions Moral con ict over slavery o Uncompromising positions of both factions and the sectional nature of both factions made the chasm unbridgeable Fear of what Lincoln39s election meant for South and slavery 0 Panic among southern leaders had come to the conclusion that anyone who was not proSouth was an abolitionist who hated the South 0 Sudden and seemingly irretrievabe loss of political power caused leaders to conclude that quotall was lostquot 0 Secession an exaggerated and irresponsible response but remember perception trumps reality 0 American nationalism o Refused to allow the southern quotrebelsquot to quotdestroy the American Unionquot Two last important points Disruptive issue prior to 1850 but one that many people worked hard to settle or postpone rather than destroy the Union Slavery the principal issue around which the South united in the Democratic Party in 405 and 505 to preserve its political power at national level and protect slavery Next time more discussion of the South Notes History 1376 41515 Continuing Topic 2 De nition of quotthe Southquot preceding the Civil War 0 VA NC SC GA FL AL MS LA TN AR TX 0 All of quotthe Southquot was slave states but not all the slave states were part of quotthe Southquot 0 DE MD KY MO WV did not secede West Virginia seceded from Virginia and remained in the Union Other important political issues that did not revolve around slavery Economic interests 0 Protective tariff yn 0 Internal improvements at federal expense 0 Price of federal lands in the west 0 However none of these were as divisive no state seceded over these issues slavery exacerbated these quotHow Slavery Poisoned Politicsquot 0 During rst 30 years all sections of country maneuvered to use the central government to support their special interests 0 The south did very well not much con ict over slavery prior to 1830 0 Two examples Congress under Art of Confed enacted Northwest Ordinance prohibited intro of slavery into NW territory 1820 congress enacted the Missouri Compromise Maine admitted to the union as a free state Missouri as a slave state thus maintaining balance of freeslave states in the Senate Excluded from the Louisiana Purchase territory north of the MasonDixon Line 36 degree 30 minutes Missouri the only exception 0 But in 1830s tension increased as detailed in previous lectures During elections the major political parties did their best to avoid the issue knew it would divide their parties 0 House of Representatives 1836 quotthe Gag Rulequot any petition related to the issue of slavery would be automatically tabled not be printed or in any way referred to no further action taken on it 0 Basically they decided to ignore it A quotconspiracy of silencequot said critics o Seemed clear it was unconstitutional First amendment petition of government But since the constitution is contradictory was probably not actually unconstitutional o Renewed the rule every 2 years until 1844 remained in effect for 8 years But they could not ignore the issue Southern political leaders saw themselves as quotmisunderstood and embattled minorityquot persecution complex 0 Began to push for political cohesiveness a Solid South 0 Had become a quotconscious minorityquot leaders afraid that politically powerful North would begin to listen to the abolitionists and meddle with the South and slavery 0 Events which contributed to this fear 1824 some northern states passed quotpersonal libertyquot laws Laws that prevented of cers from enforcing the federal fugitive slave law Under some of these laws southerners no longer able to bring slaves to the North if they traveled and the Mass Supreme Court held that bringing slaves to the state automatically freed them 0 South complained that these laws violated Article 4 of the Constitution 0 quotNo person held to service or labour in one state under the laws thereof escaping into another shall in consequence of any law or regulation therein be discharged from such service or labour but shall be delivered up on claim of the party to whom such service or labour may be duequot 0 But some states in the North were ignoring this fugitive slave law 1842 Supreme Court ruled that Pennsylvania was within its rights to prevent its magistrates from practicing the fugitive slave law o It was a purely federal law and the states had no obligation to enact it 0 So by 1850 Northern states violating the fugitive slave law was a major southern grievance southern leaders losing faith in the Constitution as their protection 0 Began to believe it was necessary to seek a better defense attempted to win all three branches of the government Believed if they could win complete control of one of the two parties they could use it to dominate the three branches of federal government control political patronage and protect slavery from Northern assaults Which party Democratic or Whig Up until 18405 south not politically solid not committed wholly to one party so either party Picked Democratic Party 0 By 1844 President Tyler former Democrat had broken with the Whigs with many other Whigs from the South moved back into the Democratic Party 0 So by a uke the South gained a strong hold of the Fed government through Democratic Party O O O 0 South transformed the Democratic Party from humanitarianism and reform to defense of slavery The Mexican War39s effects Acquisition of new territory in the west raised question about slavery Made it impossible for the political parties to continue ignoring the issue Two main questions after the war39s end Should slavery be allowed in the new territory Yes no And if yes how would it affect sectional power in national politics especially in congress Three main positions emerged on these issues The Moderate Position no slavery in the territory acquired from Mexico Wilmot Proviso 1846 quotNeither slavery nor involuntary servitude shall exist in any part of the territory except for crime wherein the party shall then be duly convictedquot Did not represent the abolitionist positions did not emancipate a slaves ony abolished slavery in the new territory Widespread support outside the South but did not pass due to the South39s disapproval Never passed in the Senate ProSlavery Position slavery allowed in all newlyacquired territories Southerners attempted to do three things 0 Defend property rights anywhere not just in the new territories Assert moral position slavery is good if slavery banned suggests that slavery was not a good thing Preserve power in Congress by adding proslavery Congressmen and Senators quotCompromisequot position popular sovereignty Pushed by Senator Steven A Douglas let people living in the territories decide the issue Attractive for many reasons the national government didn39t have to make a stance the people would decide quotLet the people workquot But based on an assumption that slavery was a local issue but turned out it was a bit bigger than that Debate continued in Congress where there was a deadlock north controed House of Representatives south controed Congress Gold discovered in California Territory Gold rush of 1849 caused population of California territory to explode faster than anyone expected part of the area acquired from Mexico Sooner than expected California was going to be a state asked to be admitted as a free state A major blow to the south 0 O Would upset the balance of power in the Senate 16 free states 15 slave states South was furious some even threatened to secede if California were admitted Threat of secession frightened enough people to bring around a compromise 1850 Northerners willing to compromise to save the Union Southerners willing to destroy the Union to save slavery Slavery more important than a united country Congress worked out Compromise of 1850 Made of separate bills passed by Congress Included four important provisions For the North 0 California allowed into Union as a free state no slavery allowed 0 Calhoun opposed said it would 39destroy the sectional equilibrium and would make the South secede Argued that the North had to amend the Constitution to give the South equal power 0 39a Concurrent Majority position Meant two presidents of the US one for the north one for the south 0 Basically argued that the minority should be given equal voice with the majority But not to give the minority a voice to defend slavery Slave trade but not slavery abolished in District of Cmumbm For the South 0 Rest of territory acquired from Mexico opened to slavery on popular sovereignty 0 Except California 0 Most controversial part new Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 Stronger much more strict which amended 1793 law Probably the most important part the way it was enforced increased public agitation over slavery 0 May have produced more antislavery sentiment in the North than the abolitionists had been able to previously 0 Why so disruptive Provisions of this law Put all fugitive slave cases under federal jurisdiction Allowed fed commissioners following a hearing to issue warrants for the arrest of fugitive slaves issue certi cates for return of those slaves Allowed commissioners to accept a simple af davit from the owner as proof of ownership Blacks claiming to be free denied the right of trial by jury Testimony not admitted as evidence in any hearing If a commissioner did not grant certi cate of return he received 5 0 But if he did grant certi cate he received 10 0 So people paid more to return slaves Commissioners could require bystanders to help catch fugitives Those who refused suffered heavy penalties Anyone who did not cooperate 0 Could be ned 1k o Forced to pay owner for 1k for every slave he did not help catch 0 Could be jailed for up to 6 months 0 Basically made everyone a slavecatcher or a criminal Those who did not want to cooperate regarded it as a violation of their own civil rights Resentment growing in the north those who might have been indifferent being dragged into the struggle due to this law 0 Ralph Waldo Emerson quotthis lthy enactment was made in the 19th century by people who could read and write I will not obey it by Godquot 0 Others agreed a moral crisis 0 And the government could no longer ignore it 0 Note that this law did not unite the North overnight 10 years til the civil war and the parties still tried to avoid it in order to preserve national unity Factions in Both Parties 0 Both parties begin to split into proslavery and antislavery groups Some conclusions 0 Up til early 18505 the South seemed to be successful in mobilizing its political strength using Democratic Party to protect slavery But by 1852 national political situation had been made unstable was changing Opportunities existed for new alignments maybe even new political parties 0 Throughout the 18505 south continue to win political victories O Fugitive slave act 1850 o KansasNebraska act 1854 0 Two prosouthern Democrats elected President President Pierce 1852 President Buchanan 1856 0 However these victories came at a price quotWinning political battles but losing political warquot Topic lll Breakdown of Politics and Destruction of the Union The compromise of 1850 hailed as an end to the con ict nationalistic meetings to quotratifyquot this compromise Douglas quotlet us cease debate and drop the subjectquot But in the 18505 an escalation in public disputes over slavery Violent words violent actions 0 By end of the decade when sectional party Republican Party elected Lincoln the South concluded there was no way to protect their quotpeculiar institutionquot and remain in the union 0 The only way out was secession War was unthinkable to the majority of Americans but it came When it became clear that the actions of the 18505 had made compromise impossible people reluctantly accepted war 0 Southerners war was necessary to preserve slavery their way of life 0 Northerners war was necessary to save the Union not to end slavery Next time more detail of the 18505 that led to the secession of the South
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