The Slave Power Conspiracy
The Slave Power Conspiracy Hist1311
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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Imran Rashik on Thursday December 10, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to Hist1311 at University of Texas at Arlington taught by Kristen burton in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 22 views. For similar materials see Us history in History at University of Texas at Arlington.
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Date Created: 12/10/15
The Slave Power Conspiracy The question of expanding slavery in the west was a major reason for the divide between the north and the south This eventually led to secession and the civil war The Wilmot Proviso a proposal that David Wilmot made in August 18 1846 about the expansion of slavery in the west He proposed to admit Texas as a slave state as long as neither slavery nor involuntary servitude exists in any of the other states But the whole idea of expanding profits was dependent on the expansion of slavery So Southern people did not accept this proviso So the proviso reignited the discussion and debate over the future of slavery Focus of this discussion was on the new lands acquired through the Mexican American war House of representatives adopted the Wilmot Proviso in 1846 but the Senate rejected it John C Calhoun from the Senate spoke against it by arguing that it violated the 5th amendment as slaves were considered as property Introduced a new language for people who did not like the idea of abolition but also did not support slavery basically people who took the middle stance They did not want to see slavery expand Wilmot proviso inspired another branch of people known as the Free Soil Party The Free Soil Coalition Established in 1848 This party wanted to prohibit slavery from expanding into western territories Inspired by the Wilmot Proviso these people did not like the idea of abolition but also did not support slavery basically people who took the middle stance Shortlived political party But this party provided the basis for the formation of a future party the Republican party that would take slavery head on They felt like slavery was being enforced to them Helped promote the slave power conspiracy due to the long held political power of the south through the 3 5th clause that gave the south a political edge The conspiracy was that the south would expand slavery into the western territory for which they would gain enough power to enforce slavery in the north They feared this slave power would run the country The Gag rule The Pinckney resolution formed in May 26 1836 was dubbed as the Gag rule supported the theory of the slave power conspiracy All papers or propositions relating in any way to the subject of slavery will just be laid upon the table and no further action will be taken in regard to those documents They still accepted the documents so that the first amendment was not violated They just did not read them This silenced anyone speaking against slavery John Quincy Adams was the strongest opponent of the Gag rule He read every single petition that was sent as he wanted to protect citizen s rights Many northern Whigs supported him on this Many people in the north also lent their support to the abolitionist movement because of the gag rule although they were not abolitionists This was because they supported the abolitionist s right to petition Repealed in 1844 after IQ Adams was put on trial for trying to protect people s rights In January 1840 a new resolution was passed that prohibited all anti slavery petitions In 1842 they attempted to censure put him on trial IQ Adams for trying to protect people s rights Public pressure went against everyone who supported the gag rule for which it had to be repealed in 1844 People started caring about abolitionist movement due to attack on citizen s natural rights California petitioned for free statehood in 1849 the same year in which the gold rush went on New Mexico also wanted to be a free state This would cause a natural imbalance in the number of free and slave states Congress did not know how to solve this problem General Zachary Taylor a former soldier became president during this time He allowed the states to come in as slaves as he did not understand the delicacy of the situation This was not supported by the southern politicians because if they were admitted free states would have more power They demanded a new federal fugitive slave law Anti slavery advocates also pushed for slavery to be abolished in the district of Columbia The slave state Texas laid claim to half of New Mexico The South also threatened of secession This led to the formation ofa compromise in 1850 The Compromise of 1850 a compromise proposed by Henry Clay in Ian 28 1850 He stated that California would come in as a free state Organize the territories in New Mexico without putting restrictions on slavery The language was Deny Texas its full territorial claim Compensate Texas with payment of the pre annexation debts Retain slavery in the district of Columbia Abolish slave trade in DC Adoption of federal fugitive slave law in the US Deny congressional authority to interfere with the interstate slave trade Movement of slaves between states would not be hindered by Congress Clay demanded that there would need to be a vote on all 8 propositions collectively Millard Fillmore became president in 1850 He favored Clay s compromise A man named Steven Douglass proposed individual voting on the resolutions and ended up saving Clay s compromise So all resolutions were passed and in Sept of 1850 Fillmore signed the last resolution It diffused a potential eruption of civil war for a decade The Fugitive Slave Act Part of the compromise of 1850 Denied alleged fugitive slaves a trial Confirmation of the slave power conspiracy Strengthened the power of slave catchers and increased temptation to kidnap free blacks and sell them to the south Northern citizens were required by federal Marshalls to assist in the capture and return of slaves Northern people felt this was being forced onto them for which they did everything to subvert this law They sent yers to warn people about slave catchers in the area Other worked with slaves to go against slave catchers and marshalls This act was a powerful force that aroused anti slavery sentiment throughout then north Uncle Tom s Cabin A popular novel published by Harriet Beecher Stowe in 1852 in response to the fugitive slave act Depicted the life and encounters of a slave named uncle Tom who was sold to a cruel master Focused on the brutality of slavery The novel gave northern people a new perspective about slavery as they were isolated from the violence involved to maintain slavery It rallied a sense of anti slavery sentiment Helped solidified public opinion in the north against slavery In the 1850 there was an interest in constructing a transcontinental rail line to connect the easter seaboard to the pacific This rail track would pass through Kansas and Nebraska Kansas and Nebraska asked Congress if they could become territories The Kansas Nebraska Act Act put forth by Stephen Douglass in 1854 to allow Kansas and Nebraska to officially become territories Douglass only thought about railroads not the implications of the important principles of this act known as popular sovereignty People in these territories would be deciders of whether or not these would be free or slave states This con icted with the Missouri compromise which stated everything above a certain boundary would be slave states Other states below would be free This act forced a repeal of the Missouri compromise So the act turned into a complete disaster People in the North acted in the opposition of this act as they were against expansion of slavery But southerners loved the act Opinion about slavery of a minority started becoming the general view of people across the north Popular Sovereignty a principle which let people decide if their state would be a free or a slave state Kansas faced the severe repercussions of Douglas Popular Sovereignty as it wanted to be a slave state Kansas wanted to be a slave state So opposing people gathered there to stage a rehearsal of the civil war 5000 northerners travelled to Kansas and wanted to make sure the vote went towards quotfree statequot Southerners went into Kansas to ensure the vote would go quotslave statequot Border ruffians in Missouri poured over into Kansas to attack abolitionists like the Northern free soilers who were present there Finally the slave vote won A slave government was established which adopted a slave code The code stated that it was a capital offence to assist a fugitive slave It also stated that it was a felony to question the legality of slavery in the territory Free state supporters were outraged and so they had their own convention known as the Topika convention in August 1855 They formed their own constitution in Kansas So in 1856 there were two functioning government in Kansas Ma 21 1856 a pro slavery mob entered the town of Lawrence Kansas and destroyed newspaper presses and the free state governor s home and also several other buildings This event became known as the Sack of Lawrence This event set off a zealous abolitionist by the name ofohn Brown Two days after the Sack of L John Brown came to Kansas with his people and attacked a proslavery settlement His people hacked 5 pro slavery border ruffians to death infront of their family This became known as the Pottawatomie Massacre May 24251856 This set off a guerilla war across Kansas This event became known as bleeding Kansas By the end of 1856 200 settlers were killed and 2 million dollars of property damage was incurred 1500 federal troops were need to restore order in the territory This was like a rehearsel of the civil war Violence also broke out in the senate May 20th 1856 senator Charles Sumner an ardent opponent of slavery condemned the south and singled out one slave owner named Andrew Butler Butler s cousin was a senator named Preston Brooks and he was there when Sumner said it Brooks attacked Sumner on May 22rld and beat him on the head with his cane Sumner was injured and his seat remained empty for 2 years The South loved this It also drove thousands of northerners to support the emerging Republican party