The Constitution In The 1850's: Unity Or Discord



The Constitution is the basic law of the United States. It was drafted by the Constitutional Convention of May 25 through September 17, 1787. Before the Constitution, there were the Articles of Confederation. The Articles of Confederation had many limitations. The Articles of Confederation were just not working at this time. Therefore, the Constitution Convention came up with the Constitution, America still follows it today. In the 1850's, the Constitution had become a source of sectional discord instead of unity because of many reasons.
On May 30, 1854, the U.S. Congress passed the Kansas-Nebraska Act. This act established the territories of Kansas and Nebraska. This act repealed ...

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the United States closer to the Civil War (Grolier, Kansas-Nebraska Act).
Peculiar Institution was an "euphemistic term that southerners used as a pseudonym for slavery"(Dictionary, 241). John C. Calhoun defended the "peculiar labor" of the South in 1828 and the "peculiar domestic institution" in 1830. The term came into general use in the 1830's when the abolitionist followers of William Lloyd Garrison began to attack slavery (ibid, 241).
Slave states were those states where slave-holding was authorized by law before the Civil War. After the American Revolution, slavery disappeared from areas north of Delaware and Maryland. In 1845 nine new slave states had entered the Union. Efforts to add additional slave states and to prevent the spread of slavery led to fighting in Kansas with states who did not believe in slavery, they were called free states, and became a major national issue in the 1850's (ibid, 309).
An expression much used by southern authors before the Civil War ...

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into the disputed area with the intention of provoking a conflict, Congress approved Polk's request that it recognized that a state of war existed between the United States and Mexico. Many people favored the idea of war with Mexico, but Congress was divided. The Northern generally believed that war with Mexico was the South's plot on expanding slavery into new territories. Some southerners joined with Northern Whigs to condemn what they believed were devious methods used by Polk to provoke hostilities. United States won and it resulted in the annexation of what became the states of California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico. Although Polk's foreign policy can be judged a ...

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Added: 7/19/2006 01:49:10 AM
Category: American History
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1251
Pages: 5

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