HIS Assignment 2.2 – Final Paper

Assignment 2.2: Final Paper

Liberty Challenged in 19th Century America

HIS 104

During the 19th century, slavery was the most concentrated issue in the United States. The abolition of slavery brought on a movement for Africa American’s in Maryland, Virginia, and Delaware. “Slavery in the United States created a defined, recognizable group of people and placed them outside society” (America’s Original Sin: Slavery and the Legacy of White Supremacy, 2018). It was a conversional between the North and South about slavery, people were either for slavery or against it. Ultimately, there were issues behind the movement that may have led to the Civil War.

Three-Fifths Compromise

America had several events involved with the outcome of history. The two most important were 3/5 Compromise and Missouri Compromise. These both changed the way of the world for many years to come. The Three-Fifths Compromise was created in 1787, stated that for every five slaves were counted as three slaves for the purpose of taxation and representation. “The idea originated as part of a 1783 congressional plan to base taxation on population. Congress rejected the three-fifths idea, but delegate James Wilson of Pennsylvania resurrected it as an amendment to the Virginia plan at the Constitutional Convention” (3/5 Compromise, 2017). This law was expressed that slaves only counted three-fifths of a person and that was a disgraced to humans’ rights. However, with all the confusing between the northern and southern states, the people of Congress thought it was the best way for slaves to be accounted for such as population count and taxes. Southern states wanted the slaves to be counted as apart of their population because it would increase the representation. Also, it would help slave owning states gain political power into House of Representative with the increase in population and having control of Presidential elections.

Missouri Compromise

In the years of 1818 and 1819, the state of Missouri and Maine petition the United State Congress, the states wanted to admit their territories to union as states. Back in 1803, Missouri Territory was created from the Louisiana Purchase and were promised constitutional protection. “The question at issues was whether slavery should be allowed in Missouri and the rest of the Louisiana Purchase, or did Congress have the moral responsibility to rectify the issues of slavery that had been avoided since the Constitutional Convention of 1787” (Missouri Compromise, 2017). Over the course of three years, Congress had three sessions before Missouri was admitted as a state. Over course of time, the Congress brought on debates about slavery and it caused a disunion between the northern and southern. According to Missouri Compromise, Maine was admitted as a free state and Missouri a slave state, the House voted (Missouri) remaining territories in the Louisiana Purchase above the 36° 30´ north latitude. However, “It is interesting to note that seven of Maine’s nine representatives in the Massachusetts state delegation voted against Maine’s admission so that their state would not be used to provide a solution to the slavery issues” (Missouri Compromise, 2017).

Compromise 1850

The Compromise of 1850 had five separate bills passed by the United State Congress. It was lessened by four years political argument between slave and free states on the status of land areas owned or brought during the Mexican-American War. Slavery became outlawed in Washington D.C., California is admitted as a free state, and Utah and New Mexico would determine whether slavery is allowed through popular sovereignty. The Fugitive Slave law stated that Northerners had to return runaway slaves to their owner under penalty law. If slaves were caught time possible in prison and fine against them would be required. “Many in the North reviled the compromise because it produced a tougher fugitive slave law, but, as Webster reminded them, it was the law of the land and must be obeyed by all (Clay’s Compromise, 2017). It was a law that came with consequences for slaves and the people involved with helping. In fact, “The Compromise of 1850 is a prime example of how the power brokers of that period avoided a catastrophic smash-up – just in time – and saved the Union” (Clay’s Compromise, 2017).

Kansas-Nebraska Act

The Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 created the territories of Kansas and Nebraska, opening new land for settlement. Also, this act had effect of repealing the Missouri Compromise of 1820 by allowing territories to determine through Popular Sovereignty whether to allow slavery within each territory. People of the north were against slavery and the Missouri Compromise held a long term agreement, which caused pressure. Proslavery leaders were not happy with the Missouri Compromise, it prohibited slavery north of 36° 30’ latitude. These same leaders pressure Doulas to amend and repeal that section of the Missouri Compromise prohibiting slavery. “In addition, the territory was divided at the fortieth parallel into the two territories of Kansas and Nebraska. Most northerners considered the Missouri Compromise to be a sacred pledge, and its repeal was quite enough to destroy the relative political calm that had been prevalent in the nation since 1850” (Kansas-Nebraska Act, 2017). On the other hand, the Republican party was created in 1854, near Jackson, Michigan. A convention formed and candidates were nominated under the name ‘Republican’. This new party was opposed to the expansion of slavery into new territories and selected a statewide state of candidates.

Dred Scott Decision

Dred Scott was a slave who tried to seek his freedom through the courts. He attempts to sue the Supreme Court, but he was not successfully because he was a enslaved African American. Dred Scott was not a United State citizen, and the law consider slaves as property. However, slave owners could move anywhere and still own his/her property. Also, the Missouri Compromise was against the law, Congress had no power to decide where slavery could be allowed. Basically, Dred Scott was all territories were opened up to slavery and Norther lawmakers would not be able to keep slavery out of the territories. The Missouri Compromise 1850 was unconstitutional against Drew Scott.

Reason slavery is incompatible with capitalism and politics

The reason slavery is incompatible with capitalism and politics is because of the financial discrepancies of slavery caused unavoidable death. Most slaves were always subject to torture, sexual exploitation, and arbitrary death. Slave owner progress in the world because of ownership of slaves. In the 15th century, most slaves were African descent. Enslavement was an act of the past war, which made it an important source for capitalism. The immorality of unfree labor was the life of a slave. Employed to work against their will by the threat of destitution. As a slave their “free labor” caused a rapid economic growth for the South. Slavery became a profitable business for of human beings. The average return rate on capital was about 10% a year. Also, as time went by the prices of slave became more expensive. The slave owners thought investing in more land to have even more slaves was the dream.

Issues that led to Civil War

The issues that led to the Civil War could be an ongoing discussion, but the three most important event such as The Abolitionist Movement, Kansas-Nebraska Act, and States’ Rights. Slavery was one of the most valid reason for the Civil War. The Abolitionist Movement goal was to end slavery in America. Leaders like Fredrick Douglas, an escaped slave who worked to the very end of slavery selling autobiography. “Abolitionists are distinguished from free-soilers, who opposed the further extension of slavery, but the groups came to act together politically and otherwise in the antislavery cause. The abolitionist movement was one of the high moral purpose and courage; its uncompromising temper made slavery question the prime concern of national politics and hastened the demise of slavery in the United States” (Abolitionist, 2019) On the other hand, the Kansas-Nebraska Act had some dealing with the Civil War, 1854 this act was passed and it divided land into Kansas and Nebraska territories. The factor to let the state decide whether it will be free or a slave state. At that time slavery became more violent and was the igniting the fire to the Civil War. In fact, this act repealed both the Missouri Compromise 1820 and Compromise of 1850. It brought on the rise of the Republican Party un the north. However, another event in history that contribute to the Civil War was States’ Rights. It is the rights and power held by United State states rather than federal government. Southern states felt they did not need to follow the federal law because the states’ rights. So, they wanted to be in control of their issues within the state. The North did see it as important like the South, but they did believe that the political decisions should be made to benefit the country and abide by the laws made by Congress.

In conclusion, the major event leading to the Civil War was slavery and it’s impact on the United Stated will forever be remembered by many generations. The fact that northern states were antislavery and wanted to end the expansion of slavery was a contribution to society. Southern states want to rule their states in a way that fit their needs and not of others. So, it resulted in a war because it a conclusion from both north and south could be agreed upon. Events like, The Abolishment Movement, Missouri Compromise, Dred Scott and others changed lives of innocent people. Slavery should have not been started, it was a disgrace to human rights. Looking back at all the history of this country, I feel it has been brought up on steal, lies, and selfish. Only time can determine the outcome of a new beginning of respect for other humans as well as the better judgment of life.


Three-Fifths Compromise. By: Porter, David L., Salem Press Encyclopedia, 2017.

Missouri Compromise. By: Thur, Vincent M., Salem Encyclopedia, 2017.

Clay’s Compromise. By: Remini, Robert V., American Heritage, vol. 60, no. 2, 2010, pp. 23-26.

Kansas-Nebraska Act. By: Gardner, John C., Schweikart, Larry, Salem Press Encyclopedia, 2017.

Dred Scott v. Sandford. By: Clark, John G., Jewell, K. Sue, Salem Press Encyclopedia, 2017.

America’s Original Sin: Slavery and the Legacy of White Supremacy. By: Reed-Gordon, Annette, Foreign Affairs, vol. 97, no. 1, Jan. 2018, pp. 2-7

Abolitionists. By: Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th Edition, Jan. 2019, pp. 1-2

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