As time passed the rapidly changing society in the nineteenth century, in 1820 the north and south began to have serious conflicting problems that were proved unfixable by compromise. During this time, the north underwent major social, economic, and industrial changes known as the Antebellum Period. While the south generally clung to king cotton and slavery and thus remained essentially the same. This arose a manifold of controversies with how issues such as tariffs, slavery, and land should be handled.
Both the Union and the Confederacy tried to create compromises to resolve these problems, yet both sides were never completely satisfied no matter how hard they tried. This made it very close to impossible for them to completely put their differences at ease. As the north began to grow more industrially, the south stuck to their farms that were mainly maintained by slaves. This brought up a difficult dispute with the matter of how tariffs should be handled.
Since the north became industrial, it was more efficient of them to impose tariffs on the country to better their economy. Because instead of the people of the north getting better deals purchasing goods from Europe, the higher tariffs made it harder and cost them more to do business with Europe, as result they purchased goods from local businesses. This proved to be a major problem for the south because the high tariffs levels threatened their cotton exports and goods imports from their main buyers and sellers, the Europeans.
This angered the south because the tariffs favored the North by protecting them from foreign competition such as with the Tariff of Abominations, so called by the south, in 1828. The tariff forced the South to buy manufactured goods from U. S. manufacturers, mainly in the North, at a higher price, while southern states also faced a reduced income from sales of raw materials. But then the tariff of 1832 was addressed by Andrew Jackson to further lower the tariffs, but the south was still not satisfied with this compromise and this lead to the nullification controversy.
As a result of the threat of nullification, Henry Clay said it was impracticable for South Carolina to nullify and not smart to secede (Doc A). So he and John C. Calhoun proposed the Compromise Tariff of 1833 to further lower the rates gradually which still didn’t prove to achieve anything do to the fact of the Black Tariff of 1842 where tariffs were nearly doubled. Thus, ruling out compromise as a solution to their differences on the matter of tariffs. The economy of the north and south were so different the way they ran their usiness, it did not agree. One problem for the south is that the north wanted for them to free slaves or at least the to stop the expansion of it. Some of the north felt that it was morally unjust and that it went against the declaration of independence which stated “All men are created equal “. But others like the Free-Soil Party viewed it as economically inefficient and an obsolete institution. If slaves were emancipated their labor force and profit would disappear.
And in the Anti-Slavery Society, they call slave holders “man stealers” and say that slavery is contrary to God’s law, which makes laws endorsing slavery invalid (Doc. B). The south demanded that all bills abolishing slavery be disregarded (Doc. C). The south saw the north barbaric for the work conditions and low wages their textile laborers were put through (Doc. F). The north and south had proposed many compromises to resolve this problem; but this couldn’t happen because the South’s profit came from their cotton exportation which was in the need of slaves.
The North had made compromises even to stop the expansion of slavery such as the Missouri Compromise from 1819 to 1821, but it was viewed by some people such as Jefferson as a so called “fireball in the night” and was ruled by Supreme Court that Congress had no right to prohibit slavery in territories, as part of the decision in the Dred Scott case. Resulting again in another futile attempt to solve their differences through the method of compromise. The coexistence of a slave owning south with an increasingly anti-slavery north made conflict likely.
It was formidable to decide whether such states like the ones gained from the Mexican War should be slavery or anti-slavery, which either way would disrupt the balance between the slave and antislavery states. This divided the Union and Confederacy even further. Later on, President Lincoln sought not to propose federal laws against slavery where it already existed, but he had in his 1858 House Divided speech, expressed a desire to “arrest the further spread of it “(Doc. G).
Much of the political battle in the 1850s focused on the expansion of slavery into the newly created territories. All of the organized territories were likely to become free soil states which increased the southern movement toward secession. Both north and south assumed that if slavery could not expand it would become nonexistent. Southern fears of losing control of the federal government to anti-slavery forces, and northern feared that the slave power already controlled the government; these thoughts brought the sectional disagreements.
The morality of slavery, the scope of democracy, and the economic merits of free labor versus slave plantations caused the Whig and know nothing parties to collapse and the free soil party to arrive, ruining the resolve of compromise. By the year 1860, there seemed to be no way that compromise could not possibly accomplish to peace among the south and the north. The north did not see how slavery could benefit anyone any longer, and the south felt the conditions that industrialization emerged were unacceptable and unlivable.
As Politics further divided them, secession or war seemed to be inevitable and soon to come. This ended up creating the Civil War in 1861, an attempt of the south to break away from the north to keep their beliefs and slavery alive. Unfortunately, this led them to their demise of surrender and forced them to form the United States of America with the north. Therefore, gradually ending slavery and all of contentions between the north and the south, and proving that compromises were a useless attempt of fulfilling this task.
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