Slavery Dbq Essay

Submitted By AllieKaltenbach
Words: 691
Pages: 3

The Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution to preserve and protect unity in the Unites States and that’s exactly what it did for many years. When America began gaining new territories, strife between the opponents and proponents of slavery formed due to the vagueness of the issue in the Constitution. Because the document didn’t definitively give a solution to slavery, it was open to interpretations. Attempts were made to solve the matter but nothing fully met the interests of either side. Ultimately this led to the controversy and tension between the North and South, and eventually the Civil War.
Slavery, although never mentioned by name in the Constitution, was generally accepted and treated as property. According to the Southerners, they had just as much claim in new territories as Northerners did and they should be allowed to take slaves with them since they were regarded as property (Doc. B). It was obvious the Northerners did not agree with this idea. Instead they believed in popular sovereignty and accused the Southerners of forcing slavery down their throats (Doc. F).
As more and more land was gained in America, the issue of whether it would be a slave or free state arose. “The Great Compromiser”, Henry Clay, proposed the Compromise of 1850 as a way to determine what territories would be slave and what ones would be free. It stated there would be a balance of free and slave states, which would be determined by popular sovereignty, it prohibited trading slave in the District of Columbia, settled the boundary debate in Texas, and enacted stricter fugitive slave laws (Doc. A). Squabble occurred because this compromise went completely go against the Missouri Compromise and forced people from both sides of the issue to flock to areas so they could vote for what they believed the territory would be. This led to Bleeding Kansas during the Kansas Nebraska Act. Also, the stricter fugitive slave laws were very controversial in the North because it went against their personal liberty laws (Doc. C). The Northerners were considering this as kidnapping and stated as long as this law was in place, having a Union was impossible (Doc. D). Abolitionists were attacking the government saying that they were responsible for protecting slaves, which they were not doing, and called them the enemy. Northerners did not want a union with the slaveholders and wanted to separate from them (Doc. E).
Presidents had opposing views on this issue as well. President Buchanan believed that it was in the hands of the southerners, and the only their hands to manage slavery. He was very…