last best hope of earth

(@LastBestHopeofE) Explore U.S. History and Politics

A Deadlocked and Destructive Congress

The United States Capitol in 1848. Unknown Photographer, credit Library of Congress.

During President James Polk’s administration, Congress grappled with resolving sectional tension arising out of whether slavery would be extended to newly acquired land from Mexico as well as the Oregon territory. Congress did not resolve that sectional tension but exacerbated it in what may have been one of the most deadlocked and destructive Congresses in American history. Continue reading “A Deadlocked and Destructive Congress”

The Theories of Slavery

Trout Fishing in Sullivan County, New York. By: Henry Inman.

In the 15 years leading up to the Civil War, a wide variety of theories emerged for how the federal government should deal with slavery expanding, or not expanding, into the territories acquired by the United States.

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The Role of Slavery in Splitting America

The Underground Railroad. By: Charles T. Webber.

Since the outbreak of the Civil War and continuing to the present day, the role of slavery in splitting America has been hotly debated. One may wonder whether there was merely a correlation between slavery and the Civil War or whether slavery was the cause. Investigating the nuances of the issue of slavery reveals that the Civil War resulted from sectionalism and slavery, which were practically synonymous.

Continue reading “The Role of Slavery in Splitting America”

Constitution Sunday: Reply to Mason’s “Objections”: “Civis Rusticus”

Reply to Mason’s “Objections”: “Civis Rusticus”

Virginia Independent Chronicle (Richmond), January 30, 1788

Following are excerpts of an article written in response to George Mason’s article listing the objections to the Constitution:

“5th. Had the convention left the executive power indivisible, I am free to own it would have been better, than giving the senate a share in it Continue reading “Constitution Sunday: Reply to Mason’s “Objections”: “Civis Rusticus””

The Work Divide

Painting of Cincinnati, Ohio from Newport, Kentucky. By: John Caspar Wild.

The North and the South had come to develop two distinct cultures by the mid-1800s. One of those fundamental differences was the nature of work.

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Tipping the Balance of Sectionalism

Fort Snelling in the Upper Mississippi Valley. By: John Caspar Wild.

By 1848, America had numerous sectional differences, and those sectional differences were beginning to take on a different character.

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The Balance of Sectionalism

Fourth Street East from Vine Street in Cincinnati, Ohio. Circa 1835. By: John Caspar Wild.

From the inception of America in 1776 to the mid-1800s, there was a balance between regions of the country. That dramatically changed throughout the 1840s and 1850s.

Continue reading “The Balance of Sectionalism”

The American Spirit of the 1840s

1930.7.2_Cole Thomas
The Van Rensselaer Manor House. By: Thomas Cole.

Through the early 1800s and well into the 1840s, Americans had developed a sense of unity and pride about their country.

Continue reading “The American Spirit of the 1840s”

The Country of the Future

Home in the Woods. By: Thomas Cole.

By 1848, America had undergone a significant transformation from the America that the Founding Fathers left just a few decades before.

Continue reading “The Country of the Future”

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