Senate

The Kansas-Nebraska Act

In 1844, Asa Whitney, a merchant in New York, proposed that a transcontinental railroad be built. While he hoped to lead the construction of the railroad and reap the benefits of the ambitious project, that was not to be. However, three components of his plan captured the spirit of Americans toward the construction of the […]

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The Compromise of 1850

Upon President Zachary Taylor taking office, he sent a message to Congress deploring the sectionalism that was pervading the country. See David Potter, The Impending Crisis: America Before the Civil War, 1848-1861, 91. He looked to George Washington’s warnings against “characterizing parties by geographical discriminations,” which appeared by 1849 to be a prescient warning. Id. citing James D. Richardson, […]

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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 […]

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The Wilmot Proviso

President James Polk, expecting a fast resolution to the Mexican-American War, “requested from Congress in August 1846 a $2 million appropriation for ‘defraying any extraordinary expenses which may be incurred in the intercourse between the United States and foreign nations.’” Daniel Walker Howe, What Hath God Wrought: Transformation of America, 1815-1848, 766 quoting James Polk, Diary, II, 76-77 (Aug. […]

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