The Second Missouri Compromise

With the creation of the Missouri Compromise came a second controversy for Missouri. Some northerners threatened “not to consent to the Missouri constitution when it came back to Congress for final approval.” Daniel Walker Howe, What Hath God Wrought: Transformation of America, 1815-1848, 156. Henry Clay, then-Speaker of the House of Representatives, led the effort to […]


The Justifications for Slavery

Early Americans, both pro-slavery and anti-slavery, explored the potential justifications for slavery in the United States. In 1764, James Otis of Massachusetts asked “Can any logical inference in favor of slavery be drawn from a flat nose, a long or short face?” after pondering why only blacks had been enslaved. James Otis, The Rights of the […]


The Great Replacement

By 1776, indentured servitude had become a widespread and prominent part of English life. By the 1810s, however, indentured servitude was seen by most Americans as inherently at conflict with the “natural rights of man.” Gordon Wood, Empire of Liberty, 346. Some Americans concluded that servitude as a whole was “highly anti-republican.” Id. However, as indentured servitude […]