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Last Best Hope of Earth

A Blog Covering US History and Politics

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South Carolina

The Birth of Secessionism

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Antebellum Atlanta, Georgia. Photographer Unknown.

Following the Compromise of 1850, southerners became concerned about the North securing additional concessions from the South. Aware of the South’s concerns, President Millard Fillmore tried to calm southern nerves by Continue reading “The Birth of Secessionism”

The Role of Slavery in Splitting America

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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.

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The Reception of the Mexican-American War

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Garrett Davis. By: Mathew Brady.

Following President James Polk’s announcement of war with Mexico, and Congress’ declaration of war, those in the Whig Party and those around the country had significantly different views of the war.

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The Master of Parliamentary Procedure

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John Quincy Adams.

The United States Congress was not above adopting its own rules that would silence abolitionist views. While mass mailings to southerners became a regular occurrence for abolitionists, creating significant tension between proslavery and anti-slavery factions, those had occurred outside the purview of government. The House of Representatives, when it used a gag rule to prevent discussion of petitions relating to abolition, was striking a blow to abolitionists all over the country.

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The Spread of Enfranchisement

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Politics in an Oyster House. By: Richard Caton Woodville.

Following the War of 1812, enfranchisement broadened in American society considerably.

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The Nullification Crisis

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Edward Livingston as Secretary of State.

John Calhoun and his like-minded supporters hoped that nullification would become a legitimate alternative to secession for the South. Nullification was the doctrine that Calhoun believed meant that states could nullify a federal law, on the basis that states had their own sovereignty and the federal government could not infringe on that sovereignty. See Daniel Walker Howe, What Hath God Wrought: Transformation of America, 1815-1848, 402. This approach was designed to primarily perpetuate the institution of slavery, without the conflict culminating in secession, or worse, civil war.

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The Fort Hill Address

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John Calhoun.

John Calhoun, by 1831, had alienated himself from President Andrew Jackson, and he wanted to “head off talk of secession,” and on July 26, 1831, he published his “Fort Hill Address” in a South Carolina newspaper. Daniel Walker Howe, What Hath God Wrought: Transformation of America, 1815-1848, 399.

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Jackson’s Removal of Native Americans

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Depiction of the Removal of Native Americans.

In the first year of Andrew Jackson’s presidency, the removal of Native Americans from their lands became a top priority.

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Introduction of the Seventh President

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Depiction of Andrew Jackson Taking the Oath of Office.

Following the Election of 1828, Andrew Jackson was preparing to move into the White House, newly a widower and introducing a change in leadership.

Continue reading “Introduction of the Seventh President”

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