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.
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.
While many Americans would come to embrace manifest destiny, the idea that America would achieve its imperial destiny and dominate the continent, it was not a politician or president who coined the term. Rather, it was coined in 1845 in New York’s Democratic Review magazine. See Daniel Walker Howe, What Hath God Wrought: Transformation of America, 1815-1848, 702-03.
William Henry Harrison, a Whig, won the White House in the election of 1840. In March 1841, for his inauguration, he stood in the cold and wind and spoke for an hour and a half. See Daniel Walker Howe, What Hath God Wrought: Transformation of America, 1815-1848, 570.
With the communications and transportation revolution came new, unforeseeable consequences. One such consequence was the spread of cholera and other contagious diseases, which would test the mettle of Americans.
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Thomas Jefferson Replies to Madison
Paris, December 20, 1787
Following are excerpts from Thomas Jefferson’s letter to James Madison:
“I like the power given the Legislature to levy taxes, and for that reason solely approve of the greater house being chosen by the people Continue reading “Constitution Sunday: Jefferson Replies to Madison”
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.
Letter from James Madison to Thomas Jefferson
New York, October 24, 1787
Following are excerpts from James Madison’s letter to Thomas Jefferson, dated October 24, 1787:
“It remains then to be enquired whether a majority having any common interest, or feeling any common passion, will find sufficient motives to restrain them from oppressing the minority. Continue reading “Constitution Sunday: Letter from James Madison to Thomas Jefferson”