The Constitution continued to bring national unity until the 1850's, but later, a series of resolutions raised a great

confusion about the view of the Constitution concerning slavery. At this time, the law encouraged a growing split between the North and the South.The Compromise of 1850 seemed to satisfy the States, while it declared California a free State, gave a reasonable amount of money to Kansas, and allowed slave States to keep their slaves. In the early nineteenth century the United States began to split, but as midcentury came around, people became more polarized in their views and the union started to separate drastically. During the period of 1850, until 1861 when the Confederate States of America was formed, the union was clearly divided between the North and South. Although the Constitution was not the only factor leading to sectional tension in America, there are many strong points in the North and South favoring the statement, "By the 1850's the Constitution, originally framed as an instrument of national unity, had become a source of sectional discord and tension and ultimately contributed to the failure of the union it had created." Northerners, during mid-century America believed in the preservation of the undissolvable Union. . This was not included in the Constitution When the Missouri Compromise was ruled unconstitutional under the Dred Scott decision, the due process clause, for the first time, was interpreted to state that people could not be denied their property, displaying that Calhoun was right all along.

1. write a thesis statement Exception paragraph about how good it was Tension created in general Sectional Discord 5. conclusion I know how stressful document based questions are!!!! make sure you don't use 1st person and cite your facts and documents! hope i helped :) In the early nineteenth century the United States began to split, but as midcentury came around, people became more polarized in their views and the union started to separate drastically. During the period of 1850, until 1861 when the Confederate States of America was formed, the union was clearly divided between the North and South. Although the Constitution was not the only factor leading to sectional tension in America, there are many strong points in the North and South favoring the statement, “By the 1850’s the Constitution, originally framed as an instrument of national unity, had become a source of sectional discord and tension and ultimately contributed to the failure of the union it had created.” Northerners, during mid-century America believed in the preservation of the undissolvable Union. When the Constitution was framed in 1787, the founding fathers were concerned about leaving Britain and becoming a Union, as opposed to the issue of slavery that would later prevail. Henry Clay created the Compromise of 1850, which helped solve the problem of slavery in the territories (Document A). This was not included in the Constitut . . . When the Missouri Compromise was ruled unconstitutional under the Dred Scott decision, the due process clause, for the first time, was interpreted to state that people could not be denied their property, displaying that Calhoun was right all along. It is evident that although the Constitution is the supreme law of the land, many Northerners depicted its flaws. An anonymous Georgian, although

somewhat contradictory, explained, “Two Constitutional provisions are necessary to secure Southern rights upon this important question,--the recognition of slavery where the people choose it and the remedy for fugitive slave” (Document B). Sectional difficulties that lead to the break up of the Union can be traced to flaws in the Constitution, although there are other factors as well. In events such as John Brown’s Raid, the North solemnly respected Brown, holding commemoration services in his memorial. This shows that the founding fathers thought well ahead of their time and created a Constitution that included answers to many questions, although, in general, this document eventually contributed to the collapse of the Union. President Jefferson Davis of the Confederate States of America, believing that states were sovereign over the Union, stated, “The separate and independent sovereignty of each State was merged into one common government and nation” (Document H). The Constitution includes the three-fifths clause, along with and end to the African slave trade. After the fugitive slave law was enacted, many personal liberty laws were created in the North and colored people were notified, “You are hereby respectfully CAUTIONED and advised, to avoid conversing with Watchmen and Police Officers of Boston” (Document C). Just as Northerners saw flaws in the Constitution, Southerners viewed it not to be perfect as well. President James Buchanan, a northern man with southern sympathies clarified, “As sovereign states, they and they alone, are responsible before God and the world for the slavery existing among them” (Document G). Regarding the Fugitive Slave Law, a Bostonian Transcendentalist, Ralph Waldo Emerson stated, “As soon as the Constitution ordains an immoral law, it ordains disunion…The Union is at an end as soon as an immoral law is enacted” (Document D). The constitutionality of the protective tariff was questioned during the panic of 1857, which Northerners blamed on the South. Yet another Bostonian, William Lloyd Garrison, an abolitionist reformer exclaimed, “The Constitution which subjects them [slaves] to hopeless bondage is one that we cannot swear to support” (Document E). Although the Constitution is clearly flawed because extremist on both sides had problems with it, this document, which is the supreme law of the land, does have positive aspects. I'm not sure this would be a proper DBQ

When the United States Constitution was ratified in 1787, it was meant to unite the colonies, protect the rights and liberties of American citizens, and establish laws common throughout the nation. But by the 1850's, it had begun to tear apart the Union it had been created to bring together. In this turbulent period of history, the issue of slavery was pulling the North and South farther and farther apart. The North fought to contain slavery, in the interest of balancing power in the Senate and the Electoral College, and abolitionists in the free states wanted to do away with slavery altogether. Southern interests leaned not only toward the continuation of slavery, but the spread of it. Since a slave counted for three fifths of a citizen, the several million slaves in the South meant more representatives in Congress, and more power for southern states. While the Constitution should have been able to settle this conflict once and for all, it rather escalated tensions. It was too vague, and too open to interpretation to effectively solve the problem of slavery. The North felt that the Constitution protected the rights of all men, even slaves. The South, however, believed that it protected their right to do with their proper Around the time of James Buchanan’s inauguration in 1857, a Missouri slave named Dred Scott dared to sue for his freedom, unheard of at this time. He and his master had been living in a free territory when the master died, leaving Scott, as

he believed, a free man. The court could simply have ruled that because he was black, he was not a citizen, and because he was not a citizen, he had no right to sue anyone. But Buchanan wanted the issue to rest, so he encouraged the court to settle the problem. The Supreme Court ruled that not only was Scott not a citizen, but that even if he had been, he couldn’t have won. They decided that even though he’d lived in a free state, that didn’t mean he was free, because Congress had no right to prohibit slavery even in free states. Thus, the Missouri Compromise was unconstitutional, which was essentially seen as the admittance of slavery anywhere in the country. Once again, the North was outraged. The Missouri Compromise had for so long kept slavery contained in the South, but now it was free to spread. In this tumultuous time in American history, the Constitution should have been able to put a stop to the sectional arguments over slavery, but actually, seemed to make the problem worse. Its two-sided interpretations drove the North and South farther apart, and it allowed the control Because of the lack of information in the Constitution, the United States lost its sense of unity. The Constitution contributed to the failure of the union it created by lacking information on slavery and secession. Slavery was a major issue that the states could not agree on. When the issue of slavery came up, the North had a completely different opinion than the South. They were unable to refer to the Constitution for the answer because it lacked that information. With the Compromise of 1850, the fugitive slave law was more strictly enforced. A reason for this was that many slaveholders were losing money due to runaways. They also felt it was unfair for northerners to help slaves reach freedom, while those slaves belonged to them. Ralph Waldo Emerson, a Northerner, said that if an immoral law is made then it is a man’s job to break it. Many Northerners felt that the fugitive slave law was kidnapping, and is therefore immoral. Emerson said, “As soon as the Constitution ordains an immoral law, it orda Few Northerners felt that the people around them, mainly Douglas and Pierce, were forcing them to believe that slavery was right and therefore forcing them to use slaves in one way or another. (Doc. F) Bostonians tried to get around the fugitive slave law by warning the colored slaves that watchmen and police officers were acting as slave catchers and kidnappers. They even went as far as putting up signs to warn runaway slaves about being caught. They knew that they would be punished if someone caught them helping a runaway or even a free black so they put up signs to tell people that they felt slavery was wrong. These signs were their way of showing the South that slavery was against the Constitution. (Doc. C) William Lloyd Garrison said that all the slaves in the United States had no protection from the government and that it was not right for them to be crushed under the American Union. He felt that the Northern motto was “No Union with Slaveholders” and that the North should separate from slaveholders. (Doc. E) The Constitution did not mention secession. When the Constitution was written, the United States was beginning to unite and they were not thinking that states would want to leave the

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