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The United States struggle for compromise during the 19th century During the early 19th century

America was able to solve most of its political disputes via means of compromise; however by the year 1 !" this was no longer possible# During this time span there were many issues which divided the $orth and South% these disagreements lead to violent outbrea&s% petitions% and rebellions which eventually lead to the American 'ivil (ar# )t is said that Americans were no longer able to reside their political disputes with compromise because of Sectionalism% (estward *+pansion% the ,eculiar )nstitutions% and the Secession of the southern colonies# These events were dividing the colonies in the years predating 1 !"% ma&ing it harder for Americans to ma&e decisions that could satisfy everyone and with the addition of Sectionalism the colonies were ready to separate by 1 !"# -ne can .ustify this by analy/ing &ey events during this time period% loo&ing for e+amples of the division which disabled Americas previous ability to solve its problems via compromise# -ne of the &ey events in this time period which was a ma.or contributor of Americas inability to compromise was Sectionalism# Sectionalism caused the $orthern colonies to divide from the south because of their political disagreements# This also caused the American people to become more loyal to their own regions interests rather than the nations interests as a whole 0Doc A and Doc D1# Therefore Sectionalism made the compromise of political issues leading to 1 !" very difficult for America because it caused a large portion of the United States to disagree completely with the other# -ne e+ample can be seen when American ,oliticians were trying to decide which of the new western states would be free% or slave states# *ven though this was near impossible to compromise; American politicians managed to satisfy both parties with the 2issouri 'ompromise of 1 3"# 4owever% American politicians behavior towards during this time was

characteri/ed as being distracted from the bigger picture% solutions were only temporary# This would be addressed later by Abraham 5incoln in during his speech in )llinois during 1 6 % where he calls the other ,olitians cowards 0Doc 71# Another one &ey event during this time span which can be used to show the decline of Americas ability to compromise was (estward *+pansion# (estward *+pansion encouraged many people to move west which opened new land and opportunities# As these opportunities became available to the American people% the demand for slaves to harvest the new land also grew# (ith the addition of the $orth 8uestioning the humanity of slavery% the issue of e+panding slavery into the new land grew 0Doc 91# This declined Americas ability to compromise because it created many issues surrounding wither the new states should be free or slave states# A good e+ample of this is the 2issouri 'ompromise where the $orth did not want slavery to e+pand into 2issouri or 2aine% while the South wanted the opposite# The $orth decided to compromise by admitting 2issouri as a slave state and admitting 2aine into the Union as a free state% it also abolished slavery in states north of the :!;:"< parallel# -ther compromises in the future got even more heated% such as the 'ompromise of 1 6" and the =ansas>$ebras&a act% where people in =ansas got so agitated with the =ansas>$ebras&a act laws that an event called ?9leeding =ansas@ caused a mass eruption of violence to occur# This violence showed division and the willingness of the South to fight for their rights against the $orth% who wanted compromise 0Doc *1# *vents li&e that which did not favor slavery were grouped among other laws and acts; this group was called the ,eculiar )nstitution#

The peculiar institution was what pro>slavery people referred to a group of that they thought were unfair towards them# They felt as if their word was not getting out% and they were being suppressed# This can be seen with the 7ag rule 0Doc '1% where congress tabled% and ignored every petition regarding slavery sent to them# This enraged the south because they felt that everyone was pic&ing on them% and were not being treated fairly by the north# The final reason which shows Americas declining ability to compromise was successionism# (ith election of 1 !"% Abraham 5incoln won the election with :9A of the popular vote 0Doc 41% this enraged the south and was the straw that bro&e the camels bac&# Abraham wanted to preserve the union via means of compromise; however the South wanted to &eep their way by whatever means possible 0Doc *1# This showed that the *lectoral 'ollege overruled the popular vote% which caused the South to start to form militias and eventually succeed from the Union# This literally divided the Union% which was shortly followed by the American 'ivil war#

The events line up to show a trend that America wasnt able to compromise because they were too divided# 9eing divided on so many issues causes the American government system to fail; this is because the system is designed upon the concept of compromise# -ne can say that this isnt true because the $orthern states could have let the Southern states &eep slavery below the ,arallel :!;:"<% however this would not have wor&ed because slavery would have spread to the tip of South America# This shows that if the government cannot agree on anything then it will be impossible to create a compromise% which was the problem that the government was facing during this time period#