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Gray 1

Vance Gray
Professor Busby
American History
WC: 597

Failure of the Union
The Compromise of 1850, would seemingly give the South a taste of
victory with a new more effective Fugitive Slave Act. The South acting on
this new law began sending Bounty Hunters for the retrieval of their fugitive
slaves, inadvertently revealing the true brutality of Slavery, thus spreading
throughout the Nation like a raging wildfire. The Northern dissidents fueled
by hatred over the inhumanity of slavery, would progressively intervene in
their capture, by posting flyers warning the colored people of the
empowerment the South now had to act as kidnappers, protests with
physical violence, murder and defied the Constitutional right of the
Southerners and eventually creating the Failure of the Union. (Doc. C)
The abolition of slavery into new territory (Wilmot- Proviso
1846)passed in the House of Representatives nine times, yet failing in the
Senate revealing a significant sign in the South’s loss of power to the North
in Congress. The addition of California into the Union in 1849 would now
leave the South as a minority in the Senate as well. (Free States 16 - Slave
States 15).
(Doc. A.)
A viable contention of the South in their withdraw from the Union was
over the refusal of the North to return fugitive slaves to their rightful owner,
and the owners right to move his property (slaves included) to a new state in
search of fertile soil. The North then insistent upon the South to be excluded
from their soil. The Constitution in its creation needed the constraint of the
Southern states in order for the Constitution to be ratified; furthermore, the
Southern states would never constrain the Constitution without the
provisions to protect slavery. Article -1 Section2 created the 3/5’s count of
slaves for apportionment and taxes. In Article 1, Section 9, Congress is
limited, expressly, from prohibiting the "Importation" of slaves, before 1808.
A compromise of 20 years, allowed the slave trade to continue. While the
North states would declare an immoral law such as slavery to be null and
void. These provisions albeit were tactfully written into the constitution are

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still a binding part of our Constitution therefore it cannot be nullified or it will
kill the entire Constitution. (Doc. B)
Although the immoral, nature of Slavery was becoming more prevalent
throughout the United States, in the rigorous labor of farming it was crucial
to the Era of its time. The freesoilers claiming that slavery was being forced
upon them simply created the illusion to intensify the tension in the hopes of
ending slavery. Hindering the extremely larger Plantation owners and the
competition, they ruled. In 1857, the infamous Supreme Court decision in
(Dred Scott vs. Sandford) ruled; Congress lacked the power to prohibit
slaveries in its territories. It also concluded that people of African ancestry
(whether free or a slave, including Scott) could never become citizens within
the meaning of the Constitution, and hence lacked the ability to bring suit in
federal court. (Chief Justice Roger Taney wrote for the majority of Scott)
The failure of the Union was definitely a finger pointing blame game
and each side completely utilitarian in concept. The Confederate side began
to plummet after the denial to return slaves under the Fugitive Slave Act.
The ruling under the Mexican cession would only increase the threat from the
Yankees of repeating itself like the Fugitive Slave Act. Lastly, the mayhem of
Bleeding Kansas, Massacre of Pottawatomie, and Harpers Ferry left the South
with no other choice but to defend what was taken away from them.