Southern Compromise

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Even during its infancy, America was divided on the important issue of slavery. Divisions became ever more acute as the practice first died out and then was abolished in most of the North, while the South –in particular the cotton belt of the Deep South- it became an inseparable part of the section’s economy and society. This and the belief of many Americans in the western and southern states in a limited federal government was largely glazed over until the 1840s as more free states were admitted into the union. Southern states became increasingly concerned because they believed that the North might try to abolish slavery and further limit the powers of the state governments once they had a majority in congress. A series of compromises were…show more content…
The new compromises struck by legislators no longer had the same effect as earlier ones because neither side was truly willing to compromise. For the North, many believed that slavery shouldn’t be allowed in any of the new territories and a small but growing minority thought that slavery should immediately abolished in the entire country. These strong beliefs only strengthened the Southern belief that if the North had their way, the South would be a permanent minority and that their way of life would be forced to end. These hardened stances were the most easily observed in the Kansas territory after the Kansas-Nebraska Act became law. Pro and anti-slavery groups became increasingly violent until the conflict was known throughout the country as Bleeding Kansas. John Brown, one of the fiercest anti-slavery militants in the conflict, tried to bring one of the southern states’ worst fears to fruition when he seized control of an arsenal in Harper’s Ferry, Virginia with the intent of inciting a slave rebellion in the southern heartland. He was ultimately unsuccessful, but his actions in 1859 caused many southerners to believe that the union could no longer
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