Stephen Douglas Argumentative Analysis

777 Words4 Pages
The South was firmly against the admission of California as a free state. Its main fear was the upset of power balance, as Calhoun contended, “the Senate, the last bastion of balance, would be stacked against the South by the end of the decade.” In addition, Meade argued that “[the slaveholding South] needed room to expand,” and that “California was ideal for slavery.” Despite their best efforts, the southerners’ arguments didn’t do much because of the fundamental gap between the North and the South on the issue of slavery; it was nearly impossible for one side to convince the other. In the end, Stephen Douglas put through the admission of California by “getting some men to miss a crucial vote and others to vote with the other side.” So in…show more content…
Politically, the South believed that they didn’t have enough power in the government with the Northwest Ordinance, Missouri Compromise, and California statehood. Calhoun claimed that the “many aggressions against the South had destroyed the equilibrium.” The South also believed in the infringement of states’ rights, as Robert Rhett put it, “as an agent of the states, the federal government could not discriminate against the citizens of any state.” They believed that the government had no right to ban slavery anywhere. The American colonists experienced a more extreme version of lack of political rights and power. As they said, “no taxation without representation,” the British Parliament imposed taxes and other unfair acts on the colonists without any consent. Moreover, the South thought that they suffered economically from the Union. They complained that the various charges that “added some 20 percent to the cost of cotton and other commodities went into the pockets of northern merchants…” It resembled the colonists’ complaint on the Navigation Acts, which gave British merchants monopoly on trades. Also economically, the South suffered because of the various bans on slavery. Davis said, “plantation slavery rapidly wear out soil, the South needed fresh land for an expanding population.” The South felt that they had lost much fortune because of the federal government. Similarly, the Proclamation of 1763 also prevented the Americans from acquiring new land. Finally, the deep social and ideological differences also accelerated the secession. The South relied heavily on slavery, it was “an inseparable part of the southern way of life.” Meanwhile the North thought that it “threatened the republican ideals of white American society.” In the South, there were pro-slavery arguments by Harper to justify slavery as
Open Document