Three-Fifths Compromise In The Constitution And The Civil War

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From the American Revolution to the 13th Amendment, the institution of slavery has been a major issue in the United States. Many individuals and groups fought relentlessly against slavery, speaking out about the evils of slavery and what threats it poses to the preservation of the Union. The government also attempted to deal with slavery, but not all attempts were successful. Since slaves were the backbone of the South’s economy, compromise on slavery was very difficult. This is a result of southern representatives in the federal government fighting very persistently against abolitionists. The continual debate over the institution of slavery, part of the debate over states’ rights versus the federal government’s power, was one of the factors …show more content…

Several compromises were made over the issue of slavery between the Three-Fifths Compromise in the Constitution and the Civil War. Most of these compromises were made in the hope of avoiding a civil war between the North and the South, but they just prolonged the inevitable battle. The Missouri Compromise was one of the first federal laws that focused solely on slavery, including the balance of slave and free states in the federal government. When Missouri applied for statehood in 1817, there was a balance in the Senate of 11 slave states and 11 free states. Debate broke out in Congress, owing to the fact that if Missouri was added as a free state or slave state, it would tip the balance towards that side with two more votes in the Senate. In the midst of the debate, Maine had also requested admittance to the Union. In the Missouri Compromise, both Missouri and Maine were admitted to the Union, with Missouri as a slave state and Maine as a free state, preserving the balance of free and slave states. In 1854, the issue of slavery in the newly created Nebraska and Kansas territories was altered to be decided by popular sovereignty (doc. 2). This was in part because the Supreme Court case Dred Scott v. Sandford, lasting from 1847-1857, had declared that the Missouri Compromise was unconstitutional (doc. 3). This meant that the issue of slavery in these territories was now to be decided by popular vote within those territories. This led to “Border Ruffians”, proslavery supporters, and antislavery groups traveling into Kansas in hope of affecting the outcome of the vote. These forces battled each other in Kansas in a “mini” civil war, giving the territory the nickname “Bleeding

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