The Secessionist Movement

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The secessionist movement leading up to the Civil War was rooted in white southerners’s desperation to maintain their economically archaic societal norms. Rapid evolution to capitalism in the North startled the South, for they feared the Union would prioritize the unfamiliar notion of industrialism over the stable southern agriculture. Tensions dealing with slavery began with the drafting of the Constitution; however, the threat of abolitionism did not become truly apparent until the mid-19th century with the adoption of multiple pieces of contradicting legislation. The North and South maintained drastically different views on the concept of slavery, which became glaringly apparent with the Anthony Burns event as well as the developments that followed. The South grew to believe that such differences were irrevocable, and that secession was the only route in which they could uphold their principles. As…show more content…
Southern Slave States feared an increase in Free States in the North, so with the implementation of the Missouri Compromise, they felt slightly more secure in their position in the Union. Henry Clay’s compromise forbade slavery north of the 36th parallel, which added security to the North as well, yet it was eventually deemed unconstitutional in the Supreme Court case Dred Scott v. Sandford. It was replaced by the 1854 Kansas-Nebraska Act with the execution of a policy known as popular sovereignty, which essentially allows the citizens of an area to determine whether they would allow slavery in that specific area. Nevertheless, neither the Missouri Compromise nor the Kansas-Nebraska Act impacted the South’s decision to secede like the Compromise of 1850. Though it was meant to benefit the South through strengthening the Fugitive Slave Act,
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