Question- How valid is this statement? By the 1850's the Constitution, originally framed as an instrument of national unity, had become a source of sectional discord and tension and ultimately contributed to the failure of the union it had created. 1987 AP US History DBQ Essay.
In 1782 Americans won their independence from Britain in the American Revolution. After the colonies won their independence, Americans created the Constitution. Its purpose was to replace the Articles of Confederation and solve its problems and more importantly to bring the states together under a single document creating a stronger union of all the states. There was one problem though: there were a few fundamental issues that the framers could not agree on. These issues included slavery and state vs. federal power. Since the framers could not agree they compromised, leaving these issues unresolved. The Union was formed with the Constitution, which was supposed to unite the states but instead embodied its major divisions.
With conflicting ideas about the provisions in the Constitution related to the issues of slavery and the power of states' governments vs. the national government the union split into rivaling sections ultimately leading to the Civil War.
The debate over slavery and the provisions relating to it in the Constitution was a heated one at the Constitutional Convention. The issues of the slave's rights as either men or the property of their owners, the future of slavery in new territories, and the abolition of slavery and emancipation of slaves were never solved but rather a compromise made. The compromise was in return for the South's support for the ratification of the Constitution these provisions would be included in the Constitution: the Three-fifths Clause, the Fugitive Slave Law, and setting the date of 1808 for when the slave trade...