Great Compromise DBQ

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The rupture in the United States that the argument over slavery had made was far too deep and wide to be mended by compromises alone. During the early 1800s, Americans were optimistic about “fixing” the slavery issue by passing laws and bills that satisfied both the North and South, but they were proved largely ineffective. It seems that sectionalism had begun to overcome nationalism. Northerners tended to not only disagree with themselves having to comply with fugitive slave laws and with slavery being legal in new states, but also with the South being allowed to practice slavery altogether. The South demanded that Northerners help return the South’s legal, property (runaway slaves), that citizens of the South who wished to move west be allowed to bring their slaves with them, and that the North not mess with the keystone of their agricultural economy. Hostilities between the two sections were seen everywhere from Church to politics, and at such levels that made it clear that no compromise could have possibly made everyone happy.

The political problems from slavery were enormous. Almost all of popular politics revolved around slavery. In the days of when the compromises just started being put into place, the elections were party vs. party or candidate vs. candidate, with states from both the North and South voting for both parties. For example, in the election of 1800, both Jefferson and Adams had at least one electoral vote from both the North and South. However, as Document H clearly shows that with very slight exception of some states won by the Constitutional Union and by the Northern Democrats, the presidential election was pretty much just southern states against northern states. As shown in Documents A and D, where Henry Clay refutes South Carolina nullifying a federal ruling and Daniel Webster...