U.S. COnstitution

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The U.S. Constitution created a new type of government- federalism, which divided power between the state and national government. During the Reconstruction and Extension of slavery periods there has been many problems and different views about federalism.

During the extension of slavery period 1820-1860 one specific disagreement that occurred between the sides is how slavery should be treated in those lands centered on constitutional compromises. In the South, Southerners insisted that slavery be permitted in the new territories. They felt that slavery in the territories was only legal if Congress didn't have the authority to prevent the extension of slavery into territories and also that Congress had a constitutional duty to protect slavery in the South and in the territories. But in the North, Northerners who opposed slavery had a variety of positions. Some wanted it abolished throughout the nation. Some for racist or economic reasons or both didn't want to compete with slave labor in the territories.

Some sided with Abraham Lincoln and how they wanted to stops its spread to new territories but they felt that the Constitution protected slavery where it already existed. The Northerners that wanted to stop the spread of slavery used arguments such as that the Constitution gave Congress power over the territories, the Northwest Ordinance banned slavery in the territory north of the Ohio River, and the Missouri Compromise of 1820 banned slavery north of 36°31' latitude. This issue of slavery in the new territories was settled for sometime by the Compromise of 1850 which said that California came into the union as a free state, the Fugitive Slave Act required the escaped slaves be returned to their owners and popular sovereignty would determine whether a territory in the Mexican Cession was to be free or a slave state.

During the Reconstruction period...