Anti Slavery And The Civil War Essay

1018 Words Sep 24th, 2014 5 Pages
The slogan “Free Soil, Free Speech, Free Labor, Free Men!” was associated with the Free-Soilers, a political party that began in the north leading up to the Civil War. While not specifically an abolitionist group, the party focused on legislation that would block slavery in the expanded United States territories following the Mexican-American War, and as such provided a catalyst to both the abolitionist movement and southern desire for secession. Though short-lived, the Free-Soil Party was significant in American history due to the increased attention it brought to the specific issue of the expansion of slavery and to slave legislation as a whole; the pronounced reflection it gave to the broadening north/south divide; and its seeding of Lincoln’s Republican party, whose political success founded on anti-slavery policies would lead to the Civil War and the end of American slavery practices.
Founded in 1848 in Buffalo, New York, the Free-Soil Party arose in response to the failure of the Wilmot Proviso to pass the Senate. The Wilmot Proviso was drafted to address the issue of slavery following the Mexican-American War, and it stated that slavery would not be legal in the territories added to the United States following the conflict. It narrowly passed the Legislature, but following its failure in the south-controlled Senate, which voted strictly along a north/south divide, “Barnburner” Democrats, anti-slavery Whigs, and Liberty party members formed the Free-Soil Party in…

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