Dbq Sectionalism In The 1800's

1118 Words 5 Pages
During the 1800’s, the constitution was suppose to establish America as one nation, but instead the constitution created sectional discord and tension and contributed to the failure of the Union. Slavery in the 1800’s was exceedingly cruel, African Americans were thought of as property, were not allowed to have rights,were kept in horrendous living conditions and were treated unfairly. Sectionalism, when one’s views are based on where they are from, divided America into two sections, the north who opposed slavery and the south who supported slavery. Citizens were typically proud of where they were from and stayed loyal to their region. The American Government questioned if slavery should have been deemed unconstitutional in the Constitution, …show more content…
The quote also caused tension for people helping slaves escape because they would have to face the consequence of the law and slave catchers because they felt more pressure to catch the runaway slaves. According to Ralph Waldo Emerson in the Address on The Fugitive Slave Law on May 3,1851, the fugitive slave act also created tension for the Union. Ralph stated “The Union is at an end as soon as an immoral law is enacted”(Doc D). This meant that by enacting the Fugitive Slave Law, the union would be destroyed because the law encouraged slavery. The Union was anti-slavery so the members in the Union disagreed with the Fugitive Slave Law which went against the Union’s objective, to abolish slavery. To summarize, slavery added anxiety for slaves and white citizens, especially when the Fugitive Slave Act was enacted and it helped destroy the …show more content…
In 1852 William Lloyd Garrison reported in The United States Constitution that “The words ‘slave’ and ‘slavery’ are not to be found in the Constitution….Our motto is ‘No Union with slaveholders”(Doc E). Based on Garrison’s writing, there is no direct answer to whether slavery is legal or not in the Constitution. Because the Constitution does not acknowledge if slavery was allowed, it forced politicians to “read between the lines” and everyone interpreted the Constitution differently. That started to disintegrate the Union because people had different views which upset members of the Union because they could not fight against the South alone. The Constitution also added tension between the North and the South. In President James Buchanan’s Fourth annual message to Congress on December 3, 1860, he noted that “The Southern States, standing on the basis of the Constitution, have a right to demand this act of justice from the States of the North”(Doc G). Buchanan was referring

Related Documents