The United States And The Civil War Essay

2014 Words 9 Pages
During the 19th century the United States had for the first time citizens that learned about the revolutionary war, and the first time in American history that the nation was divided on an issue that seemed to impact many. Slavery was an issue consistently debated in the late 1840’s until reconstruction. As the United States began to expand westward the debate of whether new states would enter the Union as a slave or free state. This debate almost brought the young nation to its knees. Henry Clay (Senator from Kentucky) attempted to get an omnibus bill passed, however after much debate the bill was killed in the senate. It was not until Senator Stephen Douglas divided Clays package into five separate bills was a compromise reached. This later became known as the Compromise of 1850. One of the five bills that was passed targeted fugitive slaves. The Fugitive Slave Act was nothing revolutionary; the constitution contained a fugitive slave clause, and even a law enforcing the clause had been passed in 1793. This clause however sparked uproar because this act removed due process that many northern states ensured to run-away slaves and made it a federal issue.
This bill caused an uproar, and Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner, an outspoken abolitionist, was not an exception. Sumner claimed that “according to the true spirit of the Constitution and the sentiments of the fathers, [slavery] can find no place under our National Government . . . it is in every respect sectional,…

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