The House Divided

The Debate Over the Western Territories

"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."- Abraham Lincoln

The House Divided

It is the year of 1850, you are one of the Senators that has to come up with a compromise to the issue of slavery. Can this be done or is the house too divided? Their are several main issues that have to be discussed. If California enters the Union as a free state then, this would off set the balance of the Senate and cause the South the to be the minority. (The guy in front of you is from the South and your relationship is already in jeopardy because you despise slavery and he has heard your views; Unintentionally of course.) Between the possible new state of California and the Mississippi River there is a vast amount of territory that has been unsettled and gained from the Mexican-American War that ended several years ago. Should these territories allow slavery or should it be abolished? Should the slave market in the Nation's Capital be closed down? These are just a few of the issues that are being debated. Then, Senator Clay comes up with a proposal that would be called the Compromise of 1850.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly- The Compromise of 1850 results

The Good-

- Our Union has a new state, California admitted our country as an anti-slave state.

- Slave trade abolished in our Nation's capital

The Bad-

- Texas border dispute resolved but, admitted as a slave state

- Texas receive 10 million dollars in payment for its loss.

- Popular Sovereignty-(Voting on Slavery in territories)

The Ugly-

- Fugitive Slave Act Passed

( The Fugitive Slave Act gives the right to a Southerner to come north and take back any African American even if they were born free south just on their word.)

Slave States or Free States?

These states at this time would have popular sovereignty; until the new state has voted to allow or not allow slavery. This could be good or bad and results would be a mixed bag of different positive and negative results. More of these results would probably be bad because if the government of the new state was pro-slavery then it would be allowed and vice versa. The vote may be overturned if the people and the government don't agree on the issue of slavery. This caused "Bleeding Kansas" and other states would probably bleed as well if this was the case. Either slavery should be completely abolished in the territories or be allowed following the first Compromise of 1820. As, many we know this is not how this story went. After Abraham Lincoln was elected president the nation was soon too divided to continue as one. The divided house could no longer stand.

"The past is dead; let it bury its dead, its hopes and its aspirations; before you lies the future--a future full of golden promise." - Jefferson Davis