Crittenden Compromise

Jennifer Su and Taddie Cook


The Crittenden Compromise was written in 1860, after South Carolina had already secceded from the Union. It was sponsored by Senator James Henry Crittenden of Kentucky. The compromise included six proposed amendments to the Constitution designed to appease the South. The federal government would protect slavery south of the 36 degree 30’ line in all current territories or that may be required. Future states could choose to come in with or without slavery due to popular sovereignty, but slavery would be protected in the southern states. This may have lead to the permanent upkeep of slavery. Congress would be unable to ban slavery in any military posts, or in Washington D.C. They would also be unable to interfere with interstate slave trade, and would provide compensation to owners of fugitive slaves. The amendments would reinstate the fugitive slave laws, allowing Congress to sue the county that did not observe the law, however, the reward for capturing or releasing a slave would be made equal. The amendment would be unable to be changed through future amendments. The proposal was not supported by Lincoln, and was not voted on favorably by any republicans. Lincoln said that the compromise would lead to a state of war with any area south of the southern states in an attempt to grow slavery by moving south into Mexico and Cuba.
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The refusal of this compromise removed all hope of future compromise and once and for all made the Civil War inevitable. If passed, it would have lead to the permanent upkeep of slavery, as well as future wars with Mexico and Cuba, but would have succeeded in keeping the rest of the Confederacy from succeeding. This may have kept up the possibility of states succeeding in the front, as the president would be established the secession from the Union gets results instead of the Civil War, which ended the threat of secession.

Works Cited

"Crittenden Compromise." Crittenden Compromise. Tulane University, n.d. Web. 18 Dec. 2014.

John Critterden. Digital image. Civil War 150 Year Blog. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Dec. 2014.

Kennedy, David M., Lizabeth Cohen, and Thomas Andrew Bailey. The American Pageant: A History of the American People. Boston: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2010. Print.

Schulten, Susan. Critterden Map. Digital image. Last Chance for Compromise. New York Times, 12 Jan. 2012. Web. 18 Dec. 2014.