Your assignment is to prepare and submit a paper on 1. to what extent could the united states between 1776 and 1865 be described as a house divided against itself. To what extent could the United s between 1776 and 1865 be described as a house divided against itself?
From the 17th to 19th century, US states had joined two separate sides depending on their positions on the issue of slavery. A slave state was a state where slaves were legalized at any particular time, and Free states were states that were against slavery. Slavery is considered to be the core cause of the division, and it is also considered to be the primary cause of the American civil war. The main purpose of this paper is to describe to what extent the United States between 1776 and 1865 was described as a house that is divided against itself.
Initially, United States was one whole consolidated unit. Slavery resistance began when people started to deny support, overturn the already established orders and more importantly challenging them. Slavery significantly contributed to division among the US citizen (Lowance 45).
Political representation was another cause of the division among the Free States and Slave state. Politicians between the Free states and slave states were concerned about power balance in the Senate. The politicians were appealing that every state should be represented by two members of state and more importantly, there should be an equal number of free states and slave states. Resistance became violent when the population of Free States became more than that of slave states in the House of Representatives (Farmer 213).
Abolitionist movements were also a contributing factor to the division Americans. In the year 1830, individuals who wanted to see various institutions abolished within the US started becoming more influential and strident. These individuals claimed they preferred obedience to higher law over having obedience to a constitution. When the constitution was passed, it made some explicit mention of slavery. It allowed slaves to be counted as a third of a person. This activity was meant to determine the representation, as well as the population in the House of Representatives. This Act was not supported by everybody especially individuals residing in slave states.
The resistance turned out to be more severe in effort to bring more slave states. For instance, resisters sought after to make Missouri a slave state. Instead of making the region a slave state, a Missouri compromise was developed. Missouri Compromise was as federal law that regulated slavery in the western US territories. The law, passed in 1820 restricted slavery in the north region in the former Louisiana Territory. The only areas that were allowed to conduct slavery were the boundary of Missouri State (Lowance 85).
Most Americans apprehended the agreement to be an indispensable compromise in almost every aspect. Despite the fact that the war still happened later in 1861, the Missouri compromise helped in postponing the way by reducing the resistance between individuals from various states. The main dispute was involving competition for power in the Congress and control of future territories between the northern states and the southern states.
In 1860, Abraham Lincoln led in opposing the expansion of slavery into the US territories claiming that the house cannot divide itself. Abraham Lincoln mentioned this after evaluating the disunion that was being created by slavery. Lincoln expressed the moral opposition to slavery in public and in private. His speech contributed considerably to the end of the various divisions among the Americans.
In recap, division due to various resistances made the situation to be described as a house divided against itself. There were rivalries between the Free states and slave states. As each side pushed for its ideas, Abraham Lincoln noticed the division effect and delivered a speech that the encouraged the end of the conflict.
Farmer, Alan. Access to History: The American Civil War: Causes, Courses and Consequences
1803-1877 4th ed. New York: Hodder Education, 2008. Document.
Lowance, Mason I. A House Divided: The Antebellum Slavery Debates in America, 1776-1865.
Chicago: Princeton University Press, 2003. Document.