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PERIOD V. 1789-1861. NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT.
PIERCE'S ADMINISTRATION.1 1853-1857.
1. The boundary between the United States and Mexico, as prescribed by the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo,2 became a subject of dispute, owing to the inaccuracy of the map on which that treaty was based. The question was settled, in 1853, by negotiations, which established the present boundary between the two countries -- the United States purchasing the region including the Mesilla Valley.3
2. In the summer of 1854 an expedition to Japan, under Commodore Matthew C. Perry, succeeded in negotiating a treaty which secured to the United States the advantages of trade with that distant empire. During this administration other enterprises were undertaken which reflect great credit upon the enlightened policy of the government -- one to explore the tributaries of La Plata River, another to explore the North Pacific. Expeditions were also sent to ascertain the most practicable route for a railroad to the Pacific.
3. The sectional feeling which had prevailed since the annexation of Texas had subsided, and on the accession of Mr. Pierce, the country bade fair to enjoy a second era of good feeling;4 but the political calm was not of long continuance. In January, 1854, a bill known as the Kansas-Nebraska Bill was brought forward in the national Senate by Stephen A. Douglas, of Illinois, providing for the organization of two
1 see Appendix, p. 22. 2 See p. 218, ¶ 7.
3 This region is often called the Gadsden Purchase, from General James Gadsden, the United States minister, who negotiated the treaty. It was purchased for $10,000,000.
4 Though neither section was entirely satisfied with the compromise measures of 1850, both the north and the south looked upon them as a final settlement of the questions in dispute.
QUESTIONS. -- 1. What is said of the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo? How was the question growing out of it settled? 2. What is said of the expedition to Japan? What other expeditions are mentioned? 3. What was the state of the country on the accession of Pierce? What was the Kansas-Nebraska bill, and by whom was it brought forward?
CHAPTER XII. PIERCE'S ADMINISTRATION.
territories, one to be named Kansas, and the other Nebraska,1 and leaving the question whether they should be slave or free to be determined in each territory by its inhabitants.2 The passage of this bill would, in effect, repeat the Missouri Compromise.3 At the north the proposition was vehemently opposed as a breach of compact. A renewal of heated discussions on questions pertaining to slavery followed. But notwithstanding strenuous opposition, in and out of Congress, the measure became a law in May.
4. An intense rivalry now sprang up between the pro-slavery men in the south and anti-slavery men in the north, in regard to colonizing Kansas, the former being determined to secure that territory to slavery, and the latter to freedom. Each party sent out emigrants prepared to carry out its views, and hostile encounters were the natural result. Elections to organize a territorial government were conducted with great irregularities. Armed bands of pro-slavery marauders, chiefly from the neighboring counties of Missouri, took possession of the polls, prevented the free state settlers from voting, and forced their own votes into the ballot-boxes. Settlements were attacked and pillaged, and for a few years Kansas was made the scene of lawless violence and civil strife.
5. The rescinding of the Missouri Compromise,3 and the angry excitement which followed, and which was kept alive by the disturbances in Kansas, had a controlling influence in the reorganization of parties. The Whig party4 ceased to exist as a national organization. The Democratic party gained almost unopposed control in the Southern States, while in the free states the organization opposed to the extension of slavery5 became powerful under the name of the Republican party.6
1 Kansas agreed in latitude with the present state; in longitude it extended 4o 30' farther west. Nebraska extended from Kansas north to British America, and from the Rocky Mountains east to the White Earth and Missouri Rivers.
2 This was called popular sovereignty; also nicknamed squatter sovereignty.
3 See p. 191, ¶ 3. 4 See p. 201, ¶ 16. 5 See p. 218, ¶ 1.
6 Another party, calling itself the American party, but generally known as the Know-Nothing party, was, in 1853, secretly organized on the principle of opposition to foreign influence. Its development was rapid and powerful, and for a time it triumphed in many of the state elections, but its decline was as sudden as its growth. At the next presidential election the candidate of the American party received the vote of one state -- Maryland. A party called the Native American party, and advocating the same principles, had been formed In 1844-5.
QUESTIONS. -- What would the passage of this bill in effect do? How was the proposition regarded at the north? What followed? When did the measure become a law? 4. Give an account of the rivalry in colonizing Kansas. How were elections for organizing a territorial government disturbed? What was the state of affairs In Kansas for a few years? 5. What had a controlling influence In the reorganization of parties? What is said of the Whig party? Of the Democratic party? Of the Republican party?
PERIOD V. 1789-1861. NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT.
6. In the presidential election of 1856 the Democrats elected James Buchanan, of Pennsylvania, president, and John C. Breckinridge, of Kentucky, vice-president.
These candidates received the electoral vote of five free and fourteen slave states. The Republicans supported for president John C. Frémont,1 of California, who received the electoral vote of eleven free states. At no previous election had the opponents of slavery carried a single state.
BUCHANAN'S ADMINISTRATION.2 1857-1861.
1. SOON after the inauguration of Mr. Buchanan, the anti-slavery sentiment of the north was still further roused by a decision of the Supreme Court of the United States, delivered by Chief Justice Taney, in the Dred Scott case. The decision declared that the Missouri Compromise3 was unconstitutional; that, under the Constitution, slave owners have a right to hold their slaves in the territories; and that neither negro slaves, nor their descendants, slave or free, can become citizens of the United States.4
2. The legislatures of several of the free states passed or revived enactments called Personal Liberty Laws, designed
1 see p. 214,¶ 3. 2 See Appendix, p. 22. 3 See p. 191, ¶ 3.
4 Scott, a slave, was carried by his master into a free state, and then into United States territory north of the Missouri Compromise line, where he married his wife, also a slave, who had been brought by her master to the same place, some time afterwards they were taken to Missouri, at that time a slave state, and they and their children held as slaves. They claimed their freedom on the ground that they had been carried by their master where slavery was forbidden. Their claim was not allowed, but the points stated above were not directly before the court, and the decision excited great opposition. The administration and the Democrats sustained it because it was a decision of the Supreme Court of the United States; the Republicans opposed it on the ground of its intrinsic wrong, and because it included points not properly before the court. A minority of the court gave opinions adverse to that of the chief.
QUESTIONS. -- 6. Who were elected the next president and vice-president? -- How was the electoral vote of the free and slave states distributed in this election? Map. XIII. 1. What affect was produced by the decision of the Supreme Court in the Dred Scott case? What did the decision declare? 2. By what legislatures were the personal liberty laws enacted, and for what purpose?
CHAPTER XII. PIERCE'S ADMINISTRATION.
to guard against abuse in the execution of the fugitive slave law,1 or to render inoperative some of its obnoxious provisions. These laws gave great offence to the people of the south, who considered that they betrayed a want of good faith in carrying out the compromise of 1850.
3. In the latter part of the year 1857 a most disastrous financial convulsion swept over the United States.
It probably grew out of excessive speculation in western lands and railroads. The successive failures of crops tended to aggravate the evil. Bankruptcies and failures became the order of the day, banks suspended specie payment, and there was a general depression of business, which prevailed throughout the ensuing year.
4. A body of men styling themselves Mormons,2 or "Latter-Day Saints," had, after various wanderings, settled in the valley of the Great Salt Lake, in Utah, a territory organized in 1850. Here they refused to obey any authority unless sanctioned by Brigham Young, their leader. Under him they set at nought the laws of the United States. Polygamy and other practices revolting to the moral sentiments of Christendom were common among them. In 1857, the president appointed Alfred Cumming governor of the territory, and sent him to Utah, supported by a body of United States troops. At first the Mormons prepared to resist, but at length were induced to submit, and the governor entered the valley, without bloodshed, the next spring.
5. Three new states were added to the Union during the presidency of Mr. Buchanan -- Minnesota, in 1858; Oregon, in 1859; and Kansas, in 1861.3
Minnesota, embracing nearly twice the area of the present state, was made a territory in 1849, with the Missouri and White Earth Rivers for its western boundary. The portion of the territory east of the Mississippi had belonged to Wisconsin,4 and the portion west to Iowa.5 This region
1 Some of the previsions of the fugitive slave law were especially obnoxious to the people of the free states. The alleged fugitive was not allowed the right of trial by jury, and all good citizens were commanded to assist in the prompt and efficient execution of the law, whenever the process should be resisted.
2 The Mormons are a sect founded by Joseph Smith, a native of Vermont. In 1830 he published the Book of Mormon, which he pretended was a special revelation from heaven of a new religion, and instituting a new church, of which he was to be the head. Smith, with a few followers, settled first in Ohio, then in Missouri, and afterwards in Illinois, on the banks of the Mississippi, where he began to build the city of Nauvoo. Here the Mormons increased rapidly, and, after a time, set at defiance the laws of the state. In 1845, Smith having been killed by a mob of enraged citizens, the Mormons sold out their possessions in Nauvoo and migrated westward. In 1848, under the lead of Brigham Young, who had succeeded Smith. they reached Salt Lake, where they have built Salt Lake City, and brought under cultivation large tracts of land. Their numbers in Utah are variously estimated at from fifty thousand to a hundred thousand, and there are about a hundred thousand Mormons in other parts of the world.
3 Minnesota is the Indian name of the river, also named St. Peter's, and signifies cloudy water. Kansas is the name of a river, and of a tribe of Indians, and is said to signify smoky water. For Oregon, see p. 207, note 3. 4 See p. 218, ¶ 3. 5 See p. 206, ¶ 13.
QUESTIONS. -- What was the effect in the south of the personal liberty laws? 3. What can you tell of the financial convulsion of 1857? 4. What is said of the Mormons, and of their difficulties with the United States? 5. Name the states admitted to the union during the presidency of Mr. Buchanan, with the dates of their admission. -- Give an account of the early history of Minnesota.
PERIOD V. 1789-1861. NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT.
was penetrated by La Salle as early as 1680.1 St. Paul was settled in 1846, by emigrants from the Eastern States.
Oregon 2 was organized in 1848 as a territory, including all the possessions of the United States west of the Rocky Mountains and north of parallel 42o. In 1853 its northern boundary was made the Columbia and parallel 46o. When it became it state it was reduced to its present limits. Since 1845 there has been a feeling of hostility between the whites and Indians of Oregon. This feeling broke out in open war in 1855, and again three years later. In these wars there was some loss of life and property, but no general battle.
6. In Kansas the struggle between the pro-slavery men and the antislavery men continued.3 The president, in violation of the provisions of the Kansas-Nebraska bill, lent his influence to support the policy of the former, though it was against the wishes of a majority of the actual settlers. But so powerful a stream of immigration had been flowing in from the free states, that it was found impossible, either by fair means or by fraud and violence, to fasten slavery upon the territory, and Kansas entered the Union as a free state, but not till six years of angry agitation had endangered the harmony of the country, and done much to change the political parties of the nation.
7. In October, 1859, an event occurred which created great excitement throughout the country, and added to the sectional animosity which already prevailed to an alarming extent at the south. This was a mad attempt of John Brown to free slaves in Virginia and Maryland.
John Brown had been prominent among the free-state men of Kansas as a bold and resolute leader, and had suffered deeply from pro-slavery invaders of that territory. On the night of October 16, with twenty-one associates,4 he seized the United States arsenal at Harper's Ferry, intending to arm from its stores such slaves as might be induced to join him. He, however, failed to excite a revolt, and was overpowered by the militia of the neighborhood and a party of United States marines, under the command of Colonel Robert E. Lee. Of the insurgents, thirteen were killed, two escaped, and the rest, with their leader, were tried, condemned, and executed, at Charlestown, Virginia. Many persons in the south believed that Brown was merely the agent of a large number at the north, who had conspired to create an insurrection among the slaves. At the next session of Congress, the Senate appointed a committee to investigate the subject; but no evidence was elicited to implicate any one in the scheme except Brown and his immediate associates.
1 See p. 68 Chap. XII., ¶ 3. 2 See p. 207, ¶¶ 1, 2. 3 See p. 223, ¶ 4.
4 Sixteen white men, three of whom were his own sons, and five colored men.
QUESTIONS. -- Give an account of the early history of Oregon. What is said of the state of feeling between the whites and Indians of Oregon? 6. What is said of the struggle between the pro-slavery and the antislavery men in Kansas? Course of the president? Effect of immigration to Kansas from the free states? 7. What event occurred in October, 1859, which increased sectional animosity at the south? -- Give an account of the attempt of John Brown to free slaves.
CHAPTER XIII. BUCHANAN'S ADMINISTRATION.
8. Besides this attempt to liberate slaves, several other causes operated to keep alive and increase the bitterness of sectional feeling. The principal of these were the Dred Scott case,1 the Personal Liberty Laws,2 and the civil war in Kansas.3 The division of parties had now become in a still greater degree sectional.4
9. Such was the state of affairs in the autumn of 1860, when the Republican party5 elected Abraham Lincoln, of Illinois, president, and Hannibal Hamlin, of Maine, vice-president. These candidates received all the electoral votes from the free states excepting three from New Jersey, but none from the slave states.
10. As soon as the result of the election was known, the political leaders in several of the southern states set in motion a plot, already prepared, for withdrawing their states from the Union. South Carolina took the lead in secession; Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, and Louisiana followed. Delegates from these six states met in convention at Montgomery, Alabama, February 4, 1861. Delegates from Texas joined them soon after.6
11. The members of this convention proceeded to organize a government for the rebellious states, under the name of the Confederate States of America adopted a flag,7 -- which, like
1 See p. 224, ¶ 1. 2 See p. 224, ¶ 2. 3 See p. 222, ¶ 3, and 226, ¶ 6. 4 See p. 223, ¶ 5.
5 The Republicans took the position that Congress has the right to exclude slavery from the territories. The Democrats had two candidates for the presidency, Stephen A. Douglas, of Illinois, and John C. Breckinridge, of Kentucky. The former represented the doctrine that Congress has no power over slavery in the territories, but that the people of any territory have a right to exclude it or to adopt it, as they choose. The latter represented the doctrine that neither Congress nor any territorial legislature can exclude slavery from a territory, and that Congress is bound to protect slaveholders in the use of their slaves, in any territory, regardless of the wishes of the people of said territory. John Bell, of Tennessee, was the candidate of a third party, called the Union party whose platform was "The Constitution, the Union, and the Enforcement of the Laws," without any special mention of the questions then agitating the public mind. Douglas received all the electoral votes of Missouri, and three from New Jersey. Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia gave their electoral votes for Bell. All the other slave states gave their votes for Breckinridge.
The secession ordinances in these seven states were passed as follows: In 1860, South Carolina, December 20; in 1861, Mississippi, January 9; Florida, January 10; Alabama, January 11; Georgia, January 18; Louisiana, January 29; Texas, February 1. These were followed later in the same year by Virginia, April 17; Arkansas, May 6; Tennessee, May 7; North Carolina, May 20. These ordinances were passed by conventions, excepting in the case of Tennessee, in which state it was passed by the legislature. See p. 241, ¶ 5.
7 In place of the stars and stripes of the American Bag, they adopted a blue union with a circle of seven stars, and three bars, the upper and lower the middle one white. As other states seceded it was intended to add stars to represent them.
QUESTIONS. -- 8. Name the principal causes which kept alive and increased sectional feeling. 9. Who were elected the next president and vice-president, and by what party? From what states did these candidates receive electoral votes? 10. What happened as soon as the result of the election was known? What state took the lead in secession? What states followed? When and where did delegates from these states meet in convention? By what delegates were they soon joined? 11. What did this convention proceed to do?
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