Describe Life In The South Before The Civil War

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Foote of Mississippi flourished a loaded revolver during a debate, and his colleague Jefferson Davis challenged an Illinois congressman to a duel.Southern anxiety grew as settlers poured into northern territories that were sure to join the Union as free states, thereby tipping the sectional balance of power against the South in Congress and the Electoral College.In an effort to bring more slave states into the Union, southerners agitated for the purchase of Cuba from Spain and the acquisition of additional territory in Central America.(Both territories did legalize slavery, but few slaves were taken there.) At the same time, Congress abolished the slave trade in the District of Columbia, ending the shameful practice of buying and selling human beings in the shadow of the Capitol.But the Compromise of 1850 compensated the South with a tough new fugitive slave law that empowered Federal marshals, backed by the Army if necessary, to recover slaves who had escaped into free states.The storm was so powerful that it swept away many northern Democrats and gave rise to the Republican party, which pledged to keep slavery out of Kansas and all other territories.An eloquent leader of this new party was an Illinois lawyer named Abraham Lincoln, who believed that "there can be no moral right in the enslaving of one man by another." Lincoln and other Republicans recognized that the United States Constitution protected slavery in the states where it already existed.The origins of the American Civil War lay in the outcome of another war fought 15 years earlier: the Mexican-American War.The question whether slavery could expand into the 700,000 square miles of former Mexican territory acquired by the United States in 1848 polarized Americans and embittered political debate for the next dozen years.The region that became the territories of Kansas and Nebraska was part of the Louisiana Purchase, acquired by the United States from France in 1803.In 1820 the Missouri Compromise had divided this region at latitude 36° 30', with slavery permitted south of that line and prohibited north of it.


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