Slavery was truly a hot button topic between 1810-1860, particularly in the west. In 1808, U.S. Congress outlawed the Atlantic slave trade, although illegal slave trading continued. The domestic slave trade was stimulated heavily by agriculture in the south. The national breakdown over slavery occurred over a long timeline and across a broad geography. Debates over slavery in the American West proved especially important. As the United States pressed westward, new questions arose as to whether those lands ought to be slave or free. The framers of the Constitution did a little, but not much, to help resolve these early questions.
In this assignment I want you to explore, How did the federal government try to resolve the issue of slavery in the western territories during this time period? And, what exactly was the Slavery Issue in the West? Do you believe that civil war was unavoidable? And, why?
Also, take this time to respond to at least one (1) classmates response and discuss the different tactics that the Federal government tried to take to appease both Northern and Southern legislators.
An 1856 Lithograph showing Democratic Representative Preston Brooks beating Republican Senator Charles Sumner with a cane.
SOUTHERN CHIVALRY by John L. Magee is in the Public Domain .