Why was compromise necessary between the North and South as the United States expanded into western territory?
- JOHN BLv 61 decade agoFavorite Answer
As the United States expanded into the western territories, the issue of slavery, which divided the country and the Congress, posed a serious problem. The question was: were the new states that were going to be admitted to the Union to be slave states or free states? (That is, would the states allow slaveholding according to their new state constitutions and laws). The northern states wanted the new states to be free states; the south wanted states to allow slavery. Many argued for "local option", and the right of the citizens to vote to allow or prohibit slavery on their territory. Also, since each of the new states would have senators and congressmen in Congress, neither side wanted the other to gain enough seats in the US Congress to control the future legislation of this and other subjects.
Finally, a compromise was arranged by Henry Clay (Speaker of the House of Representatives, later US Senator, and presidential candidate), that would allow one free state to be admitted and one slave state at the same time, to keep a balance between the supporters and opponents of slavery. The compromise called The Compromise of 1850, allowed California to be admitted as a free state, and created the Utah and New Mexico territories, made the Fugitive Slave Law more harsh, to prevent slaves from fleeing northward and seek asylum in the northern free states, and banned the slave trade (but not slavery) in the District of Columbia.) The compromise worked for a while, but eventually failed , when a mini-civil war broke out in Kansas ("bloody Kansas") in 1856 and in Missouri, over local option of whether to allow slavery by the citizens. By that time, compromise would not forestall a confrontation of the south over the issue of secession.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
They needed to compromise over whether or not they were going to allow slavery into the new states. The reason for this was that, being Americans, they were in constant competition over anything and the fact that two sides had evolved off of the topic of slavery didn't do much to help them progress. If they hadn't compromised, they would have never (collaboratively) seized the new lands for America.
- 1 decade ago
which compromise are you talking about?