Abe Lincoln and Stephen Douglas running for the Senate

Task 2
Brett Bajoie
Student ID:006370373
U.S. History
Coming off of the victory of the American Revolution, The United States Government signed the
US Constitution into law. (Norton, 2015). However, this decision did not come without controversy. Some
people believed that having a Constitution gave the Federal government too much power, therefore they
were against it. These people were called anti-federalists. On the other hand, some people thought that the
Constitution had enough safeguards to prevent corruption of the government. These people were called
There were two major contrasting figures during this time, Thomas Jefferson and Alexander
Hamilton. The Secretary of Treasury Alexander Hamilton was a true federalist, wanting the federal
government to have power over the states to provide a glue that brings all of the small state governments
together. On the contrary, Thomas Jefferson rathered that the states have more control individually over
their own governments. Thomas Jefferson felt so strongly about the government having less power, that
he created the Republican party, who still hold that same sentiment to this day. The development of these
groups, however, would be futile if not for the newsletters that spread information to the common man,
gaining support and popularity for their groups and views.
The Second Party system arose from the continual conflict between the Whigs and the
Democrats. The Whigs advocated for policies like tariffs and national banking as well as public financing
for domestic infrastructure projects. However, the Democrats adopted several Federalist beliefs after the
war, including the need for taxes on imported products (Norton, 2015). On the other hand, Democrats
maintained that federal authority should not infringe on state sovereignty. Regarding the notion of growth,
the two parties couldn’t be more different: the Whigs thought it was pointless, while the Democrats saw it
as a way to increase profits for farmers.
The Whig Party was founded during Andrew Jackson’s presidency as a direct reaction to
Jackson’s administration. Members of the Whig party included famous politicians, including William
Henry Harrison, Henry Clay of Kentucky, and Daniel Webster. The Democratic Party, on the other hand,
was led by figures such as Marin Van Buren and Andre Jackson. The Democratic Party was more tolerant
of immigrants than the Whig Party (Norton, 2015). To many people of faith, this was and remained the
only reason they voted Democrat.
The rise of democracy, fostered by the Second Party System, contributed to the escalation of
partisanship in American politics. Regardless of their financial situation, citizens were given the rights
and obligations necessary to participate in democratic rituals like voting. After several governments
loosened their regulations on private property, this happened. Women’s participation in election
campaigns also marked a significant shift in the democratic system.
The nation was torn apart by persistent resistance and support for slavery during the antebellum era. In
contrast, abolitionists argued that slavery was immoral because it violated the inherent freedom of human
beings. While nothing seemed to shift, northerners took it upon themselves to start petitions to ban
slavery. Lincoln issued the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862, after the
Union’s decisive victory at Antietam that day. Enslaved people in states that rebelled against the federal
government were declared free in this decree. On December 6, 1865, a constitutional amendment was
drafted to abolish slavery. But the South was adamant in its defense of slavery, fearing an economic
collapse if enslaved people were emancipated. Because of this, they said that cash crops like tobacco, rice,
and cotton would bring in less money. The Southerners also made derogatory comments about African
Americans’ inability to make decisions without being told what to do. The South also claimed that
abolishing slavery would lead to widespread unemployment and violence.
After the Civil War, states like South Carolina refused to ratify the constitution of the Reconstruction Era,
which gave the U.S. more responsibility to oversee the South. However, former President Andrew
Johnson and his successor Ulysses S. Grant were against the South’s wishes and restored black power,
ultimately creating the Equal Rights Amendment. The passage of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments
gave blacks and women full rights as citizens. The Voting Rights Act was created to reduce political strife
in the South. The Democrats were divided over the issue of suffrage and gender equality because a small
but militant group of female activists threatened to change the party’s direction. The women’s movement
was a significant factor in developing the Women’s Rights Party. While many believed that female
equality was possible, they maintained that many women had been excluded from the workplace.
Several factors impeded the westward expansion. First, it was left to the western states to decide whether
they would carry out the occupation of enslaved people. The Kansa-Nebraska Act put the final say in the
hands of the people. This meant that each region might make its own decision about whether or not to
adopt a system of slavery. And then, the Fugitive Slave Act came along, making it legal to capture
runaway slaves and send them back to their owners. The measure also made it possible to impose
punishments on anyone who helped enslaved people escape (Etcheson, 2014). Anti-slavery protests in the
North erupted in large numbers as a direct consequence of this measure.
A confluence of factors sparked the Civil War. The choice by the African-American plaintiff in the Dred
Scotts case to pursue legal action to win his release is a landmark case. Dred Scott lived in a slave-free
state and made his case based on the idea that he wanted to be thin due to his servitude. However, the
Supreme Court rejected his plea for freedom, saying it had no authority since no person of color would
ever be granted U.S. citizenship. As the North saw it, the verdict was a proclamation to legitimate slavery
in court, meaning that enslaved people (whether free or present) would never be able to become citizens
of the United States. This caused widespread discord between the North and the South. Most American
wars may be traced back to the institution of slavery. Abolitionist John Brown sought to violently incite a
slave uprising by rioting at Harpers Ferry, Virginia. Even though John Brown was convicted of treason
and executed, his actions became a rallying cry for those in the North to keep working to end slavery
(Norton, 2015). The third major event was Abe Lincoln and Stephen Douglas running for the Senate.
Party instability and their divergent views on slavery and state law were among the topics they debated.
Lincoln used the Declaration of Independence to argue that slavery was immoral because it denied men
their inherent dignity (Blattman & Miguel, 2010).
Blattman, C., & Miguel, E. (2010). Civil war. Journal of Economic Literature, 48(1), 3-57.
Etcheson, N. (2014). the rise of sectional tensions: Parties, slavery, and abolitionism. A
Companion to the Antebellum Presidents 18371861, 65-87.
Norton, M. B., et al. (2015). A people & a nation (10th ed.). Stamford, CT: Cengage. Retrieved
from https://lrps.wgu.edu/provision/53540310

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