Investigating The Sectionalism In American History

Each seat in the room was filled. One side was for and the other was against. The room was buzzing with noise and comebacks to argue with the opposing side. Ideas were being bounced around and new rules were being created but not enforced. Eventually one man stood and proposed that everything be prohibited. The mediator of choice and being fair got in the way of this proposal. Another man stood and proclaimed a new compromise. The Missouri Compromise. The Missouri Compromise was an example of how sectional tensions were being affected during the 1800s. During the 1820s-1861, sectionalism was a huge obstacle within the nation, this being with slavery and just racism against people of color. There were many things trying to counteract this problem such as the Missouri Compromise, the Kansas-Nebraska Act, and the Crittenden Compromise.

The Missouri Compromise was proposed by Henry Clay during 1819. He proposed that Missouri proclaim that they will be a slave state in return for Maine becoming a free state. There was also a second part to this compromise; the other new states from the Louisiana Purchase above Missouri were considered to be free states. This compromise was seen as to be very controversial in terms of whether it actually helped with sectionalism. It necessarily didn’t actually help with putting an end to the nation being sectionalized. It created more of a stern barrier as to who is a part of what. It created more of a bubble and declared who was in what section. This compromise just carried on the longevity of sectionalism for about thirty more years after it was signed.

The Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 was a major turning point counteracting what had been placed in 1820 by the Missouri Compromise. Senator Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois had bigger plans for many things within the nation. Many people within the nation wanted to move to Nebraska, but there was one thing holding them back from this. Nebraska hadn’t been considered its own state or territory yet, so none of the land could be claimed by any of the new people coming in, and none of congress was exactly in a hurry to change this. Nebraska was above the 36, 30 line which was placed in the Missouri Compromise.

Giving Nebraska its own territory would completely change what was in place of this. Along with Nebraska becoming its own territory, Kansas also was proposed by Douglas to become a state that supported slavery. The Kansas-Nebraska act allowed states to be able to decide the topic of slavery by popular sovereignty. This completely goes against everything that was placed and disrupts congress’s thirty years of placing sectionalism aside. This ultamily split the nation and created two major parties such as the democratic and republican party. Within these two parties they both are still arguing against one another’s beliefs and sectionalism is still being carried on but just by popular sovereignty now.

Another compromise that was tried within this timep was the Crittenden Compromise. This Compromise was put tried for by Senator John J. Crittenden of Kentucky. He tried to make six different amendments by keeping all the states that allowed slavery to always slave states and to keep the free states separated forever. He wanted to extend this to the pacific and to make the government indemnify owners of fugitive slaves that were prevented by anti slavery laws in the north.

Crittenden also wanted sovereignty to be sanctioned and for slavery in the District of Columbia to be protected from congressional action. All of the things that he has proposed creates a larger p of sectionalism throughout the country and causes more problems throughout the nations between the different parties. In 1861, the senate voted against all of the amendments that Crittenden had proposed. Which, in the end, didn’t end sectionalism but didn’t create any more than what was already spread throughout the nation.

The definition of sectionalism is the restriction of interest to a narrow sphere; undue concern with local interests petty distinctions at the expense of general well-being. In the 1820s-1861, sectionalism was a big thing within race and slavery. The nation was being separated between the north and the south over which state is for and which state is against slavery. It was eventually was just dragged on for many years and laws and other regulations were changed within each section, but no progress was really achieved anywhere. In the end the boundaries were made more clear within the nation.

Change wasn’t necessarily favored but was definitely tried for several different times within this p. It was hard to create any change just because of the separation between the North and the South. All in all, the sectionalism wasn’t slaughtered in anyway or banished, except it was just dragged on for many, many years and still happens in everyday life within different concepts of the world.

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