The Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854

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Then there is the old "good timing" thing. If you are going to have a rebellion it is probably going to be when there are obvious political fractures splitting up the voters and the regions. 1860 was one of those times and secessionists, seeing the hand writing on the wall for slavery as the nation moved toward admitting enough free states to make the constitutional change against slavery, bolted. Assuming there was ever a "good time" to secede, the South certainly picked a moment when such an act had the more likely possibility of success.
 

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CW Buff

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Before this the abolitionist did not have a party .
Hi John. I think you mean anti-expansionists, not abolitionists. The latter had a party as far as some where to go, someone to unite with on at least one slavery issue, but they did not have an abolition party, only an anti-expansion party.
What the Republican did was to bring all the outside parties under their tepee.
Well, it did bring the vast majority together, thats true, but I think it actually had much to do with what slavery proponents did. TX annexation/Mexican War helped drive the first anti-slavery +political abolitionist alliance. FSL 1850 and KS-NE swelled the ranks of the latter, destroyed the Whig party, and birthed the Republican party. Meanwhile Lecompton sent fractures through the Dem party, Scott v. Sandford got the whole North in a tizzy, and Brown's Raid drove the South insane. It was a decade+ of constant polarization, largely driven by desperate measures on the part of slavery proponents, which cost them more and more Northern allies. That's my take away, anyway.
Once they gain control of Congress the next would be the Federal Courts.
I don't think they needed the courts. With just one house of Congress, no more slave states. That might just mean no more states for a while, but there were ample numbers of popular sovereignty proponents, and it would just be a matter of time before the North gave the boot to any Northern Dem senators who would block new states that genuinely wanted to come in free. I think slavery proponent's only hold on the Senate was based on a Northern complicity that was just drying up.
Do it with Lincoln when the people have been taught what this man /party meant to do or do it some other time and risk not having the people with you,?
History would seem to suggest what they (secession extremists) had to do was teach the people the man was something he was not. Ditto for the entire North. By 1860, they held the opinion that if you're not with us (wholly and completely) your against us. Even Douglas felt the bite.
 

CW Buff

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Then there is the old "good timing" thing. If you are going to have a rebellion it is probably going to be when there are obvious political fractures splitting up the voters and the regions. 1860 was one of those times and secessionists, seeing the hand writing on the wall for slavery as the nation moved toward admitting enough free states to make the constitutional change against slavery, bolted. Assuming there was ever a "good time" to secede, the South certainly picked a moment when such an act had the more likely possibility of success.
In the end, it appears, there was no good timing. They just couldn't get to the point at which the pull off secession before they had passed the point, just barely perhaps, where they could pull it off on the battlefield. But that's that 20-20 hindsight thingy.
 
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In the end, it appears, there was no good timing. They just couldn't get to the point at which the pull off secession before they had passed the point, just barely perhaps, where they could pull it off on the battlefield. But that's that 20-20 hindsight thingy.
Exactly. Lincoln was an unknown quality but, on the face of things in late 1860 with enough people thinking he was a lowly midwestern buffoon with little universal support, a successful secession was as possible then as any other time.
 

CW Buff

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I do not want to speculate on how long, too many variables and unknowns.
Very wise jgg. But not much fun though. C'mon, you know you want to do it. :D
This is not entirely accurate. Delaware did act against slavery, in the 1790s they had passed laws restricting both the importing and selling slaves out of states. This is similar to what the other mid Atlantic states did early in their decades long process of eliminating slavery. Emancipation bills were a fairly regular item in the legislature, but none ever passed. However, the reduction of slaves from about 9000 in 179o to less than 2000 by 1860 is largely due to this legislation.
Hey Eric.

They also resisted outright emancipation/abolition to the bitter end; they rejected offers of compensated emancipation even in the later stages of the war. Seems strange, for DE of all the slave states. And they would not ratify the Reconstruction amendments until the turn of the century. Even in DE, slavery had a complicated and strange hold.
Thanks for your comments. It was technological innovations in the field of agriculture such as those that would have resulted in slavery not being able to survive well into the 1980s
Hi Potomac.

Seems to me like the tech was like anything else. If it helped (cotton gin), it was fine. If it didn't (cotton harvesters), it wasn't. Maybe the problem with the harvesters was a matter of how then to control the now former pickers. Could be that, once again, there's the equally important issue of social order/control.
While I agree with you that slavery as practiced ante-bellum would not have continued into the 1980's, my larger and more pertinent point was to to push back against the ever present belief/conviction held here, by some, that slavery would have died out on its own without the necessity of the Civil War.
Hi OBJ.

I agree with you on mechanization, but I can't see slavery surviving the post-WWII backlash against racism for long. Even Apartheid eventually succumbed, and that a less extreme example of institutionalized racism in a more backwater location. The UN comes out officially against slavery in 1948. Any remaining advanced, "civilized" nations would soon have to follow suite.
 

CW Buff

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Exactly. Lincoln was an unknown quality but, on the face of things in late 1860 with enough people thinking he was a lowly midwestern buffoon with little universal support, a successful secession was as possible then as any other time.
BTW chucksr, don't think we've met B4, a belated welcome aboard to ya.

I actually don't think that mattered. Didn't matter who it ended up being, Lincoln, Seward, Chase, even Freemont in '56, the key was portraying them, the whole Republican party, and eventually the entire North, as rapid abolitionists. Of course, there's a natural hazard with sowing the wind.
 

jgoodguy

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Very wise jgg. But not much fun though. C'mon, you know you want to do it. :D
It would be interesting. Have to guess about cotton futures, boll weevil, slave revolts, overproduction of cotton, offended Southern honor, how fast would the border states flip to start. My simplest projection is that sans the Civil War, cotton prices decline from overproduction, The slave price bubble collapses, plantations bankrupt, banks fail and release hundreds of thousands of previously foreclosed slaves onto the Southern Scene, insurrection and massacres are the results, boll weevils cause more havoc and then the really bad stuff happens.
 

John S. Carter

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Hi John. I think you mean anti-expansionists, not abolitionists. The latter had a party as far as some where to go, someone to unite with on at least one slavery issue, but they did not have an abolition party, only an anti-expansion party.

Well, it did bring the vast majority together, thats true, but I think it actually had much to do with what slavery proponents did. TX annexation/Mexican War helped drive the first anti-slavery +political abolitionist alliance. FSL 1850 and KS-NE swelled the ranks of the latter, destroyed the Whig party, and birthed the Republican party. Meanwhile Lecompton sent fractures through the Dem party, Scott v. Sandford got the whole North in a tizzy, and Brown's Raid drove the South insane. It was a decade+ of constant polarization, largely driven by desperate measures on the part of slavery proponents, which cost them more and more Northern allies. That's my take away, anyway.

I don't think they needed the courts. With just one house of Congress, no more slave states. That might just mean no more states for a while, but there were ample numbers of popular sovereignty proponents, and it would just be a matter of time before the North gave the boot to any Northern Dem senators who would block new states that genuinely wanted to come in free. I think slavery proponent's only hold on the Senate was based on a Northern complicity that was just drying up.

History would seem to suggest what they (secession extremists) had to do was teach the people the man was something he was not. Ditto for the entire North. By 1860, they held the opinion that if you're not with us (wholly and completely) your against us. Even Douglas felt the bite.
In reply to the court statement. By control of the Congress they ,with Presidential selection. appoint judges who would reverse previous rulings or make decisions on new cases which would be favorable ,just as the Tunney court had done for the South,for the North and the abolitionist. This would mean that if they,social extremist /progressives ,lost the Congress ,they would have the court to rule ,just as they have achieved that authority in the last fixity years.From a Southern Democrat/Goldwater-Reagan Republican
 

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In reply to the court statement. By control of the Congress they ,with Presidential selection. appoint judges who would reverse previous rulings or make decisions on new cases which would be favorable ,just as the Tunney court had done for the South,for the North and the abolitionist. This would mean that if they,social extremist /progressives ,lost the Congress ,they would have the court to rule ,just as they have achieved that authority in the last fixity years.From a Southern Democrat/Goldwater-Reagan Republican
Yes, I realize that. A little more explanation on my part probably would have been helpful.

The Republicans are much closer to gaining the House than the Senate (the latter alone approves appointments). In fact, combined with anti-slavery Democrats, they can control most slavery issues in the House in the 36th Congress (where they have 49% of the seats outright). Gaining the Senate would be great, but they don't have to wait for that. They can block a slave state in the House.
 

jgoodguy

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Yes, I realize that. A little more explanation on my part probably would have been helpful.

The Republicans are much closer to gaining the House than the Senate (the latter alone approves appointments). In fact, combined with anti-slavery Democrats, they can control most slavery issues in the House in the 36th Congress (where they have 49% of the seats outright). Gaining the Senate would be great, but they don't have to wait for that. They can block a slave state in the House.
Starting with the compromise of 1850 and especially after the Kansas Nebraska act, proslavery politicians in the North were at risk. The Slave Power: The Free North and Southern Domination, 1780-1860 is an interesting source about the politics of the time regarding slavery.

I'd suggest they could block it in the Senate.

The Lecompton Constitution was defeated in the House of Representatives a confirmation that antislavery forces could defeat a slave State admission in the house.

FWIW
The Most Infamous Floor Brawl in the History of the U.S. House of Representatives

The most infamous floor brawl in the history of the U.S. House of Representatives erupted as Members debated the Kansas Territory’s pro-slavery Lecompton Constitution late into the night of February 5-6. Shortly before 2 a.m., Pennsylvania Republican Galusha Grow and South Carolina Democrat Laurence Keitt exchanged insults, then blows. “In an instant the House was in the greatest possible confusion,” the Congressional Globe reported. More than 30 Members joined the melee. Northern Republicans and Free Soilers joined ranks against Southern Democrats. Speaker James Orr, a South Carolina Democrat, gaveled furiously for order and then instructed Sergeant-at-Arms Adam J. Glossbrenner to arrest noncompliant Members. Wading into the “combatants,” Glossbrenner held the House Mace high to restore order. Wisconsin Republicans John “Bowie Knife” Potter and Cadwallader Washburn ripped the hairpiece from the head of William Barksdale, a Democrat from Mississippi. The melee dissolved into a chorus of laughs and jeers, but the sectional nature of the fight powerfully symbolized the nation’s divisions. When the House reconvened two days later, a coalition of Northern Republicans and Free Soilers narrowly blocked referral of the Lecompton Constitution to the House Territories Committee. Kansas entered the Union in 1861 as a free state.

 

OpnCoronet

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The Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 was meant to slave the nation from sectional conflict over slavery. The Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 did opened up much of the western United States to slavery. However, would have most of the territories entered the union as slave states? Would have Bleeding Kansas became Bleeding Colorado, Bleeding Idaho, Bleeding Montana etc.? Did the South have the political power to fight for slavery in all of the twelve future states the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 opened up to slavery? I can not see why Southern states would not have tried to turn all the incoming states in to slave states and Northern state try to turn all these incoming states into free states. So would have there been bloody fighting over every incoming state?
If all twelve of these new states plus Arizona and New Mexico, would have adopted slavery could the Civil War could have been avoided. The slave states could have dominated the US government for the next 100 to 150 years but would have the Northern States at some point have seceded?





I believe CW Buff is correct, in noting that the reaction to Doulas' legislation (and its results) is a powerful indicator that it would be almost impossible for the southern slave bloc in Congress to bring in any more slave states into the Union, without resorting to Obvious political chicanery and outright fraud. Southern power in Congress could no longer guarantee protection for the South peculiar institutions, within the Union and its Constitution.

I think, if, secession, was the last resort, then the vote against the Lecompton Constitution, in the House, had to be seen by many southern leaders, and, especially by secessionists, as a signal for leaving the Union.

The political fire-storm in Congress(and Northern States), along with the inability of Congress(or President) to enforce the Southern Will, on an issue, that they considered of vital concern, finally confirmed what many southern advocates had long suspected(and, which secessionists had long predicted) Northerners, in general, and, especially Northern Democrats, could not be trusted to protect southern particularism.
 
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Plus there were two votes coming up for consideration. One on the Pacific Railroad and one on Homestead grants.
With a Republican President in place, the northerners only need a majority on each item of legislation.
The historic votes were lopsided.
https://www.loc.gov/rr/program/bib/ourdocs/homestead.html
https://www.loc.gov/rr/program/bib/ourdocs/pacificrail.html
Both pieces of legislation were likely to encourage growth and investment along the middle tier of states. With Free Soil interests prevailing in Kansas, it was not hard to think that the political influence of the slave interest had peaked. In terms of political support and capital, two complimentary inputs for slavery and cotton, it was going to be downhill after President Lincoln took office.
With Britain cracking down on the slave trade, and even Buchanan starting to enforce the laws against slave trading, the future of slavery, inside the United States, was doubtful.
Since the enslaved population was already the slowest growing part of the population, with the 3/5ths compromise in place, the southern interests were no longer a major source of Congressional power.
Observing that there was not a national currency or a national banking system before the Civil War, it may have been more than slaves that were riding a wave of confidence into the winter of 1860. Its hard to tell how much bank solvency depended on rising cotton production and rising cotton prices.
http://www.dartmouth.edu/~jshambau/Papers/AntebellumExchRtsJCS-5-2005.pdf
Its possible that had the secessionists done nothing, a 1837 type bust was going to happen.
 

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