Liberty Challenged in Nineteenth Century America

Mary Krenisky

Mel Albin

HIS 104

November 20, 2017












Liberty Challenged in Nineteenth Century America

Our founding fathers were not as perfect as we may have thought, Thomas Jefferson,

John Adams, and George Washington…; were flawed and made their fair share of mistakes by advocating for slavery as they built the United States of America. Furthermore, slavery became part of the population that govern both the Northern and Southern States.

I. In 1787, The United States Constitutional Convention delegates from northern states and southern states agreed on the 3/5ths compromise legislation that was meant to determine

whether slaves were to be counted when determining the total population of a country for taxing and representation purposes.

(a) This issue was crucial since it was to be used in determining the number of seats

that would be allocated for a state in the Congress.

(b) This piece of legislation resulted in slave states being assigned more seats in

Congress due to their large numbers and more votes in the Electoral College

for president (Konig et al, 2010).

II. The Missouri Compromise of 1820 was an agreement that offset the tension that was building up between the pro-slavery and the anti-slavery factions within the United States.

(a) The agreement was checked by the extension of slavery in the United States of


(b) It saw the territories of Maine being admitted as a free state and

those of Missouri being recognized as a slave state (Corbett et al., 2014).

III. In 1850, a package of bills was enacted that aimed at defusing the stand-off between

the southern slave states and the northern free states. These bills were branded as the

Compromise of 1850.

(a) The agreement not only resulted in the creation of California as a Free State,

New Mexico and Utah territories.

(b) It also ushered in the end of slave trade in Washington D.C (Konig et al., 2010).

IV. The Kansas-Nebraska Act that was passed in 1854 by Congress.

(a) It gave people of Kansas and Nebraska directives in determining whether

to allow slavery within their territories or not.

(b) The Act also repealed the Missouri’s Compromise of 1820 that

illegalized slavery in the northern states.

V. The 1857’s ruling on Dred Scott marked a significant milestone in ending slavery in the

The United States.

(a) It was ruled that since Dred Scott, a slave, resided in a free state, he was entitled

to his freedom. This ruling pushed the United States closer to the Civil War as more

African Americans moved to Free states (Corbett et al., 2014).

(b) The Dred Scott verdict also contributed to the start of the Civil War.

3. Reasons why slavery was incompatible with our economic and political system:

The following are reasons why slavery was inconsistent with our economic and political system include:

(a) Slavery advocates for exploitation of the slaves to benefit the greedy owners,

a phenomenon which is against human rights.

(b) Slavery also involves capitalism which ended before the Civil War began hence

the decline on profits of slavery (Schwartz, 2014).

(c) The other reason why slavery is incompatible with economic and political

systems is that the system advocate for equality is contrary to slavery.

4. The driving forces that led to the Civil War:

According to (Schwartz, 2014), the following are some of the effects that fueled the Civil War:

(a) The Missouri Compromise 1820

(b) The Dred Scott Decision

(c) Abraham Lincoln’s election

(d) The Underground Railroad



















Corbett, P.S, et al. (2014, December 30). U.S History. Texas: Openstax. Print, Page 389-410

Konig B., et al. (2010). Politics of Slavery. London. Print.

Schwartz B., (2014). A Book of Legal Lists: The Best and Worst in American Law. New York. Print.