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Southern State Secession - Slavery

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During the late 1850’s and early 1860’s, numerous states were considering seceding from the United States. The North and the South were constantly at odds with each other. What, might you ask, was causing this? Slavery, what rights the south had, and Abraham Lincoln’s election caused the southern states to secede from the Union in 1860 and 1861.

Slavery is any operation that includes property laws being applied to people, allowing someone to own, sell or buy other individuals as a form of property. In the early time of the United States, slavery was tearing apart the United States, one region at a time. As Albert Gallatin Brown said on September 26, 1860, “[The Northerners] hate us now, and they teach their children in their schools and churches to hate our children… The North is accumulating power, and it means to use that power to emancipate your slaves.” (Doc. 2) He went on to say at the end of his speech that, “ Disunion is a fearful thing, but emancipation is worse.” This demonstrates how slavery was such an essential and valued part of the South that they were considering seceding from the rest of the country to keep it. Where slavery was involved, the North and the South would always disagree. A prime example of this would be the Compromise of 1850. California was wanted to be a free state by the North, but for the South they wanted it to be admitted to the union as a slave state. When the Republican Party, the North, announced their candidate for the election of 1860, the Democratic Party, the South, was ready to strike back with their candidate. The election was a close call until the Democrats split over slavery issue. When Abraham Lincoln had won, and the Election of 1860 was over, South Carolina was the first to secede from the United States. South Carolina said in their ordinance of secession that they were seceding due to Lincoln. The South Carolina ordinance of secession stated, “... a man to the high office of the President of the United States whose opinions and purposes are hostile to slavery… he has declared that that government cannot endure permanently half slave, half free.” (Doc. 6) Taking away slavery from South Carolina was their breaking point, they felt their freedom had been taken away along with it, that’s what caused them to secede, among with other southern states.

Although slavery was one of the most important reasons the South started to secede, their rights being taken away from them had played an important factor in their decision. When the 1860 presidential campaign was taking place, the South, Democrats, said, “ … all citizens of the United States have an equal right to settle with their property in the Territory, without their rights, either of person or property, being… impaired.” (Doc. 1) The North, republicans, said “... we deny the authority of Congress, of a territorial legislature, or of any individuals , to give legal existence to slavery in any territory of the United States.” This alone caused distrust between the two sides, and in the South’s point of view, took their rights away. Their stubbornness and disagreement is one of the reasons that the South started to secede from the Union in the first place. George Templeton Strong, a New York attorney, had excerpts from “The Diary of George

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