Were Blundering Politicians The Main Political Cause — страница 2

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were slave owners. Although he couldn?t afford to alienate the South as the Democrat Majority in both Houses was dominated by Southerners, he could of done more to reassure the North that a slave power conspiracy was not happening. Buchanan caused more tension with the Dred Scot case. Dred Scott was a slave who was claiming he was free on the grounds that he had resided both in a free state and a free territory. The case was eventually taken to the supreme court. The court went against Scott on three points; firstly, a slave was not a citizen therefore could not sue in a federal court, secondly, he was a resident of Missouri so the law of Illinois was irrelevant. Finally, mere residing in a territory where slavery was banned did not make a slave free; congress had no rights to

deprive a citizen of property and in the view of the court the Missouri compromise was unconstitutional. This verdict horrified most Northerners as some felt it was a move by southerners to expand slavery into free states. What made the situation worse was Republican leaders claimed Buchanan had been whispering with the chief justice Proving he was well aware of the verdict before he asked the public to accept it. Buchanan rather than settling the uncertainty of slavery, instead, provoked further section antagonism. However this was by no means Buchanan?s biggest blunder. That was in Kansas when he gave his support to the Lecompton convention during 1857 despite the fact that the majority of Kansas were opposed to slavery. The advice was also against the advice of his former

governor Greary. If he had accepted his advice he would of avoided alienating the North and enraging Northern Democrats. Even the South was embarrassed by the fraudulent actions of the pro-slavers when large numbers of fictitious pro-slavers had been recorded as voting for the pro-slavers during the elections held in 1857. Walker who was the Governor had to overturn a number of fraudulent elections before the true outcome was revealed, to give free-staters the majority in Kansas. Walker denounced the conventions actions and urged Buchanan to do the same. However, he could not be moved from his opinion as he felt it would alienate the South, the support of which he could not lose. His decision to support the convention proved to be a colossal blunder as if he had chosen not to

support the convention it is unlikely he would of lost Southern support. However his actions alienated the North, giving them more ammunition to believe there was a slave power conspiracy at work. To conclude, although many of the actions made by these politicians cause deep rifts between the North and South and in many cases these blunders could have been avoided. However, it would probably of taken a politician of extreme talent to prevent the two sides from going to war as it would appear that the slavery was at the root of all the problems. Although this problem was further antagonised by these blunders it is highly unlike these tensions could have been eased. To be fair each of the politicians had very delicate situations to deal with and no matter what they did it is more

than likely that one side of the Union would have something to complain about. By the time Buchanan came into power the problems within the Union had reached the point of no return. BibliographyThe origins of the american civil war – Farmer Stakes of power