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WILMOT

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Originally appearing in Volume V27, Page 705 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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WILMOT, DAVID). In the end apparent expediency carried the dominant party off to " squatter sovereignty," and the Demo- cratic adherents of the Wilmot Proviso, with the Liberty party and the anti-slavery Whigs, united in 1848 under the Free Soil name of the Free Soil party (q.v.). The Whigs had no Party. solution to offer; their entire programme, from this time to their downfall as a party, consisted in a persistent effort to evade or ignore all difficulties connected with slavery. 193. Taylor, after the battle of Buena Vista, resigned and came home, considering himself ill-used by the administration. He refused to commit himself to any party; and the Whigs were forced to accept him as their candidate in 1848. The Democrats nominated Lewis Cass; and the Free Soil party, or " Free-Soilers," nominated Van Buren. By the vote of the last-named party the Democratic candidate lost New York and the election, and Taylor was elected president, receiving 163 electoral votes, while Cass received 127. Taking office in March 1849, he had on his shoulders the whole burden of the territorial difficulties, aggravated by the discovery of gold in California and the sudden rise of population there. Congress was so split into factions that it could for a long time agree upon nothing; thieves and outlaws were too strong for the semi-military government of California; and the Californians, with the approval of the president, proceeded to form a constitution and apply for admission as a state. They had so framed their constitution as to forbid slavery; and this was really the application of the Wilmot Proviso to the richest part of the new territory, and the South felt that it had been robbed of the cream of what it alone had fought cheerfully to obtain. 194. The admission of California was not secured until September 185o, soon after Taylor's sudden death (July 9), and then only by the addition of a bonus to Texas, Admission of California. division of the rest of the Mexican cession into the Territories of Utah and New Mexico without prohibition of slavery, and the passage of a fugitive slave law. The slave trade, but not slavery, was forbidden in the District of Columbia. The whole was generally known as the Compromise Measures of 185o (q.v.). Two of its features need notice. As has been said, slavery was not mentioned in the act; and the status of slavery in the Territories, was thus left uncertain. Congress can veto any legislation of a territorial legislature, but in fact, the two houses of Congress Compromise but, ~ g of/850. were hardly ever able to unite on anything after 185o, and both these Territories did establish slavery before 1860, without a Congressional veto. The advantage here was with the South. The other point, the Fugitive Slave Law (q.v.), was a special demand of the South. The Constitu- tion contained clauses directing that fugitive s/gvei Law. criminals and slaves should be delivered up, on requisition, by the state to which they had fled. In the case of criminals the delivery was directed to be made by the executive of the state to which they had fled; in the case of slaves no delivering authority was specified, and an act of Congress in 1793 had imposed the duty on Federal judges or on local state magistrates. Some of the states had passed " Personal Liberty Laws," forbidding or limiting the action of their magistrates in such cases, and the act of 185o transferred the decision of such cases to United States commissioners, with the assistance of United States marshals. It imposed penalties on rescues, and denied a jury trial. 195. The question of slavery had taken up so much time in Congress that its other legislation was comparatively limited. The rates of postage were reduced to five and ten cents for distances less and greater than 300 M. (1845); and the naval school at Annapolis was established in the same year. The military academy at West Point had been established as such in 1802. When the Democratic party had obtained complete control of the government, it re-established (by act of 6th August, 1846), the " sub-treasury," or independent treasury, which is still the basis of the treasury system. In the same year, after an exhaustive report by 18Tariff of Robert J. Walker, Polk's secretary of the treasury, the tariff of 1846 was passed; it reduced duties, and moderated the application of the protective principle. Apart from a slight reduction of duties in 1857, this remained in force till 1861. 196. Five states were admitted during the last ten years of this period: Florida (1845), Texas„ (1845), Iowa (1846), Wisconsin (1848) and California (185o). The early entrance Admission of Iowa, Wisconsin and Florida had been due largely of Florida, to Indian wars—the Black Hawk War (see BLACK Iowa and HAWK) in Iowa and Wisconsin (1832), and the Semi- Wisconsin. nole War in Florida (1835-37), after each of which the defeated Indians were compelled to cede lands as the price of peace. The extinction of Indian titles in northern Michigan brought about the discovery of the great copper fields of that region, whose existence had been suspected long before it could be proved. Elsewhere settlement followed the lines already marked out, except in the new possessions on the Pacific coast, whose full possibilities were not yet known. Railways in the Eastern states were beginning to show something of a connected system; in the South Railways they had hardly changed since 184o; in the West and they had only been prolonged on their original lines. Telegraphs. The telegraph was brought into use in 1844; but it is not until the census of 186o that its effects are seen in the fully connected network of railways which then covers the whole North and West. 197. The sudden development of wealth in the country gave an impetus to the spirit of invention. Charles Goodyear's method of vulcanizing rubber (1839) had come into use. Cyrus Hall M'Cormick had made an invention Invention. whose results have been hardly less than that of the locomotive in their importance to the United States. He had patented a reaping machine in 1834, and this, further improved and supplemented by other inventions, had brought into play the whole system of agricultural machinery, whose existence was scarcely known elsewhere until the London " World's Fair " of 1851 brought it into notice. A successful sewing-machine came in 1846; the power-loom and the surgical use of anaesthetics in the same year; and the rotary press for printing in 1847. Election of /848. Personal Liberty Laws. 702 198. All the conditions of life were changing so rapidly that it was natural that the minds of men should change with them or become unsettled. This was the era of new sects, of communities, of fantastic proposals of every kind, of transcendentalism in literature, religion, and politics. Not the most The fantastic or benevolent, but certainly the most Mormons, successful, of these was the sect of Mormons or Latter-day Saints. They settled in Utah in 1847, calling their capital Salt Lake City, and spreading thence through the neighbouring Territories. They became a menace to the American system; their numbers were so great that it was against American instincts to deprive them of self-government; while their polygamy and total submission to their hierarchy made it impossible to erect them into a state having complete control of marriage and divorce. The difficulty was lessened by their renunciation of polygamy in 1890 (see MORMONS). 199. The material development of the United States since 183o had been extraordinary, but every year made it more The South, evident that the South was not sharing in it. It is plain now that the fault was in the labour system of the South: her only labourers were slaves, and a slave who was fit for anything better than field labour was prima facie a dangerous man. The divergence had as yet gone only far enough to awaken intelligent men in the South to its existence, and to stir them to efforts as hopeless as they were earnest, to find some artificial stimulus for Southern industries. In the next ten years the process was to show its effects on the national field. J.—Tendencies to Disunion, 1850-1861. 2oo..The Abolitionists had never ceased to din the iniquity of slavery into the ears of the American people. Calhoun, Slavery Webster and Clay, with nearly all the other political and the leaders of 1850, had united in deploring the wicked-Sections• ness of these fanatics, who were persistently stirring up a question which was steadily widening the distance between the sections. They mistook the symptom for the disease. Slavery itself had put the South out of harmony with its surroundings. Even in 1850, though they hardly yet knew it, the two sections had drifted so far apart that they were practically two different countries. 201. The South remained much as in 1790; while other parts of the country had developed, it had stood still. The "Slave The remnants of colonial feeling, of class influence, Power." which advancing democracy had wiped out else-where, retained all their force here, aggravated by the effects of an essentially aristocratic system of employment. The ruling class had to maintain a military control over the labouring class, and a class influence over the poorer whites. It had even secured in the Constitution provision for its political power in the representation given to three-fifths of the slaves. The twenty additional members of the House of Representatives were not simply a gain to the South; they were still more a gain to the " black districts," where whites were few, and the slave-holder controlled the district. Slave-owners and slave-holders together, there were but 350,000 of them; but they had common interests, the intelligence to see them, and the courage to con-tend for them. The first step of a rising man was to buy slaves; and this was enough to enrol him in the dominant class. From it were drawn the representatives and senators in Congress, the governors, and all the holders of offices over which the " slave power," as it came to be called, had control. Not only was the South inert; its ruling class, its ablest and best men, united in defence of tendencies hostile to those of the rest of the country. 202. Immigration into the United States was not an important factor in its development until about 1847. The immigrants, so late as 1820, numbered but 8000 per lmmlgra- annum; their number did not touch ioo,000 until 'ion. 1842, and then it fell for a year or two almost to half that number. In 1847 it rose again to 235,000, in 184A to 300,000, and in 1850 to 428,000; all told, more than two and a quarter million persons from abroad settled in the United States between 1847 and 1854. Leaving out the dregs of the immigra-[HISTORY 1850-1861 tion, which settled down in the seaboard cities, its best part was a powerful nationalizing force. It had not come to any particular state, but to the United States; it had none of the traditional prejudices in favour of a state, but a strong feeling for the whole country; and the new feelings which it brought in must have had their weight not only on the gross mass of the people, but on the views of former leaders. And all the influences of this enormous immigration were confined to the North and West. The immigration avoided slave soil as if by instinct. So late as 188o the census reported that the Southern states, except Florida, Louisiana and Texas, are " practically without any foreign element "; but it was only in 1850-1860 that this differentiating circumstance began to show itself plainly. And, as the sections began to differ further in aims and policy, the North began to gain heavily in ability to ensure its success. 203. Texas was the last slave state ever admitted; and, as it refused to be divided, the South had no further increase of numbers in the Senate. Until 185o the admission TheSec of a free state had been so promptly balanced by lCon Hons in Congress. the admission of a slave state that the senators of the two sections had remained about equal in number; in 186o the free states had 36 senators and the slave states only 30. As the representation in the House had changed from 35 free state and 30 slave state members in 1790 to 147 free state and 90 slave state in 1860, and as the number of presidential electors is the sum of the numbers of senators and representatives, political power had passed away from the South in 1850. If at any time the free states should unite they could control the House of Representatives and the Senate, elect the president and vice-president, dictate the appointment of judges and other Federal officers, and make the laws what they pleased. If pressed to it, they could even control the interpretation of the laws by the Supreme Court. No Federal judge could be removed except by impeachment, but an act of Congress could at any time increase the number of judges to any extent, and the appointment of the additional judges could reverse the opinion of the court. 204. In circumstances so critical a cautious quiescence and avoidance of public attention was the only safe course for the " slave power," but that course had become im- possible. The numbers interested had become too to D Disuaionsunion to . large to be subject to complete discipline; all could not be held in cautious reserve; and, when an advanced proposal came from any quarter of the slave-holding lines, the whole army was shortly forced up to the advanced position. Every movement of the mass was necessarily aggressive; and aggression meant final collision. If collision came it must be on some question of the rights of the states; and on such a question the whole South would move as one man. 205. The Protestant churches of the United States had reflected in their organization the spirit of the political institutions under which they lived. Acting as purely voluntary associations, they had been organized Dlvlslom Sectarian into governments by delegates, much like the " conventions " which had been evolved in the political parties. The omnipresent slavery question intruded into these bodies, and split them. The Methodist Episcopal Church was thus divided into a Northern and a Southern branch in 1844, and the equally powerful Baptist Church met the same fate in the following year. Two of the four great Protestant bodies were thus no longer national; it was only by the most careful management that the integrity of the Presbyterian Church was maintained until 1861, when it also yielded; and only the Episcopal and Roman Catholic Churches retained their national character. 206. The political parties showed the same tendency. Each began to shrivel up in one section or the other. The notion of " squatter sovereignty," attractive at first to the Western democracy, and not repudiated thpart anges. by the South, enabled the Democratic party to pass the crisis of 1850 without losing much of its Northern vote, while Southern Whigs began to drift in, making the party continually more pro-slavery. This could not continue long without beginning to decrease its Northern vote, but this effect did not become plainly visible until after 1852. The efforts of the Whig party to ignore the great question alienated its anti-slavery members in the North, while they did not satisfy its Southern members. The Whig losses were not at first heavy, but, as the electoral vote of each state is determined by the barest plurality of the popular vote, they were enough to defeat the party almost everywhere in the presidential election of 1852. The Whigs Election nominated General Winfield Scott and the Democrats of 1852. Franklin Pierce; and Pierce carried all but four of the thirty-one states, and was elected, receiving 254 out of the 296 electoral votes. This revelation of hopeless weakness was the downfall of the Whig party; it maintained its organization for four years longer, but the life had gone out of it. The future was with the Free Soil party, though it had polled but few votes in 1852. 207. During the administration of Taylor (and Vice-President Millard Fillmore, who succeeded him) Clay, Webster, Calhoun, Polk and Taylor were removed by Changes Leadership. death, and there was a steady drift of other political leaders out of public life. New men were pushing in everywhere, and in both sections they showed the prevailing tendency to disunion. The best of them were unprecedentedly radical. Charles Sumner, William H. Seward, and Salmon P. Chase came into the Senate, bringing the first accession of recognized force and ability to the anti-slavery feeling in that body. The new Southern men, such as Jefferson Davis, and the Democratic recruits from the Southern Whig party, such as Alexander H. Stephens, were ready to take the ground on which Calhoun had always insisted—that Congress was bound not merely to the negative duty of not attacking slavery in theTerritories, but to the positive duty of protecting it. This, if it should become the general Southern position, was certain to destroy the notion of "squatter sovereignty," and thus to split the Democratic party, which was almost the last national ligament that now held the two fragments of the Union together. 208. The social disintegration was as rapid. Northern men travelling in the South were naturally looked upon with increasing suspicion, and were made to feel that they Soda! Divergencewere on a soil alien in sympathies. Some of the . worst phases of democracy were called into play in the South; and, in some sections, law openly yielded supremacy to popular passion in the cases of suspected Abolitionists. Southern conventions, on all sorts of subjects, became common; and in these meetings, permeated by a dawning sense of Southern nationality, hardly any proposition looking to Southern independence of the North was met with disfavour. 209. Calhoun, in his last and greatest speech, called attention to the manner in which one tie after another was snapping. But he ignored the real peril of the situation—its o%o ps adangerous facts: that the South was steadily grow- ing weaker in comparison with the North, and more unable to secure a wider area for the slave system; that it was therefore being steadily forced into demanding active Congressional protection for slavery in the Territories; that the North would never submit to this; and that the South must submit or bring about a collision by attempting to secede. 210. Anti-slavery feeling in the North was stimulated by the manner in which the Fugitive Slave Law was enforced immediately after 185o. The chase after fugitive hire a Law. s slaves was prosecuted in many cases with circum- stances stances of revolting brutality, and features of the slave system which had been tacitly looked upon as fictitious were brought home to the heart of the free states. (See FUGITIve SLAVE LAws.) The added feeling showed its force when the Kansas-Nebraska Act was passed by Congress (1854). It organized the two new Territories of Kansas and Nebraska. Both of them were for ever free soil by the terms of the Missouri Compromise (q.v.). But the success of the notion of squatter sovereignty in holding the Democratic party together while destroying the Whig party had intoxicated Stephen A. Douglas (q.v.), and other Northern Democrats; and they now applied the doctrine to these Territories. They did not desire " to vote slavery up or down," but left the decision to. the people of the two Territories and the .essential feature of the Missouri Compromise was specifically repealed. 211. This was the grossest political blunder in American history. The status of slavery had been settled, by the Constitution or by the compromises of 1820 and 1850, on every square foot of American soil; right or wrong, the settlement was made. The Kansas-Nebraska Act took a great mass of territory out of the settlement and flung it into the arena as a prize for which the sections were to struggle. The first result of the act was to throw parties into chaos. An American or " Know-Nothing" (q.v.) party, a secret oath-bound organiza- The tion, pledged to oppose the influence or power of "American foreign-born citizens, had been formed to take the place Petty." of the defunct Whig party. It had been quite successful in state elections for a time, and was now beginning to have larger aspirations. It, like the Whig party, intended to ignore slavery, but, after a few years of life, the questions complicated with slavery entered its organization and divided it also. Even in 1854 many of its leaders in the North were forced to take position against the Kansas-Nebraska Act, while hosts of others joined in the opposition without any party organization. No American party ever rose se swiftly as this latter; with no other party name than the awkward The title of " Anti-Nebraska men," it carried the Republican Congressional elections of 1854 at the North, forced Party. many of the former Know-Nothing leaders into union with it, and controlled the House of Representatives of the Congress which met in 1855. The Democratic party, which had been practically the only party since 1852, had now to face the latest and strongest of its broad-constructionist opponents, one which with the nationalizing features of the Federalist and Whig parties combined democratic feelings and methods, and, above all, had a democratic purpose at bottom. It acknowledged; at first, no purpose aimed at slavery, only an intention to exclude slavery from the Territories; but, under such principles, it was the only party which was potentially an anti-slavery party, the only party to which the enslaved labourer of the South could look with the faintest hope of aid in reaching the status of a man. The new party had grasped the function which belonged of right to its great opponent, and it seized with it its opponent's original title. The name Democrat had quite taken the place of that first used—Republican—but the latter had never passed out of popular remembrance and liking at the North. The new party took quick and skilful advantage of this by assuming the old name (see REPUBLICAN PARTY), and early in 1856 the two great parties of the present—Democratic and Republican—were drawn up against one another. 212. The foreign relations of the United States during Pierce's term of office were overshadowed by the domestic difficulties, but were of importance. In the •Koszta case (18J3) national protection had been afforded KCase. oszta on foreign soil to a person who had only taken the preliminary steps to naturalization (see MARCY, W. L.). Japan had been opened to American intercourse and commerce (1854). But the question of slavery was more Japan. and more thrusting itself even into foreign relations. A great Southern republic, to be founded at first by the slave states, but to take in gradually the whole territory around the Gulf of Mexico and include the West Indies, was soon to be a pretty general ambition among slave-holders, and its first phases appeared during Pierce's administration. Efforts were begun to obtain Cuba from Spain; and the three leading American ministers abroad, meeting at Ostend, Ostend united in declaring the possession of Cuba to be Manifesto; essential to the well-being of the United States Filibuster (1854). (See BUCHANAN, JAMES.) " Filibustering " ing. expeditions against Cuba or the smaller South American states, intended so to revolutionize them as to lay a basis for an Kansas-Nebraska Act. application to be annexed to . the United States, became common, and taxed the energies of the Federal government. But these yielded in importance to the affairs in Kansas. 213. Nebraska was then supposed to be a desert, and attention was directed almost exclusively to Kansas. No sooner manses. had its organization left the matter of slavery to be decided by its " people " than the anti-slavery people of the North and West felt it to be their duty to see that the " people " of the Territory should be anti-slavery in sympathy. Emigrant associations were formed, and these shipped men and families to Kansas, arming them for their protection in the new country. Southern newspapers called for similar measures in the South, but the call was less effective. Southern men without slaves, settling a new state, were uncomfortably apt to prohibit slavery, as in California. Only slave-holders were trusty pro-slavery men; and such were not likely to take slaves to Kansas and risk their ownership on the result of the struggle. But for the people of Missouri, Kansas would have been free soil at once. Lying across the direct road to Kansas, the Missouri settlers blockaded the way of free-state settlers, crossed into Kansas, and voted profusely at the first Territorial election. The story of the contest between the free-state and pro-slavery settlers is told elsewhere (see KANSAS: § History) ; here it need only be said that the struggle passed into a real civil war, the two powers mustering considerable armies, fighting battles, capturing towns and paroling prisoners. The struggle was really over in 1857, and the South was beaten. There were, however, many obstacles yet to be overcome before the new state of Kansas was recognized by Congress, after the withdrawal of the senators of the seceding states (x861). 214. In the heat of the Kansas struggle came the presidential election of 1856. The Democrats nominated James Buchanan, declaring, as usual, for the strictest limitations of the powers of the Federal government on a number of points specified, and reaffirming the principle of the Kansas-Nebraska Act—the settlement of slavery by the people of a Territory. The remnant of the Whig party, including the Know-Nothings of the North and those Southern men who wished no further discussion of slavery, nominated the president who had gone out of office in 18J3, Millard Fill-more. The Republican party nominated John C. Fremont; the bulk of its manifesto was taken up with protests against attempts to introduce slavery into the Territories; but it showed its broad-construction tendencies by declaring for appropriations of Federal moneys for internal improvements. The Democrats were successful in electing Buchanan;' but the position of the party was quite different from the triumph with which it had come out of the election of 1852. It was no longer master of twenty-seven of the thirty-one states; all New England and New York, all the North-West but Indiana and Illinois, all the free states but five, had gone against it; its candidate no longer had a majority of the popular vote. For the first time in the history of the country a distinctly anti-slavery candidate had obtained an electoral vote, and had even come near obtaining the presidency. Fillmore had carried but one state, Maryland; Buchanan had carried the rest of the South, with a few states in the North, and Fremont the rest of the North and none of the South. If things had gone so far that the two sections were to be constituted into opposing political parties, it was evident that the end was near. 215. Oddly enough the constitutionality of the Compromise of 182o had never happened to come before the Supreme Court The Dred for consideration. In 1856-1857 it came up for Scott the first time. One Dred Scott, a Missouri slave Decision, who had-been taken in 1834 to Illinois, a free state, and in 1836 to Minnesota, within the territory covered by the Compromise, and had some years after being taken back to Missouri in 1838 sued for his freedom, was sold (1852) to a citizen of New York. Scott then transferred his suit from 1 Buchanan received 174 electoral votes, Fremont 114 and Fillmore 8. The popular vote was: for Buchanan, 1,838,169; for lr3mi tit. 1.341,264; for Fillmore, 874,534.the state to the Federal courts, under the power given them to try suits between citizens of different states, and the case came by appeal to the Supreme Court. Its decision, announced on the 6th of March 1857, put Scott out of court on the ground that a slave, or the descendant of slaves, could not be a citizen of the United States or have any standing in Federal courts. The opinion of Chief Justice Taney went on to attack the validity of the Missouri Compromise, for the reasons that one of the Constitutional functions of Congress was the protection of property; that slaves had been recognized as property by the Constitution, and that Congress was bound to protect, not to prohibit, slavery in the Territories.2 The mass of the Northern people held that slaves were looked upon by the Constitution, not as property, but as " persons held to service or labour " by state laws; that the Constitutional function of Congress was the protection of liberty as well as of property; and that Congress was thus bound to prohibit, not to protect, slavery in the Territories. A large part of the North flouted the decision of the Supreme Court, and the storm of angry dissent which it aroused did the disunionists good service at the South. From this time the leading newspapers in the South maintained that the radical Southern view first advanced by Calhoun, and but slowly accepted by other Southern leaders, as to the duty of Congress to protect slavery in the Territories, had been confirmed by the Supreme Court; that the Northern Republicans had rejected it; even the " squatter sovereignty " of North-ern Democrats could no longer be submitted to by the South. 216. The population of the United States in 186o was over 31,000,000, an increase of more than 8,000,coo in ten years. As the decennial increases of population became Admission larger, so did the divergence of the sections in popu- of Minnesota lation, and still more in wealth and resources. Two and Oregon. more free states came in during this period—Minnesota (x858) and Oregon (1859)—and Kansas was clamouring loudly for the same privilege. The free and slave states, which had been almost equal in population in 1790, stood now as 19 to 12. And of the 12,000,000 in slave states, the 4,000,000 slaves and the 250,000 free blacks were not so much a factor of strength as a possible source of weakness and danger. No serious slave rising had ever taken place in the South; but John Brown's John attack (1859) on Harper's Ferry as the first move Brown's in a project to rouse the slaves (see BROWN, JOHN), Raid. and the alarm which it carried through the South, were tokens of a danger which added a new horror to the chances of civil war. It was not wonderful that men, in the hope of finding some compromise by which to avoid such a catastrophe, should be willing to give up everything but principle, nor that offers of compromise should urge Southern leaders further into the fatal belief that " the North would not fight." 217. Northern Democrats, under the lead of Douglas, had been forced already almost to the point of revolt by the determination of Southern senators to prevent the admission of Division Kansas as a free state, if not to secure her admission of the as a slave state.' When the Democratic convention Democratic of 1860 met at Charleston the last strand of the PAY' last national political organization parted; the Democratic party itself was split at last by the slavery question. The Southern delegates demanded a declaration in favour of the duty of Congress to protect slavery in the Territories. It was all that the Douglas Democrats could then do to maintain themselves in a few Northern states; such a declaration meant political suicide every-where, and they voted it down. The convention divided into two bodies. The Southern body adjourned to Richmond, and the Northern and Border state convention to Baltimore. Here the Northern delegates, by seating some delegates friendly to Douglas, 2 In his decision Taney, referring to the period before the adoption of the Constitution, wrote: " They (negroes) had for more than a century before been regarded as beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the white race, either in social or political relations; and so far inferior that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect." This was intended to be merely a historical statement, but it is often incorrectly quoted as if it referred to the status of the negro in 1857. . Election of 1856. provoked a further secession of border state delegates, who, in company with the Richmond body, nominated John C. Breckinridge (q.v.) and Joseph Lane for president and vice-president. The remainder of the original convention nominated Douglas and H. V. Johnson. 218. The remnant of the old Whig and Know-Nothing parties, now calling itself the Constitutional Union party, met constitu- at Baltimore and nominated John Bell (q.v.) don al union and Edward Everett. The Republican convention Party; met at Chicago. Its " platform " of 1856 had Republican been somewhat broad-constructionist in its nature Party' and leanings, but a strong Democratic element in the party had prevented it from going too far in this direction. The election of 1856 had shown that, with the votes of Pennsylvania and Illinois, the party would have then been successful, and the Democratic element was now ready to take almost anything which would secure the votes of these states. This state of affairs will go to explain the nomination of Abraham Lincoln, of Illinois, for president, with Hannibal Hamlin, a former Democrat, for vice-president, and the declaration of the platform in favour of a protective tariff. The mass of the platform was still devoted to the necessity of excluding slavery from the Territories. To sum The parties up: the Bell party wished to have no discussion of and Slavery slavery; the Douglas Democrats rested on "squatter in the rem- sovereignty " and the Compromise of 185o, but would tortes. accept the decision of the Supreme Court; the Republicans demanded that Congress should legislate for the prohibition of slavery in the Territories; and the Southern Democrats demanded that Congress should legislate, for the protection of slavery in the Territories. 219. No candidate received a majority of the popular vote, Lincoln standing first and Douglas second. But Lincoln and Hamlin had a clear majority of the electoral vote, and so were elected, Breckinridge and Lane coming next.l It is worthy of mention that, up to the last hours of Lincoln's first term of office, Congress would always have contained a majority opposed to him but for the absence of the members from the seceding states. The interests of the South and even of slavery were thus safe enough under an anti-slavery president. But the drift of events was too plain. Nullification had come and gone, and the nation feared it no longer. Even secession by a single state was now almost out of the question; the letters of Southern governors in 186o, in consultation on the state of affairs, agree that no state would secede without assurances of support by others. If this crisis were allowed to slip by without action, even a sectional secession would soon be impossible. 220. In October 186o Governor W. H, Gist, of South Carolina, sent a letter to the governor of each of the other cotton states secession. except Texas, asking co-operation in case South Carolina should resolve upon secession, and the replies were favourable. The democratic revolution which, since 1829, had compelled the legislature to give the choice of presidential electors to the people of the states had not affected South Carolina; her electors were still chosen by the legislature. That body, after having chosen the state's electors on the 6th of November, remained in session until the telegraph had brought assurances that Lincoln had secured a sufficient number of electors to ensure his election; it then (on the loth ) summoned a state convention and adjourned. The state convention, which is a legislative body chosen for a special purpose, met first at Columbia and then at Charleston, and on the loth of December unanimously passed an " ordinance of secession," repealing the acts by which the state had ratified the Constitution and its amendments, and dissolving " the union now subsisting between South Carolina and other states, under the name of the ` United States of America.' " The convention took all steps necessary to prepare for war, and adjourned. Similar ordinances were passed by conventions in ' 1 Lincoln received 18o electoral votes, Breckinridge 72, Bell 39 and Douglas 12. Their popular votes were 1,866,352, 847,514, 587,830 and 1,375,157 respectively.
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