Wilmot Proviso and Popular Sovereignty

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  • 1. David Wilmot, the Wilmot Proviso and Stephen A. Douglas and Popular Sovereignty
  • 2. Where were we coming from? Why did we need to make a decision regarding this territory?
      • Based upon the Missouri Compromise of 1820, any area above the 36 degree 30 minute North Latitude line would be free, but no decision would be made regarding the Mexican territory to the South of the 36
  • 3. The Results of the Mexican War
    • In 1848, the United States became the owner of what later become the states of California, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, and Arizona.
    • This area had no previous legislation done to it since no decision was made upon it during the Missouri Compromise
  • 4. David Wilmot
    • A Democrat who was a Representative in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1844 through 1851, he was also later a member of the Free Soil party, which formed in the 1850’s as a third party.
    • Wilmot was not necessarily against slavery, he was merely against the spread of slavery into new territories, which is the same stance that Lincoln had taken for the Republicans in the Election of 1860.
  • 5. The Wilmot Proviso
    • Wilmot, based on the justification that slavery should not exist in the Mexican War territory for geographic reasons, proposed to Congress that slavery should be banned in all of the territory gained from Spain.
  • 6. Popular Sovereignty and Stephen A. Douglas
  • 7. Popular Sovereignty and Stephen A. Douglas
    • Stephen A. Douglas, in the 1850’s championed a new idea that was proposed regarding the new territories… allow them to vote and choose for themselves whether or not they wish to allow slavery.
    • This appeared to be a great and successful idea until you delve into the statistics of slave-owners and did not become much of a volatile issue until the fraudulent voting occurred in Kansas.
  • 8. Finishing Questions
    • 1. What territory was the Wilmot Proviso in regards to?
      • The territory gained from the Mexican War
    • 2. What did Wilmot want these territories to become?
      • Free States
    • 3. What is the justification of David Wilmot and Daniel Webster in backing this Proviso?
      • Slavery could not and should exist in the geographic areas around New Mexico, it was not economical or necessary
    • 4. What is the idea of Popular Sovereignty and who introduced this idea into the lawmaking bodies?
      • Territories could vote for themselves if they wished to have or not have slavery
    • 5. Why did Popular Sovereignty seem to be a less controversial solution to the slavery issue?
      • Because the people of those individual states would have a choice.