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David Wilmot, the Wilmot Proviso and Stephen A. Douglas and Popular Sovereignty
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
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.
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.