The Fight for Slavery in California An article by James M. McPherson Themes reviewed and presented by: Stephanie Kastner HIST 141 (71154)
Wilmot’s Proviso• Created by David Wilmot, a Congressman from Pennsylvania.• Explained that any land acquired from Mexico will not become a territory that allows “slavery nor involuntary servitude.”• Due to a 15/15 split of the Northern (free) state Senators and the Southern (slave) state Senators, the Proviso was blocked.• This would lead to the disunion of the states as part of the Civil War.
Natural Limits Thesis• Slavery could not expand past eastern Texas because it had reached its “natural limits.” – Slaves were used in cotton fields and the cotton fields were only in the South. – Thus no man would take his slaves to the west.• The Civil War was unnecessary – “Slave Power” did not exist, but was a political campaign used by Northern US politicians to scare Americans. – This fear aided in the election of Lincoln in 1860.
To have slaves or not to have slaves?• PRO • CON – Many Gold Rushers already had slaves and • Forty Niners would have were bringing them to to compete for the jobs the west. they were already doing. – African slaves were used to working in the hot • Change the balance of conditions. power in the eastern US – Slaves were ideal for the labor of mining. – Rice and cotton could also be harvested in southern California.
The shots that possibly started and ended the Civil War• David Terry challenged David • 30 years later, Terry found Broderick to a duel in 1859. himself involved in another – Terry was a well-known Chiv dispute, but with Stephen J. in the “Chivalry” Democratic Field. wing. • Terry sought revenge – Broderick was in competition against Field after Field for the head of the had imprisoned Terry and Democratic Party. his wife for contempt. – Terry one the coin toss and • When Terry located Field opted for pistols that he had at a train station, he brought, which provided him slapped Field to initiate with the advantage. the duel. – Terry survived the duel, killing Broderick with one • This resulted in Field’s shot after Broderick’s early bodyguard shooting Terry. shot went array. 1859 Manhattan “Navy” Revolver