American Culture of Interaction: One Nation Under God


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Presentation at SDSU Student Research Symposium, 2009.

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American Culture of Interaction: One Nation Under God

  1. 1. The American Culture of Interaction One Nation Under God An Analysis of the Missouri Crisis & Compromise of 1818-1821 Dennis J. Beesley
  2. 2. Let History Speak for Itself Historical Past Historical Future
  3. 3. Theoretical Approach Rather than looking at the divisions between North and South (or between states), it is important to understand what unifying elements maintained the American Union for almost a Century before the Civil War. Mort Kunstler, In the Hands of Providence When studying antebellum America, scholars often discuss the growing divide between North and South that inevitably led to the Civil War.
  4. 4. “ The greatest political crisis between the Revolution and the Civil War.” [1] [1] Robert Pierce Forbes, The Missouri Compromise and Its Aftermath: Slavery & the Meaning of America (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2007), 33.
  5. 5. How did the “political crisis” of Missouri affect the next Presidential election?
  6. 6. March 16, 1818 – Missouri’s petition for statehood received in the House; A committee of seven members, including Arthur Livermore is formed to consider the request. April 4, 1818 – Livermore proposes an amendment to the Constitution preventing expansion of slavery in any future state admitted into the American Union. Were Northern politicians opposed to an increase of Southern power, or slavery? April 14, 1818 – Senate passes bill enabling people of Illinois to form constitution and state government. Why is Illinois not placed in a “compromise” with Missouri? January 12, 1819 – Senate passes bill enabling people of Alabama to form constitution and state government. A Few Early Dates
  7. 7. Carte des Etas Unis de l’Amerique. A. R. Férmin, Paris, 1820 The states were united in 1820, and remained a union for forty more years.
  8. 8. On Dec. 29, 1819, Missouri’s Legislative Council and House of Representatives sent another request for statehood: Annals of Congress Color chromolithograph. J. Latham & Company, c1878. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. “ Praying to be admitted into the Union as a separate and independent State.” “ These distant frontier settlements, thus insulated, must ever be weak and powerless in themselves, and can only become important and respectable by being united.”
  9. 9. On Jan. 5, 1820, a letter from the legislature of Pennsylvania in opposition to the extension of slavery was read in the US Senate: “ The several States are invoked by the duty which they owe to the Deity , by the veneration which they entertain for the memory of the founders of the Republic, and by a tender regard for posterity , to protest against its adoption, to refuse to covenant with crime, and to limit the range of an evil that already hangs in awful boding over so large a portion of the Union.” Statehood and the Extension of Slavery UNION BETWEEN GOD, FATHERS AND CHILDREN AGAINST EVIL
  10. 10. Southern Religion On Jan. 14, 1820, Senator James Barbour of Virginia: “ It would be an act of folly and injustice to suffer Maine to be introduced into the Union while Missouri was excluded. I therefore, repeat again, do unto others as you would they should do unto you… “ We are pledged by the most solemn sanctions of our religion to reject the mediated restrictions on Missouri; the Constitution , which we have sworn to support, forbids it.”
  11. 11. On Feb. 17, 1820, in the House, Representative John Tyler of Virginia: “ Although I do not believe that this principle of equality can be applied to man in extenso , yet I love it, and admire it as an abstract truth, and will carry it into operation whensoever I can. […] If we cannot raise the black man up to the level with the white – and that we have not the constitutional power to do so none here have denied – let us raise, at least, the white man up to this level. Extend an equality of rights to the people of Missouri.” Equality and Race A year earlier, on February 16, 1819, James Tallmadge of New York admitted that “while we deprecate and mourn over the evil of slavery, humanity and good morals require us to wish its abolition, under circumstances consistent with the safety of the white population .”
  12. 12. American Culture of Interaction: One Nation Under God “ Country Wedding,” 1820 painting by John Lewis Krimmel
  13. 13. United States of America. Warr ca. 1827