Sectionalism


  Free State Hotel
The Kansas Free State Hotel, a haven for abolitionists
North vesus South

  • Sectionalism: The condition that people from one section of the country promote the interests of their section and ignore the needs of people from other sections of the country.
    Ex.) Sectionalism was practiced by the Northern factory owners as they didn't care about the factory owners in South. The southern owners were paying higher prices for their goods as a result of the import tariff. Since factory owners in the North did not normally import their goods this tariff did not affect them.
  • Popular sovereignty was the idea of territories being able to vote whether or not they were going to allow slavery.
  • The Northern factory owners demonstrated sectionalism by not caring about the factory owners in the South. These factory owners were paying higher prices for their goods as a result of the import tariff. Since factory owners in the North did not normally import their goods this tariff did not effect them.


Public Polarization

  • Public polarization is a condition in which people disagree about something so firmly that a compromise is out of the Question_.
  • Two causes of public polarization over slavery were:
    1. The Fugitive Slave Law of 1850.
    2. The activities of the abolitionists.


The Fugitive Slave Law

  • The fugitive slave law strengthened laws that already existed. These laws stated that officials had to return slaves to their owners if they ran away.
  • Congress passed a new Fugitive Slave Law in 1850 to keep the people in the South who had slaves happy.
  • According to the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 all a white person had to do to send an African American into slavery was swear that the African American had been a slave at one time. The Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 was the biggest problem leading to public polarization that resulted from the compromise of 1850.


Kansas

  • In 1854 abolitionists were urging people to move to Kansas to help Kansas keep from becoming another slave holding state.
  • The vote in Kansas Territory resulted in a change from anti-slavery to pro-slavery. This happened because people came from a nearby pro-slavery state and voted in Kansas. The anti-slavery people were very upset by this outcome and held their own elections that ended up with them having their own government.
  • In 1856 Kansas became known as "Bleeding Kansas" because of over 200 violent deaths resulting from fights between abolitionists and slave owning people.


Result

  • The issue of slavery became so complicated that soon, both sides of the issue had people from all different viewpoints. The result was that nobody would take a stand on slavery for fear of offending someone else and causing business problems.
  • When the northern Democrats refused to agree with Southerners on the right to keep slaves the Southerners walked out of the Democratic part convention in 1860.