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Compromise of 1850 Essay

The issues related to slavery were still burning in the middle of the nineteenth century. The tension can be illustrated by the debate concerning the Compromise of 1850. It is possible to consider three viewpoints on the matter to see three major arguments which existed in the American society of that time. John C. Calhoun, Daniel Webster and Henry Seward gave speeches that embody the three arguments.


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Calhoun was an advocate of slavery and criticized the compromise as he stressed that the newly created state, which was agricultural, had the right to adopt the effective ways which were used in other Southern states. The politician stressed that Southern states鈥 interests were often 鈥渟acrificed. however oppressive the effects鈥 could be (Calhoun, 2010).

Even though Webster was largely against proliferation of slavery, he also noted that it was logical for a new state to become a slavery state. Unlike Calhoun, the politician did not consider the interests of the North and the South, but he stressed that there was some legislation and acts which addressed the issue and there was no need in inventing new regulations (Webster, 2010).

In contrast to the two arguments mentioned above, Seward appealed to the God鈥檚 law, he did not consider interests鈥 or laws of people. The politician stressed that 鈥渘o climate鈥 could justify slavery and all people were created equally free (Seward, n.d.). Thus, he claimed that new states had to be free from slavery due to the higher law.

In my opinion, Seward鈥檚 argument is the most compelling as the politician articulated the ideas which were in the air at that time. He was brave (and persuasive) enough to reveal the wrongs of the American society. Clearly, his argument is the strongest as he appeals to the law of nature, the greater law.

Reference List

Calhoun, J.C. (2010). Proposal to preserve the Union . Web.

Seward, W.H. (n.d.). William Henry Seward鈥檚 higher law speech . Web.


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Webster, D. (2010). Speech to the U.S. Senate in favor of the Compromise of 1850 . Web.

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