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Three Very Important Lessons: Slavery, The Nature Of The Federal Union And Regulation Of Commerce

1464 words - 6 pages

When it comes to naming the three principal lessons in American history, slavery, the nature of the federal union, and regulation of commerce are the most important. Each of these principal lessons has significantly changed history because they appeared several different times in the period of 1607-1865. Human behavior has resulted in the failure of the Constitutional Convention over slavery. It has also brought contentions over the Missouri compromise and the Compromise of 1850 because neither side could come in between. There have been multiple instances about the nature of the federal union because criticism was particularly harsh in the south. The nullification controversy and the Supreme Court rulings of McCulloch v. Maryland and Gibbons v. Ogden relate to the nature of the federal union. Lastly, regulation of commerce has an impact in American history because in the end someone is always going to be mad. Examples of those are the Tariff of Abominations, and the Bank of the United States.
The Constitutional Convention of 1787 had two issues that contended into slavery; apportion of congressional representation and how to regulate commerce. Each delegate had the best nation in mind however, when it comes to politics neither side could get what they want. The South wanted to count slave labor for the apportionment of representatives because it strengthens their wealth. But the North had a different viewpoint. Count slaves for representatives would give the South more power than they had and give them more votes. Since neither side could agree, they came to a somewhat rational compromise, three-fifths. Three-fifths persons were to add three-fifths to include to its whole number of free persons. Technically, the Constitution reduced slaves to three-fifths. They came up with the term three-fifths because in 1783, the South did not want to count slaves as property while the North did. When it came to counting slaves for financial obligations, the North said yes while the South said no. When it came to counting slaves for representation, the North said no while the South said yes (Raphael, 50). The failure of the Constitutional Convention of slavery resulted from human behavior because neither the North nor the South could come to a conclusion.
The Missouri compromise also resulted in disaster because it excluded slavery from the rest of the Louisiana territory from Missouri’s southern border. Arkansas and Missouri would still continue to do slavery. Then the pro-slavery faction from the Missouri’s Constitutional Convention proposed a proviso that excluded free blacks and mulattoes from the state (Tindal, Shi, 423). The Missouri compromise would then result in the Compromise of 1850 because people wanted slavery to continue in new territories.
As though the South couldn’t stop complaining, Henry Clay came up with another compromise that is similar to the Missouri compromise, the Compromise of 1850. The Compromise of 1850 include the following...

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