Chapter 18 Questions
Make sure answer specifically and in your own words.
1. What did both of the national parties do regarding the discussion of slavery in order to try to maintain appeal in all sections of the nation? What impact did the slavery questions have on party unity and party policy?
2. Why did politicians such as Cass believe that popular sovereignty could be a solution to the slavery question? Explain how popular sovereignty was supposed to work.
3. What four specific consequences did the outcome of the Mexican War have? How did the war impact the election of 1848 and the candidates chosen?
4. Explain the cartoon, including the symbolism used, on p. 417.
5. What were the core beliefs of the Free Soil Party? What specific groups of people supported it? Summarize the argument against slavery that this party advocated. What stance on slavery did each of the main parties take in 1848?
6. In what ways did New York influence both the election of 1844 and 1848 (look back to page 404)?
7. How did the discovery of gold threaten to inflame the controversy over slavery?
8. Pages 420-21 lists specific Southern strengths, and specific Southern fears by 1850. Compare and contrast these. How did California threaten the equilibrium, and how might it be a precedent that concerned Southerners?
9. Explain how the Underground Railroad worked. What method did most slaves utilize to gain their freedom, and yet what did Southerners emphasize as a concern as a matter of principle and honor?
10. What are “fire-eaters” and what did they attempt to do in Nashville in 1850 (see p. 422 and 424)?
11. Who were the “immortal trio,” and what specific plans did they suggest as Congress fought to find a compromise in 1849 over the slavery/territorial issue? What was the point of the Seventh of March speech? What impact did this have on Webster’s public standing?
12. What was the difference between the Young Guard and the Old Guard? What was William Seward’s stance on the controversy? Include nicknames of all involved.
13. To what previous incident does the term “Jacksonize” on p. 423 refer? How did it apply to the slavery controversy? To what were they reacting?
14. Who was the second president to die in office? How did this affect the controversy?
15. Use a chart to explain the various provisions of the Compromise of 1850 and whether each one favored the North or the South.
16. What was the “iron law of nature” mentioned on p. 425? How did it impact the possible future expansion of slavery?
17. Why was the Fugitive Slave Law such an explosive development? What law did it replace? Why did it backfire on the South, becoming a blunder rather than a blessing?
18. What were “personal liberty laws” attempting to do?
19. How was “time fighting for the North?”
20. How did Franklin Pierce become the nominee of the Democrats in 1852? How did he compare with Whig nominee Scott? Who was the Free Soil nominee, and how did he impact the election?
21. What was the state of the Whig party by 1852, and why? Who were “finality men?” What were the main accomplishments of the party?
22. What were the long-term consequences of this election?
23. Where was the first “transcontinental railroad,” and why was it built?
24. Who was William Walker, and what impact did he have on the slavery controversy?
25. How did Pierce miss a chance to go to war in Cuba, and how was this related to the Ostend Manifesto? How did northerners react to news of the “manifesto of brigands?”
26. How did the acquisition of California lead to more attention being paid to Asia? Explain the treaties of Wanghia and Kanagawa?
27. How was the Gadsden Purchase an indication of appeasement to Southerners? What was its purpose? What were the competing claims for either a northern or southern route for a transcontinental railroad? How did the railroad eventually influence national politics over slavery in the territories?
28. What were the expectations about the slave status of Kansas and Nebraska? What did the Kansas-Nebraska Act do, and why? Why did Stephen Douglas sponsor this law?
29. What were the consequences of the Kansas-Nebraska Act? What happened to the Missouri Compromise as a result, and why?