Directions: The following question requires you to construct a coherent essay that integrates your interpretation of Documents a-h

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UNITED STATES HISTORY SECTION II Part A (Suggested writing time-45 minutes) Percent of Section n score-45

Directions: The following question requires you to construct a coherent essay that integrates your interpretation of Documents A-H and your knowledge of the period referred to in the question. High scores will be earned only by essays that both cite key pieces of evidence from the documents and draw on outside knowledge of the period.

1. In the early nineteenth century, Americans sought to resolve their political disputes through compromise, yet by 1860Jhis no longer seemed possible. Analyze the reasons for this change.

Use the documents and your knowledge of the period 1820-1860 in constructing your response.

Document A

Source: Senator Henry Clay, speech to the Senate, February 12, 1833

I merely throw out these sentiments for the purpose of showing you that South Carolina, having declared her purpose to be this, to make an experiment whether, by a course of legislation, in a conventional form, or legislative form of enactment, she can defeat the execution of certain laws of the United States, I for one, will express my opinion that I believe it is utterly impracticable, whatever course of legislation she may choose to adopt, for her to succeed. . . . I say it is impossible that South Carolina ever desired for a moment to become a separate and independent state.

Document JB

Source: "Declaration of the National Anti-Slavery Convention," first annual report of the American Anti-Slavery Society, 1834

[W]e believe and affirm:

That every American citizen who retains a human being in involuntary bondage as his property is (according to Scripture) a MAN STEALER.

That the slaves ought instantly to be set free. . . .

That all those laws which are now in force, admitting the right of slavery, are . . . , before God, utterly null and void, being an audacious usurpation of the Divine prerogative. . . .

[T]hat no compensation should be given to the planters emancipating their slaves. . . . [That), if compensation is to be given at all, it should be given to the outraged and guiltless slaves and not to those who have plundered and abused them.

[That] we concede the Congress under the present national compact, has no right to interfere with any of the slave states, in relation to this momentous subject [slavery). But we maintain that Congress has a right. . . to suppress the domestic slave trade between the several states, and to abolish slavery in those portions of our territory which the Constitution has placed

under its [Congress's] exclusive jurisdiction. . .

Document C

Source: Resolution of the Pinckney Committee, House of Representatives, May 18, 1836

And whereas it is extremely important and desirable, that the agitation of this subject should be finally arrested, for the purpose of restoring tranquillity to the public mind, your committee respectfully recommend the adoption of the following additional resolution:

All petitions, memorials, resolutions, propositions, or papers relating in any way or to any extent whatsoever, to the subject of slavery or the abolition of slavery, shall without being either printed or referred, be laid on the table and that no further action whatever shall be

had thereon.

Document D

Source: Senator Daniel Webster, speech to the Senate, March 7, 1850

Mr. President, I wish to speak today, not as a Northern man, but as an American. . . .

I will state. . . one complaint of the SOlJth . . . that there has been found at the North, among individuals and among the legislatures of the North, a disinclination to perform fully their constitutional duties in regard to the return of persons bound to service who have escaped into the free states.' In that respect, it is my judgement that the South is right and the North is wrong. . . .

I hear with pain and anguish the word "secession," especially when it falls from the lips of those who are emminnently [sic] patriotic, and known to the country, and known all over the world for.their political services. Secession! Peaceable secession! Sir, your eyes and mine are never destined to see that miracle. . . . I hold the idea of a separation of these states-those that are free to form one government and those that are slaveholding to form another-as a moral impossibility. We could not separate the states by any such line if we were to draw it. We could not sit down here today and draw a line of separation that would satisfy any five men in

the country. .


Document E

Source: Illustration by J.L. Magee, 1856



Print Collection. Miriam and ha D. Wallach

Division of Art, Prints, and Photographs.

The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations

.- - ---­

Document F

Source: Muscogee, Georgia, Herald, quoted in the New York Tribune, September 10, 1856

Free society! We sicken at the name. What is it but a conglomeration of greasy mechanics, filthy operatives, small-fisted farmers, and moon-struck theorists? All northern, and especially the New England, states are devoid of society fitted for well-bred southern gentlemen. The prevailing class one meets with is that of mechanics struggling to be genteel, and.small farmers who do their own drudgery, and yet are hardly fit for association with a southern gentleman's body'servant.

Document G

Source: A~raham Lincoln, speech at Alton, Illinois, October 15, 1858

You may say. . . that all of this difficulty in regard to the institution of slavery is the mere agitation of office seekers and ambitious Northern politicians. . . . But is it true that all of the difficulty and agitation we have in regard to this institution of slavery springs from office seeking-from the mere ambition of politicians? . . . How many times have we had danger from this question? . . . [D]oes not this question make a disturbance outside of political circles? Does it not enter into the churches and rend them asunder? . . . Is it not this same mighty, deep­seated power that somehow operates on the minds of men, exciting and stirring them up in every avenue of society-in politics, in religion, in literature, in morals, in all manifold relations in life? Is this the work of politicians?

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New Jersey


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Document H


Party Republican

Southern Democxatic Northern Democratic Constitutional Union

Candidate Lincoln Breckinridge Douglas Bell

Popular vote


. 847,781

I ,376,957


Electora] vote


72 12


IIIiI Republican

I~~ll Southern Democratic t~:',~:1 Northern Democratic EZ:1 Constitutional Union IIllIIIlJ S pI it

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