Compare and contrast the three speeches of the compromise of 1850
Compromise of 1850 sparked one of the most vicious and intense debates in the society. John Calhoun, William henry Seward, and Daniel Webster are some of the most famous people who took a public position on the issues of slavery and compromise. All three men had different views with which the public was able to identify. While all their views and public stances differed, it is important to examine their views individually and collectively in order to comprehend the discussion and the tensions that was present at that time.
Daniel Webster offered his support towards the compromise. According to him, slavery was southerners’ ways of life (Rhodes, 2009). The culture of the southerners’ has been dominated by slavery and allowed the southerners economy and its people to thrive. While Webster was supporting the compromise, John Calhoun was condemning it.
Calhoun believed that slavery would lead to its own devastation. However, Calhoun, stated that if the tension between the North and South were not resolved immediately, it would result in the eventual split of the union (Rhodes, 2009). For the sake of the union, he asked northerners to accept southerners’ demands to ensure that southerners can remain in the union ‘with their honours and safety’.
Seward had the most compelling of the three arguments. Seward’s attention to the law of God and His divinity is astounding. He argues that the constitution must be God’s law, and if it is not, it must be changed (Rhodes, 2009). Seward had an understanding that all men were made equal. He even uses his understanding that all men were created equal to state that a person who is equal to another, cannot be the property, or owner of another.
It is amazing that Seward’s speech, a hundred of years old, is still relevant in today’s society.
Rhodes, J. F. (2009). History of the United States: From the Compromise of 1850 to the Mckinley-bryan Campaign of 1896. New York, NY: Cosimo, Inc.
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