Henry Clay --- The Great Compromiser who ran Most Americans seem to know little about this period let alone care to learn about it. Taney over slavery, secession, and Lincoln's constitutional war powers went to the heart of Lincoln's presidency. Calhoun and other slave holding Southerners as well as those sympathetic to them give us the language that we hear from the Tea Party and other Republicans today. There are many dramatic moments. Bordewich brings alive the passions and conflicts of these extraordinary men, who, along with President George Washington and Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton, breathed life into the Constitution. Two things above all: a compelling story and a cast of characters who come convincingly to life.
He would greatly influence Abraham Lincoln. When you read this, you will be amazed at how important this event was in terms of American history and the future of our country. In his review, Post publisher Donald E. This book is a detailed but lively narrative of one of the least understood events in antebellum history. Bordewich's book is twice the size of Robert Remini's , probably the next best authority on this topic.
Fergus Bordewich tells the epic story of the Compromise of 1850 with skill and vigor, bringing to life two generations of senators who dominated the great debate. When I first saw the subtitle of this book, I hesitated. . Dissappointing The overall arc of the narrative is flat. Speaker of the House, senator, secretary of state, five-time presidential candidate, and idol to the young Abraham Lincoln, Henry Clay is captured in full at last in this rich and sweeping biography. The Compromise saved the Union from collapse, but it did so at a great cost.
While the author, Fergus Bordewich, focuses on the debates, he gives enough history of the preceding events such as the California gold rush which pushed the issue of California statehood, the Mexican American War which added great territory to the United States, and the lives and backgrounds of the Senators who led the debates Bordewich also cites heavily to the debates and original sources with An excellent history of the Senate debates in 1850 about slavery and America's territorial expansion. The South and West were to be reconstructed in the image of the North. The war with Mexico four years before had added 1. When Bordewich describes the congressmen Senate and House and also lets their speeches speak for themselves, we see that even the northerners were white supremacists with a few exceptions and the southerners were out and out racists. The Compromise saved the Union from collapse, but it did so at a great cost.
Rising stars such as Jefferson Davis, William Seward, and Stephen Douglaswho ultimately succeeded where Clay failedwould shape the countrys politics as slavery gradually fractured the nation. How would the newly acquired empire be governed? Up to then states had been admitted in pairs, one free and one slave, to preserve that tenuous balance in the Senate. The interests of the North and South are in great conflict as illustrated by the many speeches, changing landscape and fiery speeches. In the Senate there were both proslavery and antislavery Whigs and Democrats and slave owners who were Unionists. But was the compromise a major political achievement? The Mexican War introduced vast new territories into the United States, among them California and the present-day Southwest. Douglas, and the Compromise That Preserved the Union, which won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in history. Bringing law and order to territories won in the Mexican War would upset the balance of power between North and South crafted in the Missouri Compromise of 1820, seriously threatening to dissolve the Union.
The Compromise saved the Union from collapse, but it did so at a great cost. In July, Taylor died of what was probably acute gastroenteritis, brought on by eating contaminated food on the Fourth. So began a paralyzing crisis in American government, and the longest debate in Senate history. How would the question of slavery be handled, especially when the territory of California requested entry into the Union as a free state? But this would have upset the Missouri Compromise of 1820, which had defined the limits of slavery in the territories. While the author, Fergus Bordewich, focuses on the debates, he gives enough history of the preceding events such as the California gold rush which pushed the issue of California statehood, the Mexican American War which added great territory to the United States, and the lives and backgrounds of the Senators who led the debates Bordewich also cites heavily to the debates and original sources within a compelling well written narrative--which means that it is as readable as a novel but also lets the reader come to different conclusions than Bordewhich.
The issue, of course, was slavery or, more precisely, the expansion of slavery. He refused to campaign at all or to express views on perennial issues. No apologist for slavery, he is an independent voice in the raucous legislative debate. This would have violated the tenuous balance of free vs. Had the Compromise of 1850 failed, and the Civil War actually started in 1850 instead of 1861, the South may very well have won, and who knows what the result would have been as far as the development of the United States is concerned.
Their colleagues wallowed in fustian and threats: Henry Foote of Mississippi drew a pistol on Thomas Hart Benton of Missouri on the Senate floor; but after a full dose of Benton, who could blame him? He has been an independent writer and historian since the early 1970s. Wholly enjoyable study of an earlier era of intense political partisanship. I have read well over 100 books on this period of time in our history. Mexico, the loser whose land the United States had ingested, had abolished slavery, but Texas, a slave state, claimed a vast hinterland as far west as Santa Fe. Talk of secession was only slightly muted. If you like history, I'm betting you will love this book.
Despite being a Louisiana plantation owner, he wanted to put California on a fast track to statehood as a free state. Senate was precariously balanced with fifteen free states and fifteen slave states. Had it failed - as many at the time feared it would - it's possible that the United States as we know it would not exist today. Focused laser-like on the Compromise of 1850, the crux of the controversy is over what to do with territories recently acquired from the Mexican-American War. The Mexican War introduced vast new territories into the United States, including California and the present-day Southwest. Download and start listening now! So began a paralyzing crisis in American government, and the longest debate in Senate history. It serves as gripping drama as well as a study of an important time in American history.
Bordewich asserts that in 1850, they were right but by 1860, the people in the North were simply fed up with the Southern aristocracy and their treason toward their country. Southerns willing to buck their home state's sentiments to keep the Union in tact, but it's hard not to see them all very flawed men. The gulf between North and South over slavery widened with the strengthened Fugitive Slave Law that was part of the complex Compromise. In some ways, it's not all that different in today's Washington. Like many abolitionists a label he would have loathed to be applied to himself -William Seward and William Lloyd Garrison aside-he is shown to have little belief in racial equality, expressing this by serving as a leader in the effort to colonize Africa with eventually freed slaves.