Class Notes

One area in which the 19th Century was superior to us was in compromises. Whereas today compromise means do what I want, in the 19th Century, especially with Henry Clay there were gains for both sides. A good example of this was the 1850 Compromise. When California had the population required for statehood it opened up the flood gate of issues because it was the first state to apply for statehood from the Mexican territory. The slavery question had been previously answered by the 1820 compromise, but that only applied to land in the Louisiana Purchase. During the debate over California, Clay proposed four points to satisfy everyone, two for each side. The compromise worked and the crisis was avoided, that is for ten years at least.

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