The South Carolina Ordinance Essay, Research Paper
Immediately on the election of Lincoln to the Presidency the legislature of South
Carolina called a convention to meet December 17 to consider the question of succession.
The convention, chosen by popular vote, was overwhelmingly in favor of immediate
Succession. It met at Charleston and on December twenty voted unanimously for
They developed an Ordinance to Dissolve the Union between the State of South Carolina and other States united with her under the compact entitled the Constitution of the United States of America. We, the people of the State of South Carolina, in Convention assembled, do declare and ordain, and it is hereby declared and ordained, that the ordinance adopted by us in Convention, on the twenty-third day of May, in the year of our Lord 1788, whereby the Constitution of the United States of America was ratified, and also all Acts and parts of Acts of the General Assembly of this State ratifying the amendments of the said Constitution are hereby repealed, and that the union now subsisting between South Carolina and other States under the name of the United States of America is hereby dissolved.
Douglas inserted a provision that the status of slavery in the new territory would be determined by the territorial legislature according to popular sovereignty. When southern Democrats demanded more, Douglas agreed to changes in the bill: repealing the antislavery provision of the Missouri Compromise, and the division of the area into two territories, Nebraska and Kansas, instead of one. The new second territory, Kansas, as more likely to become a slave state. In its final form the measure was known as the Kansas-Nebraska Act. President Pierce supported the bill; and after a strenuous debate, it became law in May 1854 with the unanimous support of the South and the partial support of northern Democrats.
Events in Kansas itself in the next two years increased the popular excitement in the North. White settlers from both the North and the South began moving into the territory almost immediately after the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act. In the spring
1855, there were elections for a territorial legislature. Only about 1,500 legal voters lived in Kansas by en, but more than 6,000 people actually voted.
Most important of all, it spurred the creation of a new party that was frankly sectional in composition and creed. In 1854, Whigs, Democrats, and FreeSoilers opposed to the Kansas-Nebraska Act and formed the Republican Party. Instantly, it became a major force in American politics. In the elections of that year. the Republicans won enough seats in Congress to permit them, in combination with allies among the Know-Nothings, to organize the House of Representatives. Events in Kansas itself in the next two years increased the popular excitement in the North. White settlers from both the North and the South began moving into the territory almost immediately after the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act.