The 1860 Compromise That Would Have Preserved Slavery in the US Constitution

After Abraham Lincoln’s victory in the presidential election of 1860, 11 southern states separated from the Union. Slavery and state rights had been at the center of the election, and Lincoln vowed during his campaign not to restrict slavery where it already existed, but to limit its expansion to Western territories.

A series of concessions to the southern slave states, from the Missouri Compromise in 1820 to the Kansas-Nebraska Law in 1854, had helped manage the sectoral crisis and maintain the Union. Some lawmakers saw the prospect of another compromise as the nation’s best bet for survival

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