Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A Compromise

Senator John Crittenden
The Crittenden Compromise was proposed on December 18th 1860 by Kentucky United States Senator John J Crittenden as a way to resolve the growing secession crisis.

The Crittenden Compromise was introduced to the United States Congress by Kentucky Senator John J Crittenden on December 18th 1860.  It was supposed to address the grievances of the slave states and resolve the growing secession crisis.  The Compromise suggested six constitutional amendments and four Congressional resolutions.  It promised permanents of slavery in the slave states, and suggested extending the Missouri Compromise line to the Pacific, guaranteeing slavery south of the 36° 30′ parallel.

The Compromise was praised by the Southern member of the United States Senate, but was opposed by the Republicans.  The Compromise would be tabled by both Houses of Congress on December 31st 1860.

The proposed Crittenden Compromise that would have affected the constitution read:

“Slavery would be prohibited in any territory of the United States "now held, or hereafter acquired," north of latitude 36 degrees, 30 minutes line. In territories south of this line, slavery of the African race was "hereby recognized" and could not be interfered with by Congress. Furthermore, property in African slaves was to be "protected by all the departments of the territorial government during its continuance." States would be admitted to the Union from any territory with or without slavery as their constitutions provided.
Congress was forbidden to abolish slavery in places under its jurisdiction within a slave state such as a military post.

Congress could not abolish slavery in the District of Columbia so long as it existed in the adjoining states of Virginia and Maryland and without the consent of the District's inhabitants. Compensation would be given to owners who refused consent to abolition.

Congress could not prohibit or interfere with the interstate slave trade.

Congress would provide full compensation to owners of rescued fugitive slaves. Congress was empowered to sue the county in which obstruction to the fugitive slave laws took place to recover payment; the county, in turn, could sue "the wrong doers or rescuers" who prevented the return of the fugitive.

No future amendment of the Constitution could change these amendments or authorize or empower Congress to interfere with slavery within any slave state.

Congressional resolutions:

That fugitive slave laws were constitutional and should be faithfully observed and executed.
That all state laws which impeded the operation of fugitive slave laws, the so-called "Personal liberty laws," were unconstitutional and should be repealed.

That the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 should be amended (and rendered less objectionable to the North) by equalizing the fee schedule for returning or releasing alleged fugitives and limiting the powers of marshals to summon citizens to aid in their capture.

That laws for the suppression of the African slave trade should be effectively and thoroughly executed.

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