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

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

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



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