Lecture 10/8 & 10/10 Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Lecture 10/8 & 10/10 Deck (18)
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The Right of Petition in British American History

a. Sacred right to petition for a redress of grievances
i. Harder to communicate back then
ii. Some form of written document
iii. Didn’t have right that grievances are accepted

b. American Colonies adapted this, part of the first amendment

c. Fundamental principle of the people


Anti-slavery petitions in Congress pre-gag rule

House of Reps recieved them, had to read them before the court, which allowed for discussion. Quakers usually sent them in but weren't asking for changes. Then during the '30s, abolitionist sent them in and they were much more aggressive and more were presented


The Gag Rule (1836-1844)

Automatically tabled all petitions dealing with slavery.
Passed in May 1836 by a vote 117-68 (pushed by southerners)

Voted for by Southern Reps and Northern Reps who opposed abolitionism or feared for the Union


The Great Petition Campaign

i. Led by AASS
ii. Circulation of Petitions > New York to several other branches to get signatures
iii. Number of Petitions > First 18 months 23 petitons to 300,000 petitions coming from the AASS > Didn’t stop there
b. Impact
i. Linked abolitionism with defense of civil liberties
ii. Provoked converts to abolitionism
iii. Created concern among non-abolitionists about protecting right of petition


Background on John Quincy Adams

Diplomasist (1794-1823)
President of U.S. (1824-1828)
Congressman (1830-1848), Not usually done by a former president

Thought slavery was wrong but he also thought it was protected by the constitution.


Adams arguments fo the fight against the gag rule

It's a constitutional right of petition (he reffered back to the first amendment) (Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.)

It's a natural right of petition
1. Moral right proceeds statutory law
2. Right of every single human being
3. Right of petition cannot be denied from being heard on any ground but the petition could be rejected


Impact of the repeal of the Gag Rule

Repealing the Gag Rule. did not really affect Southern
opinion. Changed Northern Rep Opinion
to favor the right to petition (over time, reps were voted out or had fear of being voted out and changed their position to repeal the gag rule)


First Texas Crisis, 1836-1839

i. Texas belonged to Mexico at the time
ii. No Americans there to speak of before 1820
1. After that they started migrating because soil was fertile
2. Took their slaves with them
a. Mexico prohibited it though
3. 7000 Black slaves in the territory
4. Many quarrels between the migrators and the Mexico government
a. Slavery was the biggest disagreement
iii. Texas Revolution
1. Settlers revolted against Mexican government
2. Military campaign
a. Battle of the Alamo – Texans lost
b. Battle of Sanusinto, Huston was the hero
c. Texas became an independent country
i. Didn’t have any intentions on staying like this
3. August 1837, Texas applied to become part of the U.S.

Texas Revolution (1836) & request for annexation to U.S.
i. Issue of Texas annexation was strong to Northerners and Abolitionists


Benjamin Lundy

Impeccable abolitionist reputation
a. Created opportunity for free blacks to move and create their own communities

Believed the Texas annexation was a conspiracy amongst Texas slave owners, and government of the U.S. and the President in order to get more land in the U.S. and to create more land for numerous more slave states.


Purpose of Lundy's "The War in Texas" (1836)

Expose "true" nature of Texas revolt

Prevent annexation of Texas


Arguments of "The War in Texas"

Denies just cause for Texas revolt—refutes Texas Declaration of Independence
a. Deconstruct the Texas declaration of independence
i. Directly modeled from the Declaration if Independence of 1776
ii. Same language, saying the Mexican government was tyrannical and it had about the same amount of charges, same style of writing
b. If there is not just cause, then what is the reason for the revolt?
i. Move the settlers from the south into Texas, because they wanted this additional land to spread the institution of slavery
ii. Saw land speculators, north and south speculators (very profitable, vast fortunes)
iii. Political figures supported slave owners and land speculators
1. Especially the President
a. Andrew Jackson was a slave owner
2. Said Jackson was behind it
a. Get settlers in and try to get the land of Texas to the U.S.

Alleges conspiracy to acquire land for 6-8 new slave states

Calls for campaign to stop Texas annexation
a. On part of the people to stop annexation from going through
b. It would require legislation to get Texas in, not just the power of the President
c. Get people riled up about the annexation


Evidence in "The War on Texas"

From pro-annexation sources, used newspaper articles and such of people who were pro annex to show the true motives

The amount of evidence wasn't like Weld's expose, but there was a lot of evidence.


Impact of "The War on Texas"

Starts anti-annexation campaign
a. Single-handedly started the campaign
b. Argued the campaign was for the fate of the entire country, control of the country could change if Texas was let in
c. Was successful in riling people up

Handbook for other writers & speakers
a. Many other writers and speakers read his work and followed a similar nature
b. John Quincy Adams picked up his work, read Lundy’s pamphlet


JQA & the congressional debate on Texas

Moral evil of slavery, cancer of American democracy

Congress must stop lot to acquire Texas for slavery

Annexing Texas will cause war with Mexico


Collapse of the first Texas annexation movement

Texas withdrew its annexation request

Congress could not hold up the request


The Second Texas Crisis (1841-1848)

Rebirth of the annexation, President reintroduced the conversation

Still serious opposition to the annexation

Used the same arguments as the first time around but they couldn't hold up

Diplomatic relations were not resolved by the time of the second annexation attempt which leads to the Mexican War

Texas was annexed into the U.S. in 1845 and that led to the Mexican War


Mexican War (1846-1848)

1. Little skirmish broke between US and Mexican border patrol
2. President said that they were in a state of war, but didn’t declare war
a. Used this to start the Mexican War

1. Biggest war opposition in the U.S. before Vietnam
2. Huge acres of land were the true goal of the war, not just the annexation of Texas
3. War was unconstitutional, Congress needed to declare war, the president couldn’t
4. 40-2 vote in congress to support the Mexican War (Not to declare it)
a. One of the opposition votes was Abraham Lincoln who lost his chair because of it

1. Smashing victory- no doubt of loss
2. War hero eventually became president

Treaty: Acquisition of Mexican Territory
1. February of 1848
2. The treaty allowed for U.S. to claim the Land
a. All of California, Nevada, parts of New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, and Utah
i. Look it up on a map if you must.


Death of JQA (1848)

The day before the treaty went through JQA collapsed while giving a speech of the floor of the house

Day the treaty was passed, JQA passed away

At the time, JQA was the grand old man of politics