Back to the Interactive Road to Civil War Timeline




As the Mexican War came to an end, the debate over whether or not slavery should be permitted in the Mexican Cession heated up.  David Wilmot, a congressmen from Pennsylvania suggested that  slavery be forever banned in
the newly won territories.  He claimed that the 36' 30" line which was part of the Missouri Compromise only applied to the Louisiana purchase.  Many northerners had objected to the Mexican War.  They like Wilmot felt that the south was looking for new lands to expand slavery.  Southerners such as John C. Calhoun of South Carolina were horrified by Wilmot's proposal.  They wanted the institution of slavery to be extended west across the Rockies.  Wilmot's bill that would have banned slavery in the west passed in the House of Representatives where northerners held the advantage.  However the Bill was defeated in the Senate by southerners such as Calhoun.  The debate over whether slavery should or should not be allowed in the new territories would continue in the years to come.