Chapter

Sectional Cataclysm

Alexander Tsesis

in For Liberty and Equality

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780195379693
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199949847 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195379693.003.0009
Sectional Cataclysm

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Turmoil within the Democratic Party pitted those who backed the Lecompton Constitution against its detractors. The internal conflict split the party into sectional factions. The Republican Party benefited from the rift, gaining control of the government in 1860. Two divergent views emerged as to the meaning of the Declaration of Independence. In the South, the future Confederate president, Sen. Jefferson Davis, popularized the view that the Declaration created a state-centered polity. Its statement of rights applied only to members of the polity, none of whom were blacks. Northerners, in the meantime, began taking the lead of Republicans, who spoke of the Declaration as a document containing governmentally recognized protections for civil rights.

Keywords: Democratic Party; Republican Party; Lecompton Constitution; internal conflict; Declaration of Independence; Jefferson Davis; state-centered polity; civil rights

Chapter.  12130 words. 

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