Mr. Clay's Compromise

in The Constitution in Congress

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print January 2006 | ISBN: 9780226129167
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226131160 | DOI:
Mr. Clay's Compromise

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Southern politicians openly threatened secession on the floor of Congress, and the Mississippi legislature had called for a convention of Southern states to meet in Nashville to discuss ways of protecting Southern rights. Alarmed at increasing intransigence on both sides and convinced that the President's plan would only make matters worse, Henry Clay stepped forward for the third time with a comprehensive plan to save the Union. Some Southerners pressed the extension of the Missouri Compromise, which the Nashville Convention said was the “minimum condition” for sectional peace. Clay's initial proposal had been to bribe Texas to relinquish what he called its plausible, but unfounded, claim by assuming the debts incurred by the former Republic in its struggle for independence. The Committee of Thirteen modified the proposed boundary somewhat to the advantage of Texas and substituted a money grant for the assumption of debts, but basically it endorsed Clay's proposal.

Keywords: Southern rights; Committee of Thirteen; Texas; Southern states; Missouri Compromise

Chapter.  25134 words. 

Subjects: History of Law

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