Slavery and Secession from the North Term Paper by Nicky

Slavery and Secession from the North
A look at the speeches of William Seward, John Calhoun and Daniel Webster on slavery and secession.
# 149021 | 818 words | 3 sources | MLA | 2011 | US

$19.95 Buy and instantly download this paper now


The paper looks at William Seward's "Higher Law" speech where he speaks against slavery as morally wrong, and then examines how John Calhoun speaks out against the Clay Compromise measures. The paper looks at how he emphasizes northern aggression and attempts to persuade his audience against any kind of compromise, and that only secession will solve all problems. Finally, the paper shows how Daniel Webster appeals to logic and common sense when he speaks out against secession; he knew that while the idea of a divided Union might have sounded good, it would never work.

From the Paper:

"In his "Higher Law" speech, William Seward reveals his opinions toward slavery pointing out that he believed it to be morally wrong. He encouraged his readers to think outside the box, so to speak when considering the aspect of slavery and freedom. He could not deny that slavery was legal in regard to the Constitution but what he so desperately wanted others to realize is that the Constitution did not protect the act of slavery. This might have seemed like a flimsy argument, but Seward recognized the difference and articulated it in this speech. He realized that the two could not rationally exist and still uphold one of the most precious rights Americans possess and that is the right to pursue happiness. Seward wrote, "There is another aspect of the principle of compromise which deserves consideration. It assumes that slavery, if not the only institution in a slave state, is at least a ruling institution, and that this characteristic is recognized by the Constitution" (Seward 21). Here we see that Seward is not attempting to change the Constitution. He then writes, "But slavery is only one of many institutions there. Freedom is equally an institution there. Slavery is only a temporary, accidental, partial, and incongruous one. Freedom on the contrary, is a perpetual, organic, universal one, in harmony with the Constitution of the United States" (Seward 21)."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Calhoun, John. "The Clay Compromise Measures." National Center for Public Policy Online. Information Retrieved June 13, 2009. <>
  • Seward, William. "The Higher Law Speech." Furman University Online. Information Retrieved June 13, 2009. <>
  • Webster, Daniel. "On the Clay Compromise." Bartleby Online. Information Retrieved June 13, 2009. <>

Cite this Term Paper:

APA Format

Slavery and Secession from the North (2011, November 20) Retrieved December 10, 2023, from

MLA Format

"Slavery and Secession from the North" 20 November 2011. Web. 10 December. 2023. <>