Slavery Abolished in the Territories

June 19, 1862 – The Republican Party upheld a campaign pledge to stop the expansion of slavery by banning the institution in U.S. territories.

President Abraham Lincoln | Image Credit: Wikimedia.org

President Abraham Lincoln signed a bill into law for present and future, which stated in part:

“There shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in any of the Territories of the United States now existing, or which may at any time hereafter be formed or acquired by the United States, otherwise than in the punishment of crimes…”

This law renounced the Supreme Court ruling in Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857) stating that Congress had no right to regulate slavery anywhere in the U.S. It also rejected the Democratic concept of “popular sovereignty,” under which the people of each territory had the right to decide for themselves whether to allow slavery. In effect, this law took the administration of territories from the states and placed it into the hands of the Federal government.

More importantly, the law paved the way toward ending slavery in the South, as some Republicans argued that those states, by seceding from the Union, no longer held statehood status but should instead be considered conquered territories that could be regulated by Congress.

In another step toward racial equality this month, Lincoln signed a bill into law formally recognizing the nations of Haiti and Liberia, and authorizing the president to appoint diplomatic envoys to those nations. This marked the first time the U.S. extended diplomatic recognition to predominantly black nations.

—–

References

Davis, Jefferson, The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government: All Volumes (Heraklion Press, Kindle Edition 2013, 1889), Loc 14820-28; Denney, Robert E., The Civil War Years: A Day-by-Day Chronicle (New York: Gramercy Books, 1992 [1998 edition]), p. 184; Foote, Shelby, The Civil War, A Narrative: Fort Sumter to Perryville (New York: Vintage Books, 1958), p. 536; Fredriksen, John C., Civil War Almanac (New York: Checkmark Books, 2007), p. 163, 170; Long, E.B. with Long, Barbara, The Civil War Day by Day (New York: Da Capo Press, Inc., 1971), p. 222, 228; Ward, Geoffrey C., Burns, Ric, Burns, Ken, The Civil War (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1990), p. 150; White, Howard Ray, Bloodstains, An Epic History of the Politics that Produced and Sustained the American Civil War and the Political Reconstruction that Followed (Southernbooks, Kindle Edition, 2012), Q262

Advertisements

Tagged: , , ,

One thought on “Slavery Abolished in the Territories

  1. […] Slavery Abolished in the Territories […]

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: