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Word Count: 1,143
Although the authors of the Constitution constructed a document that bound together the existing states they were unable to foresee social and economic changes that would tear the Union apart They wrote into it clauses that were well suited for the late 18th century but unfortunately brought only tension and discord and contributed to the failure of the union 65 years later The most controversial issue that added to the fissure of the Union was slavery The economy vessel of the agrarian south the cotton King depended upon it while high-minded industrial northerners condemned it Decades earlier the sectional tensions had been nakedly revealed in the Missouri Compromise and Texas annexation By the 1850s the problem was further sharpened One of the key factors of the slavery issue was whether or not to allow it to expand into new territories Northern abolitionists argued that there was no Constitutional basis for slavery and that it should be disallowed in new territories On the other hand Southerners argued that the Constitution recognized slavery as an existing institution and therefore validated its existence On the eve of the Civil War it was clear that the Constitution had become a source of disunity and was conducive to sectionalism The Mexico War ended winning America rich bounties-huge territory relinquished by Mexico Meanwhile another war was waged over the admitting of slavery into the new territory In fact when the Mexico War was still in progress Representative Wilmot had introduced an act which is known as Wilmot Proviso prohibiting future slavery in the territories won by war Wilmot Proviso was passed twice in the house but was stopped in the Senate Instead a compromise worked out submitting California as a free state and leaving Utah and New Mexico to popular sovereignty Again the decision making power of the Constitution came under scrutiny Do individual states have the right to decide for themselves the issues like slavery Abolitionists
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