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1974 Us History DBQ

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The Crittenden proposal, introduced by Senator John J. Crittenden, intended to end the United States succession process. The proposal failed because while the senator who represented the south supported it, the Republicans did not accept it. Since President-elect Abraham Lincoln was the leader of the Republicans, his strong opposition of it makes him partly responsible for its defeat. However, it wasn’t just Lincoln that led to the failure of the proposal; it was also due to the Democrats’ not doing a good enough job pushing for it.

Many believe that Lincoln was the main or only reason that the proposal was rejected. He was very convincing in explaining why it was a bad idea. He is the reason that the Republicans unanimously rejected the proposal (Document T). Similarly to his party members, Lincoln was very determined and unbending when it came to his views. (Document L) He was firmly against slavery and refused to compromise when it came to this issue. (Document S) Republicans saw that the secessionists did not see how bad slavery truly was and wanted to they wanted to prevent slavery from spreading further. (Document N) He said that slavery shall not be extended by any means under any circumstances. (Document C) In the election, Lincoln had the most electoral votes and the most popular votes, showing that the people (mainly the Northern Republicans) supported him and agreed with his views. (Document B) At the same time, Republicans believed that popular sovereignty was dangerous. (Document J)

The Democrats lack of roper planning and inability to agree to terms with uncertain states helped bring down the proposal. (Document K) States, such as Florida, Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama, and South Carolina were all slave states. However, they could not decide on whether they should join the Union or join the Democrats in fighting the Union. (Document E) The Democrats should have easily gotten support from those states. While these states wanted slavery, they still did not vote for the Crittenden.

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