Compromise of 1839

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"The Freigan Lords of the Lord Councilmen, A.D. 1839":
Maximin Dubois takes the floor of the Lords of the Lord Councilmen to explain the new compromise legislation.

The Compromise of 1839 officially known as the Act on the Sovereignty of Carolina and the Existence of Slavery Within the Freigan Empire was an act passed in the Freigan Legislature in response to the Nashville Convention. The Compromise legislation was first drafted by prominent members of the Legislature, before John C. Calhoun of South Carolina and Maximin Dubois of Alabama were invited to Syt in order to represent Carolina's view on the legislation. The resulting legislation became known as the Freedom Compromise but later adapted it's name as the Compromise of 1839 by many historians. While the compromise was able to relieve conflict over the issue of slavery, it was scorned by many Freigan's as being inhumane.

  • A new constitution drafted by Calhoun and Dubois was placed into power in Carolina, which put Carolina into personal union with Freiga in a new federal constitutional monarchy. Carolina was to be in personal union with Freiga until 1883 (45 years after the signing of the compromise). After that 45 year period, Carolina could choose to stay in personal union with Freiga or create their own republic.
  • Carolina would continue to have free trade with Freiga as if it was still a part of the Freigan Empire
  • The issue of slavery would be decided by the new national government of Carolina but would be outlawed everywhere else in Freiga
  • Carolina was to end the slave trade no later than 1868, 30 years after the signing of the compromise

The compromise garnered large support in Carolina, because it appeared as if they were becoming independent from Freiga and retaining slavery across the country. Those in the Warsiene Islands, and other Freigan Caribbean colonies also supported the bill because it would have allowed them to govern themselves within a federal system, and retain slavery which was the backbone of Freigan Caribbean economies.

However in Freiga, the bill received mixed to low support from the public. Most Freigan's saw the bill as an extension of slavery in Carolina and therefore a sin against God. They also believed that giving Carolina personal union status, the bill was essentially granting Carolina independence from Freiga and most Freigan's did not see the reason the country should allow them to become independent and retain slavery. While most Freigan Legislators saw the bill as less than desirable, they believed it was necessary to not drag the country into a costly War for Independence with Carolina, which most believed Freiga could not win if the Carolinian's won the support of the American's. They also believed it would help sustain the cotton trade which was currently majorly fueling the economy of Freiga. The King of Freiga signed the act into effect on March 1, 1840, which is marked as Independence Day for many Carolinian's.

Background

In 1838, a popular revolution against King Anglin of Freiga, overthrew the Anglinburg regime in Freiga. Carolinian's supported the revolution in Europe, although there were very few rebellions against Anglinburg in Carolina. Once the new Freigan regime was set up, it began implementing sweeping reforms across the Freigan Empire, including the Devolution Act which gave more autonomy to each colony, which were now called Colonial Provinces of Freiga. However after the introduction of a bill in the Freigan Legislature which would ban slavery, 128 delegates from across Carolina met in Nashville to discuss what Carolina shall do if Freiga should pass the bill. The Nashville Resolves stated that if Freiga was to ban slavery in Carolina, Carolina would form a union called the United Federation of Carolina and peacefully secede from Freiga. If peaceful secession did not work, the delegates decreed that they would go to war with Freiga for independence.

After word of the Nashville Resolves reached Syt, legislators in Freiga began to panic, worried about what a war for independence could do to the Freigan economy and budget. Most legislators agreed that the country was in no way fit to fight a war against Carolinian's, who overwhelmingly supported the idea of secession if slavery was outlawed. At the same time, Carolina's cotton trade was the largest source of income for Freiga, and loosing that source of income would be detrimental to the economy. As a result the Freigan Legislature pulled the anti-slavery bill before it could be voted on. Work began on a new bill which would still eliminate slavery in the non-plantation labor parts of the Freigan Empire but would allow Carolina to choose their own destiny in regards to slavery.

Freigan Proposal

The first proposal of what will be called the Second Emancipation Act, banned all slavery except in the colonial provinces of North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgje, Alabama, and Florida or all mainland Carolinian colonial provinces. The rest of Freiga, including the Freigan Caribbean islands would ban slavery. However gradual emancipation would begin in Carolina in the year 1850 under the Freigan proposal. In regards to Carolina's sovereignty, the political rights would be kept as they were outlined in the Devolution Act.

Many Carolinian's balked at this proposal, with John C. Calhoun calling it a disgrace to Carolina, and an ineffective legislation. Carolinian's wanted to completely decide the institution of slavery for themselves and the 1850 deadline seemed very close for many Carolinian's. Many worried what would happen to the Carolinian economy if slavery was to be banned. Other's believed that the act did nothing to give Carolina independence or autonomous status within Freiga. At the same time those living in the Freigan Caribbean actively campaigned to be considered one of the exception territories. This was denied several times by the Freigan legislature, and two days after word came back to the islands, they to signed the Nashville Resolves. Worrying of an impending war for independence, Freiga invited two prominent Carolinian's, John C. Calhoun and Maximin Dubois to discuss changes to the bill.

Carolinian Proposal

John C. Calhoun became an active supporter of Carolinian independence in response to Freiga's Emancipation Bills.

Calhoun and Dubois both met in Brunswik, Georgje to discuss what they believed would be ideal for Carolina. Both agreed that slavery should be left up to the colonial provinces, if the colonial provinces were to stay a part of Freiga. However both Calhoun and Dubois agreed that Carolina needed greater autonomy from Freiga. Both agreed to argue for the independence of Carolina from Freiga, as both were avid supporters of independence and personally believed that it would be the best plan for Carolina. At the end of their meeting in Brunswik, Calhoun and Dubois agreed on these three principles:

  • Each Colonial Province and Colony of Freiga should be given the right of popular sovereignty and will be able to vote on the extension or abolition of slavery within their territory
  • All of the Colonial Provinces and Colonies should be allowed the right to popular sovereignty on the issue of creating an independent Federation of Carolina or staying with Freiga
  • No limit or extension shall be placed on slavery in Carolina through any bill passed in the Freigan Legislature.

Both Calhoun and Dubois said that if any of these were not fulfilled, Carolina would subsequently be declared an independent republic and an army to protect the new republic from a "Freigan Invasion" would be set up.

Compromise

Maximin Dubois was more moderate than Calhoun and became instrumental to reaching the compromise.

Calhoun and Dubois both met with a committee of the Freigan Legislature for a little over a month. During this time, many Carolinian's were getting restless, and with no word coming back from Calhoun or Dubois, many wondered if Freiga had jailed them for treason. However on the morning of October 15, 1839, Calhoun, Dubois, along with 3 other members of the Freigan Legislature Committee appeared before the full legislature in order to detail the new compromise bill. The new compromise consisted of:

  • A new constitution for Carolina in order to make it into a federalize consitutional monarchy, similar to the government of Freiga in personal union with the King and Freiga
  • An section saying that Carolina's new Gearkomste would decide the issue of slavery in the new Federal Kingdom of Carolina
  • Freigan Caribbean Possessions would be allowed the right to vote if they wanted to ascend into Carolina
  • A section banning slavery in any area that was not a part of the Federal Kingdom of Carolina by January 1, 1842.
  • Banning of slavery in Freiga Proper and Frisia effective immediately.
  • Carolina was to end the slave trade within 30 years, in 1868

Upon the urging of the committee, the Lords of the Lord Councilmen voted in favor of the proposal. Seven days later, the Elected Convened Men voted in favor of the bill. The Freigan King Signed the Bill before one copy was taken home with Calhoun and Dubois back to Carolina. By this time, Carolinians had already gotten the news of a new compromise but were unsure about what was in the compromise. Carolinian's also mistrusted the Freigan's and believed that they would renege on their word at the last second. The copy Dubois and Calhoun would bring home became the Constitution for the new Carolina.

Response

In Carolina, the compromise was met with mixed opinions. Most moderates supported the compromise, saying that it was a step toward independence for Carolina and would allow them to keep their economy without bloodshed. Most moderates supported slavery and since the compromise saved the practice, it was seen with positive thing for Carolina. However, some far-right's in Carolina did not like the compromise. While they supported the fact that the compromise kept slavery in Carolina, many were extremely unsure about the new government for the Kingdom, feeling that they would only be a puppet of Freiga, and the government was just a name change from the Colonial Federation. Many far-right individuals believed that Carolina could easily form it's own republic, and with support from the United States, Freiga would be powerless to stop it. While abolitionists in Carolina hardly existed, the few became very vocal over the issue. Many of them believed that it was Freiga's job to rule over the colonies and ban any immoral practices, and therefore ban slavery. They became vocal over the issue that Carolina was allowed to keep slavery but no other part of Freiga was allowed to. They also believed that the compromise was another example of Slave Power which now how power over the government of Freiga. Abolitionists tried to criminalize Calhoun and Dubois to no avail. Most of their attempts were met with violence from the pro-slavery committee.

In Freiga responses were mixed but generally positive. Most Freigan's feared Carolinian Secession from Freiga, believing that it would spark some massive war for independence that Freigan's would have to fight in. They also believed this secession would lead to bitter relations between Freiga and Carolina and perhaps cut off the cotton trade which was fueling the economy of Freiga. Therefore they viewed the compromise an important part in avoiding a war in Carolina and keeping up the economy of Freiga running. While many Freigans were morally against slavery, they viewed it's use in Carolina as critical, and like many Carolinian's believed that the abolition of slavery would destroy the very profitable Carolinian economy. However abolitionist groups called the compromise a disgrace, and said that it did little to free the vast majority of slaves within Freiga. At the same time, since Freigan Caribbean possessions were allowed to join Carolina, many feared that Freiga could suffer economic collapse in 1883 if Carolina decided to form a republic.