THE SOUTHERN MOVEMENT AND THE COMPROMISE, 1848-1850.
During the stir of the presidential campaign the slavery question was agitated in the South apart from any direct connection with party politics. It was believed by a considerable element there that there was need of paying special attention to the defense of southern rights; many persons calmly and seriously calculated the value of the Union in the face of the continued attacks upon southern institutions. They emphasized the vital importance of prompt, decided, and efficient action, urged the union of their section by the concerted efforts of the leaders of both parties, and quietly tested the strength of opinion in favor of joint action by all the slave states in the form of a southern convention. The fire-eaters or "chivalry" politicians, as they were sometimes called, talked of forcible resistance and counted the resources of the southern states and the possibilities of success. Calhoun's slavery resolutions in the Senate and the Virginia resolutions of 1847 had given them satisfactory ground to stand upon; and, even while the Clayton compromise was before Congress, they tried to rally the southern members in favor of a convention to insist upon a proper recognition of their rights.1 When a territorial bill passed providing for the prohibition of slavery in Oregon, this movement became still more____________________