This paper examines some of the major documents and speeches pertaining to the slavery debate in the period immediately preceding the Civil War. It is found that, even when the debate was cast in terms of states’ rights or the balance of power, the central concern prior to the onset of the war was always the issue of whether slavery (or its expansion) should be permitted. KEYWORDS: US civil war slaves slavery debate states’ rights. 7 pages, 8 footnotes, 7 bibliographic sources. 1,760 words.
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