Minority Rule Cannot Last in America


The politics of the 1850s ended up being consumed with the concern of slavery. Southern slaveowners insisted on a new Fugitive Slave Act in 1850, which obliged northern authorities and other homeowners to actively take part in arresting and returning fugitive servants to their enslavers. Northerners reacted intensely, embracing antislavery politics in greater numbers. Southerners, fearful of the growing strength of the abolitionist movement and the specter of a permanent electoral minority, demanded more slaveholding territory as the nation broadened westward– numerous called for slavery to be legal in all federal areas, and promoted foreign war to annex new slaveholding area, such as Cuba.In 1854, Senator Stephen Douglas of Illinois tried to broker a compromise in between North and South with his Kansas-Nebraska Act. Enabling citizens of the Kansas and Nebraska territories to vote on whether to permit slavery within their borders, the act was seen in the North as a naked effort to extend slavery beyond the Missouri Compromise line and offer higher weight to slaveholders in the Senate. Citizens in the North turned out in force, leading to the creation of the Republican Party and, ultimately, the election of Abraham Lincoln as president. The Souths efforts to continually impose minority guideline on the North stopped working, causing secession, the Civil War, and the biggest variety of military casualties for a single war in American history.Clint Smith: In 1864, like in 2020, America simply got luckyPopulation shifts contributed to a 3rd episode of minority guideline in the early 20th century. Fast industrialization in the years after the Civil War saw the development of megacities that essentially changed the demographics of several states. In Illinois, Chicagos population grew from 112,000 in 1860– 6 percent of total state locals– to 2.7 million in 1920, or 40 percent of overall state residents. According to the states constitution, the state legislature should have reapportioned following each decennial census; from 1900 onwards, downstate leaders refused to do so, leaving Chicago heavily underrepresented and overtaxed.In the 1920s, the repeated refusal of the downstate minority to reapportion the legislature was met increasing disappointment from Chicago representatives. Throughout the decade, the city board passed angry resolutions condemning the malapportionment. In 1925, with more and more time at council conferences committed to the subject, the council passed a resolution requiring the city to withdraw from Illinois, and to form the State of Chicago.Downstate protectors of the status quo continued to dig their heels in, even forming companies such as the League for the Defense of Downstate Voters. Just in 1955 did the Illinois legislature lastly acquiesce the inevitable, redistricting for the first time since 1901. Even then, downstate leaders struck a deal to preserve control in the state Senate, till Supreme Court judgments in Baker v. Carr (1962) and Reynolds v. Sims (1964) decreed that state legislative-district populations be “of roughly equal size.” Ever because, Chicago and Cook County politicians have actually controlled Illinois elections.


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