- Democrats: So, we can live with some spending cuts, as long as we maybe close some tax loopholes or raise taxes on the rich.
- Republicans: We can live with some modest tax gains, as long as we take a look at current and future spending.
- Tea Partiers: *unintelligible gibberish*
But man, this compromise has nothing to do with the way American politics worked in the middle of the 19th century. It seems like if you rifle through a textbook, you can't go two paragraphs without reading about some new Compromise brokered as America rushed full speed towards the ultimate "no, we're done compromising" moment, the Civil War.
|The Civil War looked exactly like this. It was four years of a guy and blue and a guy in gray butting muskets,|
looking menacingly into each others' eyes.
|The bootheel exists because of an earthquake, and a landowner who |
didn't want to be part of the Arkansas Territory. No, really.
- Texas immediately claimed a ton of land to the west, stretching all the way to the Rio Grande.
- California, fueled by a little thing called the Gold Rush, applied to be a free state.
- Slavery enthusiasts noticed that California happened to straddle the 36° 30´ parallel, and thus said California should be broken in twain.
- The Mormons decided they wanted a BIG OL chunk of the American southwest for their own state. Like, a ridiculously large amount of land. About zero non-Mormons took any of it seriously.
Taylor's plan involved a little something called "popular sovereignty," which basically translates to "everyone figures their own shit out." The idea was that both California and New Mexico be given free will to choose which side of the fence they would come down on, and if their decisions upset anyone, well, the offended parties could suck it. Basically, Taylor was banking that both provisional states would draw up constitutions banning slavery. This is exactly what happened.
- California would be admitted, whole, as a free state
- Non-California territory (Taylor's State of New Mexico) would get turned into two large territories: New Mexico, and Utah, with their border sitting at? That's right, the 36° 30´ parallel.
- Texas would get help paying off some debts it had accumulated when back during its experimental phase as the Republic of Texas, in exchange for giving up all the land it had tried to grab, and settling into its current borders
- The Fugitive Slave Act was passed (essentially calling on all U.S. citizens to aid in the capture and return of runaway slaves)
If you want to count your blessings by voting for either Abraham Lincoln or Zachary Taylor, be our guest! The polls are open until Friday, 9 A.M., MDT. We'll be back on Friday to declare a winner!