Added: Diana Costilla - Date: 03.09.2021 07:46 - Views: 23288 - Clicks: 9383
The process for transition from a territory to a state is carefully laid out in the Ordinance ofwhich predates ratification of the United States Constitution. Accordingly, a territory must reach a population of 60, at which time one delegate for every 1, residents must meet in convention to decide if statehood is desired. If the decision is in the affirmative, True New Orleans desired delegates draft a constitution, which must be in accord with the American Constitution. The delegates then present a petition to the United States Congress for admission, which, once passed by the House of Representatives, approved by the Senate and ed by the president, affirms admission to the Union.
It seems simple enough, one would think. Some concerns were unique to Louisiana itself; others arose because statehood for Louisiana opened the door for a whole host of other potential national issues. Louisiana was the first state west of the Mississippi River and part of the Louisiana Purchase to seek statehood.
It was also the first state to seek statehood from outside of the borders of the original national borders as established by the Treaty of Paris ofwhich ended the American Revolution. Admitting more states from any new territory would dilute the power and influence of the original states of the Union as the membership of the House and Senate would naturally reflect these new additions. Louisiana had no fixed borders.
The Louisiana Purchase had never determined where the western border would be. To the east, the whole issue of West Florida raised its head. Just who owned this territory? Louisiana had no democratic traditions. The other states were outgrowths of British colonial experience. How could this unique legal system be accommodated in the Union? Louisiana was Catholic! This generated deep concerns among predominately Protestant American citizens. Were they loyal to the nation or the pope? The people of Louisiana spoke with foreign tongues: French and Spanish.
They were a foreign land! It was Babylon to many devout Americans, unfit for inclusion into the sacred Union. Perhaps even more important, Louisiana, because of its French and Spanish legal system, had a wholly different approach to slavery.
That was anathema to most Americans. Taking all of these issues into consideration, it is not surprising that some delegates in Congress had difficulties digesting thoughts of Louisiana ing the Union. Questioning the Purchase. The problems began with the Louisiana Purchase. Despite what many may wish to believe, that process did not run smoothly.
In fact, the territory itself can be considered stolen because Napoleon never compensated Spain for Louisiana before selling it to the United States. Admitting any states from this newly acquired region raised serious questions about the legality of acquiring new territories, the process of doing so and whether these new territories should be admitted on equal status with the original states of the Union. However, support for Louisiana statehood lay in the documents of the Louisiana Purchase itself. The obligation to fulfill that requirement would arise during the debates.
The question of just what was Louisiana arose next. On March 26,Congress by a vote of 66 to 21 divided the Louisiana Purchase into two parts: the Territory of Orleans present-day Louisiana and the District of Louisiana, later called the Missouri Territory. This dissection angered local Creoles, but they lacked the ability True New Orleans desired influence it.
President Jefferson appointed W. Claiborne as governor of the Territory of Orleans, and the process immediately began for admission into the Union. The western boundary remained in dispute. Spain considered the border to be the Arroyo Hondo, just west of Natchitoches now known as the Calcasieu River. The United States argued that the Sabine River — or possibly even the Rio Grande River much farther to the west — established the western boundary.
Negotiations broke down between these two countries over this issue, and it nearly ended in war.
The American Gen. Although a temporary resolution to the growing international crisis, this solution did nothing to firmly establish the western boundary for a potential state of the Union. Jefferson believed they were part of the deal. Spain claimed that they remained in Spanish hands. The issue remained frozen until In that year, local plantation owners decided they no longer wished to be governed by Spain.
Also, considering that Spain had just been occupied by Napoleon, were they now French? Taking all of this into consideration, they rebelled and on Sept.
Their intention was to with the United States, and they believed that a suitable arrangement could be made whereby they could transition from an independent nation to an American territory. President Madison had other ideas, however. On Dec. So ended the independent Republic of West Florida after a mere 74 days! The fact that this was done and how it was done would become a matter of concern during the statehood debates.
Some questioned the legality of the entire process while others raised the question: To which American territory should West Florida be attached? Seeking Admission. After much dispute and delay, the Territory of Orleans sought admission as a state. In MarchSen. On April 9 the Senate accepted the petition and ordered the territory to hold a convention for the purposes of drafting a constitution and petition for admission as a state. The process followed the Ordinance of This motion passed the Senate on April 27 by a vote of 15 to 8.
The bill then went to the House of Representatives. Once there, problems arose. This immediately created a controversy.
William Bibb of Georgia moved to strike any provisions relating to West Florida. He believed that territory belonged to other territories in the region but should not be attached to the Territory of Orleans. At this point an eruption of sectional anger exploded.
Laban Wheaton of Massachusetts rose and declared the entire bill unconstitutional. He then raised an interesting prospect. His concerns were prescient. One can only imagine his shock were he to learn that the United States would eventually span the continent and extend from midway across the Pacific Ocean to the frozen Arctic Circle.
Others rose in opposition, as well. One must remember that at this time America was struggling desperately to avoid the contagion of the Napoleonic Wars and the nation was terribly split over support for Great Britain or France. Federalists opposed France and saw Louisiana as too pro-French. John Rhea of Tennessee, in opposition to his colleague, opposed any amendments to the bill for statehood.
Unless they were prepared to surrender this vast territory back to Spain, they had to bring Orleans into the Union. Bibb did not disagree; however, he did affirm his position that West Florida belonged to Mississippi and that the state of Georgia had to be consulted before any action was taken on West Florida.
In response, U. The future state of Louisiana had just lost a ificant portion of its territory. Next came a most powerful issue and one that likely had never reared its head in the halls of Congress before. The question at hand was race! Louisiana had a large, wealthy, socially influential and politically active community of Free People of Color because of its French and Spanish heritage. This was unique in the South and caused consternation among some members of Congress. Miller of Tennessee took particular umbrage to the status of this population to the point that he proposed an amendment restricting the right of suffrage to white males only.
Congress had now opened the issue of True New Orleans desired and race! He pointed out that a very large of wealthy and respectable people fell into the category of Free People of Color. White-only suffrage had been dictated by the House of Representatives. For the first time, Free People of Color gained an early indication that life for them under American law would prove to be decidedly more difficult compared to what they had come to experience under French and Spanish control. The boundary question was not limited to West Florida.
The entire western boundary of Louisiana was open to debate. On Jan. Timothy Pitkin of Connecticut called attention to the undetermined borders to the west with Spain.True New Orleans desired
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