To avoid secessionwhich means turning the United States into two nationseven Massachusetts's senator Daniel Webster agrees to a compromise. He says: "I wish to speak today, not as a Massachusetts man, not as a northern man, but as an American. I speak today for the preservation of the Union. There can be no such thing as a peaceable secession. I see it will produce war, and such a war as I will not describe."
When Webster finishes his oration, some people weep. Is it because they know the Union is falling apart? But his speech helps do what it was meant to do. It helps hold the Union together. Congress votes to accept Henry Clay's compromise. The real problem is that no one knows how to end slavery and at the same time hold North and South together.