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Freedom: A History of US.
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Webisode 5: A Fatal Contradiction
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Daniel Webster
Segment 5
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To avoid secession—which means turning the United States into two nations—even Massachusetts's senator Daniel WebsterSee It Now - 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.


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Did You Know?
Have you ever heard someone called a "big wig"? The expression really should be Big Whig. It was used to describe members of Henry Clay's Whig Party. Most of the wealthy influential people of the time were Whigs—just the kind of people who would be called big wigs today!

Did you know that Freedom is adapted from the award-winning Oxford University Press multi-volume book series, A History of US by Joy Hakim?



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