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Timeline (Rough and Ready)

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The timeline detailing the continued presidency of Zachary Taylor. 

1850 - Storm on the Horizon

United States 1849-1850

The situation in America, 1850

It was 1850 in which the seeds for the Civil War would be planted. Zachary Taylor's ascension to the presidency was originally thought to bring compromise to the table, surprised a lot of people following the announcement of his opposition to the Compromise of 1850; a number of bills that would form the State of California and the territories of New Mexico and Arizona, which would be allowed to decide on the slavery issue based on popular sovereignty. 

Taylor however, did not agree with the compromise; he felt that California and New Mexico should become states immediately, skipping the process of being a federal territory, and essentially avoid the slavery argument by admitting them as free states. This position angered many of his southern constituency, who thought Taylor would side with them, because the president was a southerner who also owned over a hundred slaves, but taking the unionist side was tantamount to being ant-slavery in their minds.

Tensions continued to rise throughout the year, with Texas beginning to bolster its claim on New Mexico, and the continued efforts of the House of Representatives to stage a vote to pass the Compromise. It all came ahead in September, with first the House, followed by the Senate, with the Compromise passing alongside all of the proposed bills. This left Zachary Taylor in an incredibly tough position; risking alienating himself from congress and many of the Whigs in it, provoking southern succession, and angering many northern Democrats. In spite of opposition to his two state plan, alongside Congressional support for the Compromise, he vetoed all the bills on September 30. 

Zachary Taylor Western Proposal 1851

President Taylor's proposal for the South-West, with two large states

With that veto, his support among many traditional Whigs, southern slave owners and Congressmen fell. The dominoes began to fall into place; Representatives and Senators walked out of Congress in protest of his veto, many southern politicians clambered for succession and finally, across much of the south, extreme slave holders began to protest the move the President made. Whilst their voices were loud, and they were heard all the way up in Washington D.C, they did not garner much of an audience, as the same things they were spouting was being said by pro-slave politicians.  

As much as the politicians grew to loathe Taylor and his veto, much of the southern population still wanted union, and even respected the maligned President. In November, an attempt was made by Congress to override the veto, however, in a surprising turn of events, the attempt was killed in the House of Representatives, with a number of hardline Whig party members, Free Soilers and even Northern Democrats stopping the Compromise in its track.

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