Chronicling America: The 1848 Alabama Platform


Using the Chronicling America website, the student will examine a local or state political event from the state (or adjacent state) of the student’s current home (or birth/raising, if desired). This could be an election, controversy, political party dispute, debate, etc. The event must have occurred before 1931, and the student must find reference to it in a newspaper published before 1931. Once located, the student will write a 200–250-word description of the event and briefly analyze the political issues involved. Proper citation of the newspaper in current Turabian format is required.


                The 1848 Alabama Platform

In Alabama history, the 1948 Alabama Platform was William Yancey’s response to the antislavery Wilmot. Representing the state of Alabama in the Democratic Party, Yancey was among the Southern political leaders supporting the extension of slavery in the US[1]. The Alabama platform was a bombshell on its own on issues concerning the abolition of slavery because Yancey saw the sectional division in the Democratic Party as an opportunity to not only fortify his position on slavery but also to cause more division among Democrats. While presenting the position of the state of Alabama on federal issues, Yancey gave this response as a resolution to avoid the impact of the Wilmot Proviso on the South. If this provision was passed, it would have strictly contained slavery into the Southern states and prohibit the expansion of slavery into the new territories ceded to the US by Mexico. Thus as the Alabamian politician insisted through the platform, no territorial legislature would be allowed to restrain slavery, and slavery would be expanded to the newly acquired states[2]. Thus with the support of Alabama, his home state, in the National Democratic Convection in 1848, Yancey presented the Alabama Platform declaring that the national government could prohibit slavery in the territories and that Alabamian delegates would only vote for a Presidential candidate that would promise not to end slavery[3].  However, the Democratic Party declined to adopt the Alabama platform in the national convection of 1848…………for help with this assignment contact us via email Address:

[1] Hardy, John. “The State Guard.” Wetumpka Ala., Vol. 2, no. 26,  June 27, 1848, p. 27.

[2] Hardy, John. “The State Guard.”, p. 27.

[3] Hardy, John, p. 27.

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