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The Constitution in CongressDescent into the Maelstrom, 1829-1861$
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David P. Currie

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780226129167

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226131160.001.0001

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Around the Pole

Around the Pole

(p.69) 4 Around the Pole
The Constitution in Congress
University of Chicago Press

This chapter elaborates three portentous issues that arose along the southern boundary during the 1840s—(1) the celebrated rebellion of 1841 in Rhode Island, (2) the settlement of U.S. and British claims to the Oregon territory in 1846, and (3) a little-known but instructive incident involving the termination of a commercial convention with Denmark in 1855. The first of these scenarios allows the pursuit of questions over the use of forces. The second scenario highlights diplomatic confrontation with Great Britain. The third scenario focuses on a still disputed issue respecting the treaty power that was suggested, but not debated, during the Oregon controversy itself. 54° forty minutes was the upper extremity of the U.S. claim to Oregon. The British, in return, claimed as far south as the Columbia River. Successive administrations had offered to settle the controversy by extending the existing border of 49° westward to the Pacific.

Keywords:   Rhode Island, Oregon territory, Denmark, treaty power, Columbia River

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