Why Was An Agreement With Spain Blocked By Southern States

The Mississippi shipping crisis was one of the most important events in the Constitutional Convention. During the Convention, the issue was debated at length and was one of the strongest justifications of the countries of the South which, in Article II, Section 2, of the Constitution, demanded that no treaty be signed with a foreign nation without the approval of two-thirds of the Senate. By requiring a two-thirds majority, they ensured that a southern bloc could impede the adoption of a treaty that could harm the South. The shipping crisis was also an important negotiating point in the three-fifths compromise on slavery. Andrew Ellicott arrived in Natchez to see the 31st parallel, as required by San Lorenzo`s contract. A strong supporter of American expansion, Ellicott collided with Spanish officials and raised the American flag. The United States, Spain and the navigation of the Mississippi River, taken from Volume XIII of the documentary history of the ratification of the Constitution, have a more detailed explanation of the problems associated with this diplomatic crisis. The selection below illustrates the importance of this issue during the session of the Constitutional Convention. In order to put an end to all discrepancies due to the losses suffered by the citizens of the United States as a result of their ships and cargoes suffered by the subjects of his Catholic Majesty during the late war between Spain and France, it is agreed that all these cases will be referred to the final decision of the Commissioners appointed by the following procedure. His Catholic majesty appoints a commissioner and the President of the United States will appoint another with the advice and approval of their Senate, and the two commissioners call for the election of a third, or if they fail to agree, they each propose one person and the two names thus proposed will be drawn at random in the presence of the two original commissioners.

and the person whose name is to be carried is the third Commissioner and the three commissioners so appointed are sworn impartially to review and decide the claims in question on the basis of the merits of the various cases as well as the legislation, justice and laws of the nations. The aforementioned commissioners meet in Philadelphia and sit in Philadelphia, and in the event of the death, illness or necessary absence of such a commissioner, his position is made available in the same way as he was appointed first and the new commissioner takes the same oath and assumes the same duties. You will receive all complaints and requests that will be accepted by this article for 18 months from the date of their meeting. They are entitled to examine under oath or confirmation all persons before them and to receive in evidence all authenticated written testimony in the manner they deem appropriate to demand or admit them. The allocation of the aforementioned Commissioners or two of them is final and conclusive, both with regard to the legal situation of the debt and the amount to be paid to the applicants; and His Catholic Majesty undertakes to pay the same without deduction, at times and places and under the conditions to be attributed by the aforementioned commissioners.