The political turmoil spurred by assumption and residence was immense and sectional divisions were at an all-time high.
“The two great questions of funding the debt and fixing the seat of government ... were more in danger of having convulsed the government itself than any other points.
Henry Lee's letter to James Madison reveals the intense animosity that existed between the North and South.
To disunite is dreadful to my mind, but dreadful as it is, I consider it a lesser evil than union on the present conditions.
"I had rather myself submit to all the hazards of war and risk the loss of every thing dear to me in Life, than to live under the rule of a fixed insolent northern majority.
“the southern people were formed by nature to subserve the convenience & interests of the north—or in plain words to be slaves to the north.
Political antagonisms had become so pronounced that many Americans were okay with the idea of the nation splitting apart — secession was a real possibility.
The eastern members particularly, who, with Smith from South Carolina, were the principal gamblers in these scenes, threatened a secession and dissolution.
- Thomas Jefferson, 1818
"old friends in Virginia and Massachusetts hold not in horror as much as I do a division of this Continent into two or three nations and have not an equal dread of civil war."
"We have just heard, that it is determined in Congress not to take the State debts - people seem almost ripe for a national division of North and South."
Without a political bargain, the stalemate over assumption and residence would have remained unsolved, making the possibility of a national disunion real. However, the combined efforts of Hamilton, Jefferson, and Madison helped finally settle these divisive issues. By forming a compromise despite their glaring political differences, they sent a clear message: the prosperity of the U.S. needed to be placed above sectional loyalties and partisanship.