1 : a doctrine in political theory that government is created by and subject to the will of the people. 2 : a pre-Civil War doctrine asserting the right of the people ...
(Historical Terms) (in the pre-Civil War US) the doctrine that the inhabitants of a territory should be free from federal interference in determining their own ...
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In the heat of the Wilmot Proviso debate, many southern lawmakers began to question the right of Congress to determine the status of slavery in any territory.