Top ten events that led to the Civil War.
Created by leftync1128 on Jan 2, 2010
Last updated: 01/03/10 at 10:44 AM
Causes of the Civil War has no followers yet. Be the first one to follow.
During the election of 1860, Abraham Lincoln represented the Republican Party for America. Many Southerners were Democrats and they feared Republican control and that the Republicans would have the majority say in most votes. Therefore, they tried to threaten the Republican Party in saying that if Lincoln was elected president, they would leave the union. Since the Democratic Party was divided from the Freeport Doctrine, Lincoln was elected the sixteenth president; his election was the push for secession in the south. Rate: *********
On August 27, 1858 in Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas participated in debate that ultimately left the south angry at their candidate. Lincoln challenged Douglas to choose between the principle of popular sovereignty and the decision from the Dred Scott case, which stated that slavery couldn’t legally be excluded from territories. Douglas’ response stated that the people of a territory could keep slavery out even though Supreme Court stated that the federal government had no power to prohibit slavery. Douglas’ reply divided the South, which ultimately alienated the Northern and Southern sections of the Democratic Party. Through this partition, political tensions between the North and South intensified and developed enough disagreement to support the start the Civil War. Rate: *****
Since the Kansas-Nebraska Act was passed in 1854, Kansas was allowed to determine whether or not it became a slave state. Numerous constitutions were advanced by the territory to make this decision. In 1857 the Lecompton Constitution was created to allow Kansas to be a slave state. Pro-slavery forces, including President James Buchanan, attempted to push the Constitution through the US Congress for acceptance even though it did not have the support of the majority of settlers. Congress didn’t accept the document in 1858 and sent it back to Kansas for a vote. Even though it delayed statehood, Kansas voters rejected the Constitution and Kansas became a free state. Because of the different interpretations of the compromise, conflicts arose which manifested themselves in the aftermath the rejection of the constitution. The controversy resulted in a rift in the Democratic Party that inevitably led to a civil war and made a mockery of the democratic system. Rate: **
The verdict of the Dred Scott created a wider gap between the North and South. The court ruled that Scott's petition to be a free citizen could not withstand because even though he had been taken by his owner into a free state, he was still a slave because slaves were to be considered property of their owners. While the South was extremely pleased with the outcome, the Northerners felt it was unjust because the court was basically saying that even a free state could have slavery. In theory, the decision of the Dred Scott case could open up slavery to any place in the country, and the north feared such a possibility. This case agitated the different views of the North and South, giving each side yet another reason to resent the other. Rate: ****
Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner made a speech on May 19th which condemned the Democratic administration and the institution of slavery. This speech entitles “The Crime against Kansas” singled out Senator Andrew P. Butler of South Carolina, a strident defender of slavery. Butler’s nephew, Congressman Preston Brooks instructed retaliation on Sumner for impugning the honor of his uncle by beating Sumner over the head with a cane. This nearly fatal assault emerged as another symbol of sectional tensions. The North saw Brook’s actions illustrate the barbarism of slave society, while Brooks was lauded as a hero by many Southerners. This event added to the sectional strain which eventually led to the Civil War. Rate: ***
The Kansas-Nebraska Act, proposed by Stephan Douglas of Illinois, repealed the line imposed by the Missouri Compromise. Douglas felt that all of the territories should be subject to popular sovereignty, where that the settlers vote to determine whether or not their territory should enforce slavery. In response, the act led many pro- and anti-slavery forces into Kansas. These rival settlers employed aggressive violence for three years. This fighting in Kansas further heightened tensions between North and South into the Civil War, said by most historians. Rate: ********
Uncle Tom's Cabin was a best-seller novel written in 1852 by Harriet Beecher Stowe. It was written to show the evils of slavery and caused a huge impact on the way that northerners viewed slavery and the general attitude toward African Americans in the United States. From it’s publication, the novel intensified the sectional conflict leading to the American Civil War; even Abraham Lincoln recognized that Stowe was "the little lady who made this big war." Rate: *******
The Fugitive Slave Act was passed in 1850 and added to the aggrieved feelings between Southern slaveholding interests and Northern Free-Soilers. The law was strictly enforced to track down fugitive slaves who had escaped to a northern state, capture them, and return them to their owners. Citizens who attempted to hide a runaway or defy enforcement of the law were subject to heavy penalties and fines. This law heightened Northern fears of a 'slave power conspiracy'. In fact, the Fugitive Slave Law brought the issue to anti-slavery citizens in the North, since it made them responsible for enforcing slavery. Even moderate abolitionists were faced with the immediate choice of defying what they believed an unjust law or breaking with their own consciences and beliefs. Rate: **********
Fought from 1846-1848, the Mexican War was viewed differently by various people in America. Northerners saw the War as a plot to expand slavery and therefore didn't want to get involved, but eventually did and helped defeat Mexico. The United States gained the Texas territory, and the California and New Mexico territories which included Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and parts of Oklahoma, Colorado, and Wyoming. Now the question of whether or not these territories would allow slavery came to the surface. Northerners were basically against fighting the War for the cause of slavery expansion, so they were against any results of the War that would indicate such a cause. However, since most of these new territories were south of the Missouri Compromise line, Southerners argued they had the right to expand slavery to those new territories. The resulting land that came from the Mexican War divided the North and South because of their discrepancies involving the newly formed territories. Rate: ******
Before 1836, the House of Representatives and Senate received antislavery petitions from concerned citizens. The Southern representative wanted to end this agitation, especially after petitions to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia entered the Senate. In MONTH AND DATE 1836, Congress adopted a “gag rule” that required the House to put antislavery petitions aside without printing, referring, or in any way debating them. Northerners, including John Quincy Adams, opposed to what they thought was an unconstitutional attempt to suppress the freedom to petition. They finally got the House to repeal the “gag rule” in 1844. However, Adams’ abolitionist movement caused the South to resent the North, a start to the sectional tension that led to the Civil. Rate: *