Events leading up to the Civil War
Created by nealon35 on Jan 3, 2010
Last updated: 01/03/10 at 04:14 PM
Tags: Civil War United States
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1.)Abraham Lincoln won the Republican nomination for President. But, in the South, secessionists warned that if Lincoln was elected, their state would leave the Union. And what do you know, Lincoln was elected and a special convention was held in South Carolina, where it was unanimously decided that they would secede from the Union. Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas followed. The election of Lincoln was the final straw for the South.
2.)John Brown, a radical abolitionist, led his four sons and some former slaves to Virginia in an attack on the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry. His impractical plan was to use guns to arm Virginia's slaves and create a slave uprising. Brown and six of his followers were tried for treason, convicted, and hanged. Moderates in the North condemned the violence, but the South was not convinced by their words. Southern whites saw this raid as final proof of North's true intentions-to use slave revolts to destroy the South. This was huge in creating the disunity between the North and South.
6.)Abraham Lincoln was Douglas's challenger for Illinois Senator. Abraham Lincoln (R) had only served one two year term in Congres as a Whig and was nationally unknown compared to Douglas. Lincoln was a moderate against slavery and presented it as a moral issue saying, "if slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong." Accepting the Republican nomination, he delivered his famous "house divided" speech. "This government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free," were his words which made southerners view him as a radical. In seven different debates, Lincoln atacked Douglas's indifference to slavery as a moral issue. He questioned how Douglas could reconcile popular sovereignty with the Dred Scott decision. Douglas responded that slavery could not exist in a community if the local citizens did not pass and enforce laws for maintaining it, which became known as the Freeport Doctrine. His response angered southern Democrats because he did not go for enough in supporting the Dred Scott decision and was no longer viewed as an acceptable compromise candidate. Lincoln emerged as a national figure and leadng contender for the Repubican nomination for President, which also angered the South.
10.)This proslavery constitution was submitted to Congress from Kansas, but didn't represent the opinion of the majority. President Buchanan pushed Congress to accept it and admit Kansas as a slave state, Congress rejected it. It was then sent back to Kansas for a vote where it was again rejected and Kansas eventually entered the Union as a free state. The rejection of the Lecompton Constitution caused discontent in the South, while the North saw it as a kind of road to victory in the war of the expansion of slavery.
7.)Dred Scott went all the way to the Supreme Court with his case. He claimed that he should be free because he was in a free territory. Scott lost his case because the Court said they couldn't side wit him because he didn't own any property. But, this decision was taken even further by some when people claimed that he was a slave and therefore he was the "property" of his owner. This decision angered the North and further divided the nation in half. It also showed the views of many people, including some on the Supreme Court, who believed that blacks had no rights and that the Constitution was only meant for whites.
4.)When the Kansas Nebraska Act was passed, the popular sovereignty method was supposed to be used to decide whether the territories would enter as a free state or a slave state. But, by 1856, the issue in Kansas had blown up and into violence. Slaveholders from Missouri set up homestead in Kansas to win control of the territory. The fighting broke out and Kansas was known as "Bleeding Kansas." This was the first time where anti-slavery and pro-slavery supporters used violence to defend their views. The events were known across the nation and gave everyone a taste of what was to come.
9.)The violence in Kansas spilled over into Congress in Washington D.C. Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner verbally attacked the Democratic administration and personally attacked South Carolina Senator Andrew Butler.in his speech, "The Crime Against Kansas." Butler's nephew, Preston Broos,in defense of his absent uncle, walked into the Senate chamber and beat Sumner over the head with a cane. This outraged the north and the House voted to censure him. The South applauded Brooks' actions and sent him numerous canes to replace the one he broke with beating Sumner. This further separated the views of the North and South.
3.)Uncle Tom's Cabin was the most influential book of its day. It was a novel about the conflict between a slave named Tom and his brutal white slave owner, Simon Legree. This book caused northerners to view all slave owners as cruel and inhuman which further intesitfied the sectional conflict.
8.)The Fugitive Slave Act's chief purpose was to track down runaway slaves, capture them, and return them to their owners. It forced federal officials to arrest runaway slaves or else they would have to pay a fine. The South was pleased with this act, but the North's resistance to enforcing the law angered the South and once again pushed sectionalism views over nationalistic views.
The Fugitive Slave Act's chief purpose was to track down runaway slaves, capture them, and return them to their owners. It forced federal officials to arrest runaway slaves or else they would have to pay a fine. The South was pleased with the act but he North's resistance to enforcing this law angered the South and pushed sectionalism views over nationalisitic views once again.
5.)When the Mexican War ended, America was left with several large territories. These territories, especially Texas, caused huge debate in Congress and across the nation. Would they enter as slave states or free states? The Free Soil Party was created in an attempt to keep the West an oppotunity for whites only. The South viewed any attempt to restrict the expansion of slavery as a violation of their constitutional rights. This conflict further divided the North and the South and strengthened their sectionalism views. The South seemed to care more about "their" economy and their use for slaves more than they cared about the Nation as a whole.
When the Mexican War ended, America was left with several large territories. These territories, especially Texas, caused huge debate in Congress and across the nation. Would they enter as slave states or free states? The Free Soil Party was created in an attempt to keep the West an oppotunity for whites only. The South viewed any attempt to restrict the expansion of slavery as a violation of their constitutional rights. This conflict further divided the North and the South and strengthened their sectionalism views. The South seemed to care more about "their" economy and their use for slaves more than they cared about the Nation as a whole.