Created by wassere11 on Jan 3, 2010
Last updated: 01/04/10 at 04:16 AM
Top Ten Reasons for the Civil War has no followers yet. Be the first one to follow.
Because Stephen Douglas angered the south in the Lincoln-Douglas debates many were not happy with him in the presidential nomination convention. In the first attempt at nomination he was blockaded from being nominated by supporters of Buchannon. Due to the deadlock a second convention was held. In which many delgates from slave states walked out, allow Douglas to be easily nominated on his platform of popular sovereignty. However, they went on to hold their own nominating conventionand nominated John C. Breckenridge to run. Rank 4/10: This event was very important because even though he had a good shot at winning before, it almost insured Lincoln's victory in the presidential election.
Knowing that he was no longer going to be president, Buchanan did nothing to prevent the secession of the seven states in the deep south. This lead to a confidence in the other states that they could break away without a fight under Lincoln's term, but they were very wrong. Rank 2/10: Even though there wasn't much to this event it was very significant. Had Buchanan tried to stop the states from seceding he may have prevailed or prevented others from thinking it would be an easy task. Therefore, had he made some effort Lincoln may not have had the states breaking off as they did.
John Brown was a radical abolitionist in Virginia, who in 1859 attempted to start a slave uprising. He (along with his sons, some former slaves, and other followers) raided Harpers Ferry in order to use the guns there to arm slaves. After a two day siege, soldiers under Robert E. Lee's command captured Brown and his men, and he and six others were hanged for treason. The north condemned Brown for his violence, but the south still believed that this was an attempt by the north to destroy the south with slaves. Rank 8/10: Brown's Raid is ranked 8th (not 7th due to the tie for 6th) in the list because although it did anger the south and lead to small military action it had no lasting effects other than distrust for the north.
In 1858 Stephen Douglas's running for re-election to the senate was a huge national topic, because he was seen as the man who could hold the nation together. He was running against a little known opponent named Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln, was a moderate against the expansion of slavery, but was not an abolitionist. Lincoln's platform was based on the fact that the government needed to be united under one opinion of slavery, and attacked Douglas for his indifference. Lincoln won over many in the north and south nationally, however he still lost the election to the senate. But, in the long run Lincoln seriously injured Douglas's chances at being nominated for the presidential election and therefore became a national figure head. Lincoln would go on to win the Republican nomination and then the presidency. Rank 3/10: This was a very important time because it was building a national campaign for both candidates. Douglas ended up hurting himself for the 1860 election while Lincoln was boosted from it. This was a very important election therefore, whoever won it was going to have big decisions to make. So, these changes in support for the future candidates had a big effect in the long run.
Dred Scott was a slave from Missouri who was taken to Wisconsin for two years before returning to Missouri still as a slave. He sued for his freedom, saying that because he was taken onto free soil he was free. His case was appealed and taken to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court determined that he would still be a slave for three reasons: he had no right to sue in a federal court because he was black and therefore not a citizen, because he was a slave he was property and a person could not be deprived of their property, and for such a reason the Missouri Compromise was unconstitutional for banning slavery in territories. This lead to the opening of slavery in all U.S. territories and much conflict between parties. Southern Democrats were elated because they had gained so much land for their cause. But, Republicans cried fowl, claiming that Buchanan had planned for this to happen so early in his presidency, and got the Democratic majority on the Supreme Court to side with him so that the slavery issue would be settled for good. This angered many Northern Democrats as well, and induced them to vote Republican. Rank 1/10: The Dred Scott Decision is the most important cause of the revolutionary war because it was controversial on so many levels. It got the Republicans (and some Democrats) angry at the new president, which in turn caused the second most important event. It nullified the Missouri compromise, which hurt the north's chances of gaining votes in newly added states. Overall, it had the largest and longest lasting effect.
In 1854 Stephen Douglas wanted to build a railroad to increase western settlement and thereby increase the worth of his property in Chicago. However, he didn't have enough support from the southern states in Congress, so he supported his bill by proposing the Kansas-Nebraska Act. This bill would split the Nebraska Territory into the the Kansas and Nebraska territories and allow each to decide whether or not to allow slavery. Because each state was north of the 36˚30' line the south had a new oppurtunity to null the Missouri Compromise. This lead to a strong southern backing of Douglas's endeavors and quick approval of both bills. Rank 6/10: The Kansas-Nebraska Act is tied with the Fugitive Slave law due to the fact that it did indeed expand where slaves could be held in the territories, but it didn't do anything for when those states were admitted. By allowing slavery it led to a rush of abolitionists and non-slave holders entering the territories to win them over. In a way it could also be deemed counter-productive, but it was a big movement for the south nonetheless.
Both abolitionists and slaveholders moved very rapidly into Kansas. As they did many conflicts came about due to conflicting opinions. The north organized a group for transporting abolitionists into the state while slaveholders moved from Missouri, both trying to win the majority of the state. Eventually, tempers raged too high and violence broke out in the state as well as in congress (see video; it has some inaccuracies but it has violence for the (almost) right reasons) over the issue. Rank 5/10: Bleeding Kansas was a large cause of the war. It was a start to violence, and showed just how high political tensions were. However, neither side made any progress, so it appropriatly sits in the middle of the list.
Harriet Beecher Stowe's book "Uncle Tom's Cabin" portrayed a black slave being treated horribly by his white slave holder. The book caused an uproar among a generation of northerners and many Europeans as well. The south saw this as a bunch of "untruths" and libel from the north, and said it was more proof of how unjust the north truely was. President Lincoln was quoted as saying, "So you're the little woman who wrote the book that made this great war." upon meeting Mrs. Stowe. Ranking 9/10: This event receives the 9th spot in the list because even though it was a very powerful and inspirational book in its time, it had little cause for the war. It indeed angered a generation, but there is not much to be accomplished through a pissed off group young adults, even if they support the right cause and put on a big show about it (Woodstock is a great example of this).
The fugitive slave law was a very controversial law because it prevented people in the north from protecting slaves. Deputies if they refused to act under the law or any citizen who aided a runaway slave would be fined $1000 dollars. Also, the accused runaways could not be tried in court, so there were often free black men taken back. This law made many abolitionists angry and led to greater conflict between the north and south. Rank 6/10: The Fugitive Slave law holds the sixth spot in the rankings because it greatly increasde the south's power over slaves, and angered the north. However, the north didn't break away when they got angry, so this is just another seperator between the north and south.
In 1848 Zachary Taylor barely won the presidential election over Senator Cass (mainly because Cass lost votes to Free-soil democrats). He didn't have an opinion on slavery, so the country didn't have a president that was going to influence topic one way or the other. This lead to him making spur of the moment decisions. The main one being the want for immediate admission of California and New Mexico as free states. Also, his death left a new president in an old situation. Fillmore came into the Compromise of 1850 unprepared and approved it too readily. Rank 10/10: It had some efffect overall because the Compromise of 1850 was passed so easily, but chances are that might have happened anyways. Therefore, it is the least important of these 10.