Causes of the Civil War
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Term meaning before the Civil War. Don't forget the importance of Sectionalism where:One's loyalty rests with their section of the country rather than the nation as a whole.North - Favors Tariff and Bank, Most Populous, Most Industry. Daniel Webster.South - Favors Slavery, Hates Tariff and Bank, Mostly Agricultural. John C. Calhoun.West - Split on slave and tariff issue, least populous. Henry Clay.
Compromise of 1820 / Missouri Compromise
Maine is a free state. Missouri becomes a slave state, but:No slavery is allowed north of 36 degrees 30' line in the Louisiana Territory.Henry Clay, The Great Compromiser, gets credit for this legislation.
Paternalism - The relationship between slave and master was that of child to parent.Only a very small percentage of people owned slaves before the Civil War. Surprised? Well, 6-7% of people, or 25% of families had slaves in the South. Most of the Southern population was comprised of poor yeomen farmers.Slaves held onto their culture in music, but combined it with Christianity.Eli Whitney's cotton gin actually increased the need for slaves, as 2/3 of the world's cotton came from the South by 1860.Black Codes were laws preventing blacks (free and slave) Constitutional rights.Slavery was different from area to area. It is impossible to make generalizations about slave life. Generally though, gang labor persisted on Southern plantations.
Texas, The Alamo, etc
Americans and Texans (Tejanos) are defeated at the Alamo."Remember the Alamo" was yelled at the Battle of San Jacinto. The Americans win Texas, but ...Jackson won't take Texas into the Union because it would disrupt the free/slave state balance.In 1845, President Tyler annexed Texas as a state.
The belief that the United States is destined to gain all land from "sea to shining sea," or, Atlantic to Pacific. The term was coined by John L. O'Sullivan in 1845 when he wrote about it in the US Magazine and Democratic Review.
- The US and President Polk are itching for a fight. They want territory, and believe that the border between Mexico and the US is the Rio Grande ... Mexico believes the border to be the Nueces River.
- Polk and Congress believe that the Mexican Army shed American blood on American soil, so we fight a war and win. (Note, a nobody Whig named Abraham Lincoln doubted the spot where American blood was shed).The US gets California and a lot of western territory after the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo is ratified (1846).This creates an imbalance of slave to free states, and the belief that, "Mexico will poison us!"
Compromise of 1850
California needs to become a state after the Gold Rush of 1849. It is a free state.The slave trade was abolished (the sale of slaves, not the institution of slavery) in the District of Columbia.The Territory of New Mexico (including present-day Arizona) and the Territory of Utah were organized under the rule of popular sovereignty. The Fugitive Slave Act was passed, requiring all U.S. citizens to assist in the return of runaway slaves.Texas gave up much of the western land which it claimed and received compensation of $10,000,000 to pay off its debt.
A network of safe houses for slaves who were looking to escape to the North and Canada. This allowed them to avoid the Fugitive Slave Law.
Named for a secret meeting in Ostend, Belgium, it was a scheme for the US to purchase Cuba from Spain for $120 Million. Inevitably, Cuba would have become a Southern slave state. When free-soilers in the North learned of the scheme, they greatly protested, and the plan was dropped.
A failed attempt in 1846 to prevent slavery from expanding into territories taken over in the Mexican War. David Wilmot was a young Congressman with an idea ... the idea was bold enough to break Northern Democrats away from their friends in the South.
Reverses the Missouri Compromise. Constructed by the "Little Giant," Stephen Douglas (Clay had passed on by then). Let Kansas and Nebraska decide if they would be a slave state or not -- that notion is called popular sovereignty.Kansas-Nebraska Act
Border Ruffians (pro-slavery) and Free Staters converge on Kansas to stuff the ballot box now that popular sovereignty (states choose if they want slavery or not) was the law.Millions in property damage. Dozens are killed. Proved to be a mini-Civil War in Kansas. John Brown becomes a national figure after he kills Border Ruffians at Pottawattamie, Kansas.
Kansas votes for slavery, it's added to the state Constitution, and is approved by President Buchanan.
What abolitionist writings should I know about?
William Lloyd Garrison wrote The Liberator, an anti-slavery newspaper. He was not for equality, but was an abolitionist. Garrison was ahead of his time, but not well received in the North.The Slave Narrative of Frederick Douglass. Douglass was a free black who detailed his experience as a slave. Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe. Stowe, the daughter of an abolitionist, wrote this book that detailed the horrors of slavery. In 1862, Abraham Lincoln said to her ... "So you’re the little woman who wrote the book that made this great war." The Impending Crisis of the South by Hinton Rowan Helper. Criticism of slavery that was banned in the South.The Grimké Sisters were early women reformers. In 1836, Angela Grimké wrote "An Appeal to the Christian Women of the South," in which she encouraged women to join the abolitionist cause.Not a total abolitionist society, but you need to know the American Colonization Society. It looked to return slaves to Africa, or the colony of Liberia. It was supported by people who ranged from abolitionists to Southerners nervous about the presence of free blacks.
John Brown /Harper's Ferry
1859 raid on the federal arsenal. Brown, and a few followers, attempted to fuel a larger rebellion. It didn't happen. Brown got holed up in a firehouse, and was later captured by the Federal Army. After he was hung, he was hailed as a martyr in the North, and a terrorist in the South. Other slave rebellions to know:
1822 - failed plot in South Carolina, Vesey and others were executed.
Nat Turner - 1831
violent rebellion in Virginia that led to almost 200 deaths (black and white).
Republican Party and Bleeding Sumner
With sectionalism boiling over on the slave issue, a new political party emerged. The Republican Party combined Northern Democrats, Free-Soilers, Know Nothings (anti-immigrant party), and former Whigs. Their main goal was to stop the spread of slavery in the west. Some in the party were abolitionists (against slavery altogether). Thus, this completes our political party split guide:After Republican Charles Sumner of Massachusetts went after Senator Andrew Butler in a speech, "The Crime Against Kansas," Butler's cousin, Preston Brooks, beat Sumner over the head with a cane on the Senate Floor.
Dred Scott v. Sandford, 1857
Dred Scott was a slave who was taken to live in free northern territory. Because he lived on free soil for an extended period of time, he believed he had legal recourse to sue for his freedom. Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, on behalf of the Supreme Court, stated that:Scott was a slave, which meant that he was not protected by the United States Constitution, and couldn’t even sue in court.Slave compromises like the Missouri Compromise were irrelevant, as according to the Fifth Amendment, people could not be deprived of their property. Slaves were property.
1858 Senatorial debate between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas. Lincoln becomes a national celebrity and a critic of slavery. NOTE: Lincoln is against the spread of slavery, but is not an abolitionist. In his Freeport Doctrine, Douglas favored popular sovereignty over the Dred Scott Decision.
Presidential Election of 1860
Lincoln wins the election without getting a majority of the popular vote. He received 40%. John Breckinridge, a Southern Democrat gets 29%. John Bell of the Constitutional Union party gets 18%, and Stephen Douglas, the Northern Democrat in the race received 13%. Lincoln still won the Electoral College vote with 180.
When states leave the Union. The South left after the Election of Lincoln. South Carolina was the first to leave, followed by the rest of the soon-to-be Confederacy.
causes of the Civil War
Slavery, Sectional Differences - The Bank, The Tariff, Economic Differences, Republican Party Forming, Ideological Differences,Failure of the slave compromises
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