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The Black Hawk War
- In the early 1830's, white settlers in western Illinois and eastern Iowa
- placed great pressure on the Native American people there to move west of the Mississippi
- River. Consequently, representatives from several Native American tribes visited Chief Black
- Hawk of the Sauk tribe, and one told of a prophet who had a vision of future events involving
- Black Hawk. The story convinced Black Hawk to lead a rebellion against the US. The Black
- Hawk war started in Illinois and spread to the Wisconsin Territory. It ended in August 1832,
- when Illinois militia members slaughtered more than 200 Sauk and Fox people. As a result, the
- Sauk and Fox tribes were forcibly moved to areas west of the Mississippi.
Treaty of Fort Laramie
- As settlers moved west, small numbers of displaced Native Americans
- occasionally fought them. The US government responded to the settlers fear of attacks by calling
- a conference near Laramie, Wyoming, The Cheyenne, Arapaho, Sioux, Crow, and others joined
- US representatives in swearing to maintain good faith and friendship in all their mutual
- intercourse and to make an effective and lasting peace. The Treaty of Fort Laramie provided
- various Native American nations control of the Central Plains. In turn, these Native Americans
- promised not to attack settlers and to allow the construction of government forts and roads. The
- government pledged to honor the agreed-upon boundaries and to make annual payments to
- Native Americans. Still, the movement of settlers increased. Traditional Native American
- hunting lands were trampled and defeated of buffalo and elk. The Us government repeatedly
- violated the terms of the treaty and subsequent treaties demanded the Native Americans abandon
- the land and move to reservations.
Santa Fe Trail
- This was one of the busiest and most well known avenues of trade that lead
- 780 miles from Independence, Missouri, to Sante Fe, New Mexico. Each spring between 1821
- and the 1860s Missouri traders loaded their covered wagons with cloth, knives, and guns and set
- off toward Santa Fe. For about the 1st 150 miles, to Council Grove, Kansas, wagons traveled
- alone. After that, fearing attacks by the Kiowa and Comanche and others, traders organized into
- groups of 100 wagons. Teamwork ended when they arrived in Santa Fe. They all charged off on
- their own as they tried to enter New Mexico. After a few days of trading, they loaded up their
- wagons with silver gold and fur and headed back to the US. These traders established the first
- American presence in New Mexico and the Mexican province of Arizona.
- He started the Mormons, which were a religious community that
- would play a major role in the settling West. Mormon history began in Western New York in
- 1827 when Joseph Smith and five associates established the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
- Saints in Fayette, New York in 1830. Smith and a growing band of followers decided to move
- west. They settled in Nauvoo, Illinois in 1839. Within five years, the community numbered
- 20,000. When Smiths angry neighbors printed protests against polygamy, Smith destroyed the
- printing press. As a result he was jailed for treason, and was eventually killed when an anti
- mormon mob broke into the jail and murdered Smith and his brother. His successor, Brigham
- Young, decided to move his followers beyond the boundaries of the United States to Nebraska,
- across Wyoming to the Rockies, then southwest. In 1847 the Mormons stopped at a desert near
- the Great Lake. They awarded plots of land to each family according to its size but held
- ownership of water and timberland. Soon, they had coaxed settlements and farms from the bleak
- landscape by irrigating the fields. Salt Lake City blossomed out of the land the Mormons called
- In 1821, Austin lead the first of several groups of American settlers between
- the Brazos and Colorado rivers where only more refined people would be allowed- no drunks,
- gamblers, etc would be allowed. By 1825, Austin issued 297 land grants to the group that later
- became known as Texas's Old Three Hundred. Each family received 177 very inexpensive acres
- of farmland, or 4428 acres for stock grazing, as well as a 10 year exemption from paying taxes.
- He also established the northernmost province of the Mexican state if Coahuila.
- Mexican politics were becoming increasingly unstable. Austin traveled to Mexico
- City late in 1833 to present petitions for greater self government for Texas to Mexican president
- Santa Anna. While Austin was on his way home, Santa Anna suspended the 1824 Mexican
- constitution and had Austin imprisoned for inciting revolution. After Santa Anna revoked local
- powers in Texas and other Mexican states, several rebellions erupted including what would
- eventually be known as the Texas Revolution.
- Austin argued with Santa Anna for self government for Texas but without success.
- Determined to force Texas to obey laws had established, Santa Anna marched toward San
- Antonio at the head of a 4000 member army. At the same time, Austin and his followers issued a
- call for Texans to arm themselves. Late in 1835, the Texans attacked. They drove the Texans
- from the Alamo, an abandoned mission used as a fort. In response, Santa Anna swept northward
- and stormed and destroyed the small American garrison in the Alamo. All 187 US defenders died
- and hundreds of Mexicans died.
The Lone Star Republic
- Later in March of 1836, Santa Annas troop executed 300 rebels at
- Goliad .The Alamo and Goliad victories would prove costly for Santa Anna. Six weeks after the
- death of the Alamo, the Texans struck back. Lead by Sam Houston, they defeated Santa Anna at
- the Battle of San Jacinto. The Texans killed 630 of Santa Anna's soldiers in 18 minutes and
- captured Santa Anna. The victorious Texans set Santa Anna free after he signed the Treaty of
- Velasco which granted independence to Texas. In September 1836, Houston became president of
- the Republic of Texas. Known as the Lone Star Republic, they set up an army and a navy.
Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
- This ended the war with Mexico. On February 2, 1848 the US
- and Mexico signed the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Mexico agreed to the Rio Grande border
- for Texas and ceded New Mexico and California to the US. The US agreed to pay $15 million for
- the Mexican cession. The treaty guaranteed Mexicans living in these territories freedom of
- religion, protection of property, bilingual elections, and open borders.
- On August of 1864, Pennsylvania Democrat David Wilmot heightened
- tensions between North and South by introducing an amendment to a military appropriations bill
- proposing that neither slavery nor involuntary servitude shall ever exist in any territory the US
- might acquire as a result of the war in Mexico. The Wilmot Proviso meant that California as well
- as the territories of Utah and New Mexico would be closed for slavery forever. The Wilmot
- Proviso divided Congress along regional lines. Northerners, angry over the refusal of Southern
- congressmen to vote for internal improvements, such as building the canals and roads, supported
- the proviso. Northerners also feared that adding slave territory would give salve states more
- members in Congress and deny economic opportunity to free workers. Southerners argued that
- slaves were property and property was protected by the Constitution. They also feared that if it
- would become the law, the inevitable addition of new free states to the union would shift the
- balance of power permanently to the North. The House of Representatives approved it bu the
- senate rejected it.
- The Senate rejected the Compromise of 1850 in July. Discouraged, Clay
- left Washington. Stephen Douglas of Illinois picked up the pro-compromise reigns. To avoid
- another defeat, Douglas developed a shrewd plan. He introduced the bundle of resolutions one at
- a time hoping to obtain a majority vote for each measure individually. Thus, any Congressman
- could vote for provisions he like, and vote against or abstain from voting on provisions he did
- not like. The unexpected death of President Taylor furthered his efforts. Taylors successor,
- Fillmore, made it clear that he supported the compromise. In the meantime, the South was ready
- to negotiate. Calhoun's death had already moved one obstacle to compromise. Southern leaders
- came out in favor of Clays individual proposals, and after eight months the Compromise of 1850
- was voted into law.
Fugitive Slave Act
- One of the people affected by this was Burns when he was forced back
- into slavery in Virginia. This law was part of the Compromise of 1850. Many people were
- surprised by the harsh terms of the act. Under this law, alleged fugitives were not entitled to a
- trial by jury despite the sixth amendment provisions calling for a speedy and public jury trial and
- the right to counsel. Nor could fugitives testify on their own behalf. Federal commissioners
- charged with enforcing the law would receive a 10$ fee if they returned an alleged slave but only
- $5 if they freed a slave, an obvious incentive to return people to slavery. Anyone convicted of
- helping an alleged fugitive was subject to a fine of $1000, imprisonment for six years, or both.
- Some Northerners resisted it by organizing vigilance committees to sen endangered African
- Americans to safety in Canada. Others resorted to violence to rescue slaves. Nine Northern states
- passed personal liberty laws which forbade the imprisonment of runaway slaves and guaranteed
- that they would have jury trials. Northern lawyers dragged out these trials, in order to increase
- slave catchers expenses. Southern slave owners were enraged by Northern resistance.
- As time went on, free African Americans and white abolitionists
- developed a secret network of people who would at great risk to themselves, aid fugitive slaves
- in their escape. The network became known as the underground railroad. The "conductors" hid
- fugitives in secret tunnels and false cupboards, provided them with food and clothing, and
- escorted them to the next sation, often in disguise. His made escaping from slavery easier and
- safer. Harriet Tubman was one of the famous conductors on the underground railroad.
- One of the most famous conductors on the underground railroad was Harriet
- Tubman, born a salve in 1820 or 1821. As a young girl, she suffered a severe head injury when a
- plantation overseer hid her with a lead weight. The blow damaged her brain causing her to lose
- consciousness several times a day. To compensate her disability, Tubman increased her strength
- until she became strong enough to perform tasks that most men could not do. In 1849, after
- Tubmans owner dies, she decided to make a break for freedom and succeedes in reaching
- Philadelphia. Shortly after the Fugitive Slave Act, she became a conductor on the underground
- railroad. In all, she made 19 trips back to the south helping 300 slaves including her parents.
- Neither Tubman nor the slaves she helped were ever captured. Later she became an ardent
- speaker for abolition.
Uncle Tom's Cabin
- In 1852, Harriet Beecher Stowe published Uncle Tom's Cabin. Stirring
- strong reactions from North and South alike, the novel became an instant bestseller, selling more
- than a million copies by 1853. The novels plot was melodramatic and many of its characters were
- stereotypes but Uncle Tom's Cabin delivered the message that slavery was not just a political
- contest, but also a great moral struggle.. In quick response, Northern abolitionists increased their
- protests against the Fugitive Slave Act, while Southerners criticized an attack of the Suoth as a
Kansas Nebraska Act
- On January 23, 1854, Douglas introduced a bill in Congress to divide
- the area into 2 territories, Nebraska in the North and Kansas in the South. If passed, it would
- repeal the Missouri Compromise and establish popular sovereignty for both territories.
- Congressional debate over the bill was bitter. Some Northern congressman saw the bill as part of
- a plot to turn the territories into slave states, but nearly 90 percent of Southern congressman
- voted for the bill. The bitterness spilled over into the general population, which deluged
- Congress with petitions both for and against the bill. In the North, Douglas found himself
- ridiculed for betraying the Missouri compromise. Yet he did not waver. He believed strongly that
- popular sovereignty was the democratic way to solve the slavery issue. With the help of president
- Pierce, Douglas steered his proposal through the Senate, and the Kansas Nebraska Act became
- the law in May 1854.
Bleeding Kansas/John Brown
- The news from the fight that happened in Lawrence, soon
- reached an abolitionist by the name of John Brown. Brown believed that God had called on him
- to fight slavery. He also had the mistaken impression that the proslavery posse in Lawrence
- killed five men. Brown was set on revenge. On May 24th, he and his followers pulled five men
- from their beds in the proslavery settlement of Pottawatomie Creek, hacked off their hands, and
- stabbed them with broadswords. This attack became famous as the Pottawatomie Massacre and
- quickly led to cries for revenge. The massacre triggered dozens of incidents throughout Kansas.
- 200 people were killed. John Brown fled Kansas but left behind men and women who lived with
- rifles by their sides. People called this territory Bleeding Kansas, as it became battlefield in the
- Civil War.
Birth of Republican Party
- In February 1854, at a school house in Ripon, Wisconsin some
- discontented Northern Whigs held a meeting with antislavery Democrats and Free-Soilers yo
- form a new political party. On July 6, the new Republican Party was formally organized into
- Jackson, Michigan. Among its founders was Horace Greely. The republican party was united in
- opposing the Kansas-Nebraska and in keeping slavery out of the territories. Otherwise, it
- embraced a wide range of opinions. The conservative faction hoped to resurrect the Missouri
- Compromise. At the opposite extreme were some radical abolitionists. The party's ability to draw
- support from such diverse groups provided the party with the strength to win a political tug of
- war with other parties such as its main competition, the Know-Nothing party.
Dred Scott Case
- In 1856 an important legal question came before the Supreme Court. The
- case concerned Dred Scott, a slave from Missouri. Scott's owner had taken him north of the
- Missouri Compromise line in 1834. For four years, they had lived in free territory in Illinois and
- Wisconsin. Later, they returned to Missouri where Scotts owner died. Scott then began a lawsuit
- to gain his freedom. He claimed that he had become a free person by living in free territory for
- several years. On march 6, 1857, Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger B. Taney handed down the
- decision that slaves did not have the right of citizens. Furthermore, the court said that Dred Scott
- had no claim to freedom because he had been living in Missouri, a slave state when he began his
- suit. Finally, the court ruled that the Missouri Compromise was unconstitutional. Congress could
- not forbid slavery in any part of the territories. Doing so would interfere with slaveholder's right
- to own property, a right protected by the fifth amendment. The Northerners were stunned,
- because by striking down the Missouri Compromise, the Supreme Court cleared the way for the
- extension of slavery.
- While politicians debated the slavery issue, John Brown was studying the
- slave uprisings that had occurred in ancient Rome and on the French island of Haiti. He believed
- that the time was right for similar uprisings in the US. Brown secretly obtained financial backing
- form several prominent Northern abolitionists. On the night of October 16, 1859, he lead a band
- of 21 men, black and white into Harpers Ferry, Virginia. His aim was to seize the federal arsenal
- there, distribute the captured arms to slaves in the area, and start a general slave uprising. Sixty of
- the town's prominent citizens were held hostage by Brown who hoped that their slaves would
- then join the insurrection. No slaves came forward. Instead, local troops killed eight of Brown's
- men. Then, a detachment of US Marines, commanded by Colonel Robert E. Lee, raced to
- Harpers Ferry, stormed the engine house where Brown and his men had barricaded themselves,
- killed a few of the raiders, and captured Brown. Brown was then turned over to Virginia to be
- tried for treason and was hung in front of a crowd.
- Republicans pushed for new laws to remedy weaknesses
- they saw in Johnson's plan. In February 1866, Congress voted to continue and enlarge the
- Freedmen's Bureau. The bureau, established by congress in the last moth off the war, assisted
- former slaves and poor whites in the South by distributing food and clothing. In addition, it set up
- more than 40 hospitals, approximately 4000 schools, 61 industrial institutes, and 74 teacher
- training centers.
- There were hundreds of photographers that traveled with the troops, working
- both privately and for the military. The most famous civil war photographer was Mathew Brady
- who employed about 20 photographers to meet the public demand for pictures from the
- battlefront. This was the beginning of American news photography, known as photojournalism.
- Many of Brady's photographs are a mix of realism and artificiality. Due to the primitive level of
- photographic technology, subjects had to be carefully posed and remain still during the long
- exposure times.