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Lead-Up to Civil War

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Luke Bailey

on 13 December 2017

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Transcript of Lead-Up to Civil War

Lead-Up to Civil War
Chapter 15
The Fugitive Slave Act
In 1850, Congress passed the Fugitive Slave Act which required all citizens to report runaway slaves, even in the North.

Intended to please Southerners, it instead angered Northerners and made many more opposed to slavery.
The Kansas-Nebraska Act
By 1854, two new territories were ready to become states- Kansas and Nebraska.

Here's the rub- they both lay above the 36 degree parallel, which means they will be free states. (why?) This ticks off southerners (why?)

So avoid a freakout, congressman Stephen Douglas says we forget about the Missouri Compromise and let the people in the states vote on whether to be free or slave, a concept called popular sovereignty.

What do you think happens next?
Bleeding Kansas
Abut 1,500 people lived in Kansas. Over 6,000 people however will vote and slavery wins.

Border ruffians
, people who crossed the border to vote and fight, overwhelm the state. Those who support freedom start their own government, and Kansas basically slips into a civil war- pro slavery militias VS anti-slavery ones.
To make matters worse, one pro-slavery senator, Preston Brooks, beat an anti-slavery senator with his cane in the middle of congress. Things are heated.
The Dred Scott Case
Dred Scott was a slave whose family moved from the south to Illinois, a free state.

When they returned to Missouri, his master died and Dred Scott sued, claiming that since he had lived in a free state for a while he was free.

The Supreme Court says "well, first of all you're a slave so you cant sue anyone anyways. Plus, you're property and the Constitution says the government isn't allowed to take peoples property."

What are the implications of this?
Election of 1860
With all this hubbub about slavery, the election of 1860 begins. Abe Lincoln, a Republican who was somewhat anti-slavery, wins without a single southern electoral vote.

You guys know what happens next.
South Carolina: "We're out."
South Carolina's legislature votes to secede (leave) from the Union. Other southern states quickly follow.

The southern states form the Confederate States of America and elect Jefferson Davis as president.
Lincoln's Reaction
In the months between Lincoln's election and inauguration, the big question is: "what's Lincoln going to do?"

He makes it clear at his inauguration. He doesn't want war, but he will fight to defend the union. He calls up 70,000 volunteers to form a new army. Game on.
"We are not enemies, but friends. Me must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection."
Fort Sumter
On April 14, 1860, an army of Confederates attacks Fort Sumter, an American fort, after they refuse to leave peacefully.

Thousands of shots were fired at the fort until it surrendered. There were no casualties.

It was a bloodless beginning to what would be the bloodiest war in US History.
Raid on Harper's Ferry
In 1859, an abolitionist (what's that) named John Brown got together his sons and some other men together for a raid. They attacked an arsenal called Harper's Ferry in Virginia- their plan was to steal guns to give to slaves to cause a revolt.

After a battle, John Brown was arrested and hung. This event divided the country- southerners saw Brown as a terrorist. Many northerners saw him as a hero.
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