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Missouri Compromise 1820
Transcript of Missouri Compromise 1820
The Missouri Compromise
The Tallmadge Amendment
The Tallmadge Amendment proposed that Missouri should be admitted as a free state. The Southerners opposed to this idea because they thought that it should be the states choice if they where a slave state or not. This event favored the North because they could possibly have a new free state.
The Fugitive Slave Act
Prior to the Fugitive Slave Act, the Compromise of 1850 failed because it satisfied almost no one. Both the North and the South were unhappy with the Fugitive Slave Law but for different reasons. The South was unhappy because they did not think it ensured the return of their property. Northerners just didn't want to enforce this law because they disagreed with it morally which infuriated the slaveholders. Due to the Northerners not participating in this law only 299 slaves were caught and returned to their owners of the tens of thousands fugitive slaves living in the North. This favored the North because they helped slaves be free by not obeying the law because of how they felt.
"Uncle Tom's Cabin"
Missouri applied for statehood as a slave state. This favored the South,
because slavery could possibly spread across the Louisiana Territory.
Maine wanted to become a free state and Missouri still wanted to be a slave state. Congress decided to let them have what they wanted because the slave and free state numbers would still be even. At the same time, Congress made an imaginary line along the Louisiana Purchase. Anywhere north of the line slavery was to be forever banned, while south of the line slavery was allowed. This event didn't please very many people but it kept the Union together.
The Compromise of 1850
Soon after the Missouri Compromise unravelled, Henry Clay came up with an idea that would please the North and the South. California would be admitted to the Union as a free state which would make the North happy. New Mexico and Utah territories could decide if they wanted to be slave states or not which would please the South. Clay also planned to stop the slave trade in Washington DC but those who had slaves could keep them. Finally, a Fugitive Slave Law would be passed which would make it easier for slave owners to find and reclaim their runaway slaves. After presenting this idea to Congress the Compromise was accepted! This event favors both the North and the South because they would both get what they wanted.
A novel written by Harriet Beecher Stowe described terrible things that a slave owner, Uncle Tom had done to his slaves. It also described slaves running away and what it was like for them. In the South the author and the novel were cursed and scorned. Whereas in the North millions of people were made even more angry about slavery. This event favored the North because after reading the terrible events that happened in the book they wanted to end slavery even more.
The Kansas-Nebraska Act
Senator Stephan A. Douglas of Illinois introduced a bill to Congress. He wanted to build a railroad to California and he thought that the project was more likely to happen if Congress organized the Great Plains into the Nebraska Territory and allowed settlers to live there. This territory lay north of the Missouri Compromise where slavery was not allowed. Southerners in Congress agreed to only support the bill if Douglas made a few changes. His final version, which is known as the Kansas-Nebraska Act made two new territories Kansas and Nebraska. It also let the settlers decide whether or not to allow slavery which destroyed the Missouri Compromise. This act was passed and favored the South because they had more slave states.
The Dred Scott Decision
A slave named Dred Scott was brought to Wisconsin, a free state with his owner. After he returned he claimed he was a free man because of his visit to a free state. Scott went to Court to fight for his freedom. After the case was heard the nine justices came up with their verdict. First, they told him he had no right to sue for his freedom because he was not an American citizen and that he or any other African American person ever will be. Secondly, he was not a free man due to his vist to Wisconsin because the Missouri Compromise was unconstitutional. I think this favors the North even though the South was happy with the verdict because it made the Northerners hate slavery even more.
The Lincoln-Douglas Debates
Abe Lincoln's opponent in the Senate race was Senator Stephan Douglas. The Senator saw no reason why the nation couldn't be half-slavery and half-free. Lincoln on the other hand thought it should be all free. In his eyes slavery was not a legal issue but a moral one. One side was always going to think the other was wrong and it would be almost impossible for them to agree on any thing. Lincoln lost the election but his argument made it clearer for people to see that compromises over slavery were becoming even more impossible.
John Brown's Raid
While Lincoln was trying to stop slavery through politics abolitionist John Brown came up with a more extreme approach, He was the leader in a raid of an arsenal in Harpers Ferry Virginia. Brown wanted to give the weapons to arm slaves for a rebellion that, at least in his mind would end slavery. After he launched the attack all of his men were either dead or captured. Brown himself was convicted and hanged. But before his death he wrote a note that scared the Southerners because it said that the guilty lands shall be purged by blood. What made the Southerners even more uneasy was that the Northerners viewed Brown as a hero.
The Election of 1860
Because Lincoln's opposing teams were divide three ways he flew to victory despite the fact that in 10 Southern states didn't even have Lincoln on the ballot. This was a happy moment for most Northerners but for the Southerners it delivered an unmistakable message. They were now the minority and could not shape what happened in politics or national events.
The South Secedes The Union
The weeks after the election there was talk of secession. Alarmed senators formed a group to try to come up with another compromise that might hold the Union together. While this was happening South Carolina voted that they would leave the Union. Soon more states followed suit and together they formed the Confederate States of America.
The Civil War Begins
On April 12th 1861 the Confederates opened fire on Fort Sumter, a federal fort in Charleston Harbor. Once the news that the Confederates had fired on the American flag all doubts about not using force to save the Union flew out the window. The Compromises were over, and soon war would begin.