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Causes of the Civil War
Transcript of Causes of the Civil War
By: Eliza Ruston
Election of 1856:
The United States presidential election of 1856 was an unusually heated election campaign that led to the election of James Buchanan, the ambassador to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. The Democrats endorsed the moderate “popular sovereignty” approach to slavery expansion utilized in the Kansas-Nebraska Act. Republican candidates condemned the Kansas-Nebraska Act, and crusaded against the Slave Power and the expansion of slavery. Former President Millard Fillmore represented a third party, the relatively new American Party or “Know-Nothings”. The Know Nothings, who ignored the slavery issue in favor of anti-immigration policies, won a little over a fifth of the vote.
Dred Scott Decision:
Dred Scott was the name of an African-American slave. He was taken by his master, an officer in the U.S. Army, from the slave state of Missouri to the free state of Illinois and then to the free territory of Wisconsin. On this day in 1857, the United States Supreme Court issues a decision in the Dred Scott case, affirming the right of slave owners to take their slaves into the Western territories, thereby negating the doctrine of popular sovereignty and severely undermining the platform of the newly created Republican Party.
Fugitive Slave Act:
The Fugitive Slave Acts mandated the return of runaway slaves, regardless of where in the Union they were located at the time of their discovery or capture. Enacted by Congress in 1793, the first Fugitive Slave Act authorized local governments to seize and return escaped slaves to their owners and imposed penalties on anyone who aided in their flight.
Born in Torrington, Connecticut, John Brown belonged to a devout family with extreme anti-slavery views. During the Bleeding Kansas conflicts, Brown and his sons led attacks on pro-slavery residents. Justifying his actions as the will of God, Brown soon became a hero in the eyes of Northern extremists and was quick to capitalize on his growing reputation.
When defined, popular sovereignty is a doctrine in political theory that government is created by and subject to the will of the people. In the case of the civil war, it gave individuals in a newly organized territory the right to decide whether or not slavery should be allowed.
Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe:
Harriet Beecher Stowe's best known novel, Uncle Tom's Cabin, changed forever how Americans viewed slavery. The novel sold 300,000 copies within three months and was so widely read that when President Abraham Lincoln met Stowe in 1862, he reportedly said, "So this is the little lady who made this big war."
Election of 1860:
The Democrats met in Charleston, South Carolina, in April 1860 to select their candidate for President in the upcoming election. The confusion of the election gave the Republicans a chance to take the election and they realized they needed to select a candidate who could carry the North and win a majority of the Electoral College. the Republican Party, dominant in the North, secured a majority of the electoral votes, putting Abraham Lincoln in the White House with almost no support from the South.
Harper's Ferry is a historic town in Jefferson County, West Virginia, United States. On October 16, 1859, the radical abolitionist John Brown led a group of 21 men in a raid on the arsenal. Five of the men were African American: three free African Americans, one a freed slave and one a fugitive slave. The plan was to take the town's federal armory and, ultimately, start a nationwide uprising against slavery.
Lincoln - Douglas Debates:
From August 21 until October 15, Stephen Douglas battled Abraham Lincoln in face to face DEBATES around the state. Lincoln made that point that "A HOUSE DIVIDED COULD NOT STAND", because he was against slavery. Douglas refuted this by noting that the founders, "left each state perfectly free to do as it pleased on the subject." Not only did they discuss slavery, but also much deeper topics that influenced politics today.
The goal of the abolitionist movement was to emancipate slaves and stop the racial discrimination against them.
Abolitionist ideas were prominent in the North, which cause hostility between the North and south, leading up to the Civil War.
In contrast to the popular belief that the abolitionist crusade was driven by wealthy whites, about 300 black abolitionists were regularly involved in the antislavery movement.
Alexander, S. R. - liberator -
William Lloyd Garrison was a prominent American abolitionist, journalist, and social reformer. He is well-know for his article in the very first issue of his anti-slavery newspaper. In this article, The Liberator, Garrison stated, "I do not wish to think, or speak, or write, with moderation. . . . I am in earnest -- I will not equivocate -- I will not excuse -- I will not retreat a single inch -- AND I WILL BE HEARD."
Garrison fought long and hard for the freedom of slaves.
William Lloyd Garrison:
During the Civil War, Douglass was a consultant to President Abraham Lincoln and helped convince him that slaves should serve in the Union forces and that the goal of the war should be to get rid of slavery. Douglass was born into slavery but escaped.
Frederick Douglass Papers at the Library of Congress:
The Grimke Sisters:
These South Carolina sisters were some of the most iconic female abolitionists. They published some of the most powerful anti-slavery tracts of that era and fought for women's rights.
"Of the two sisters, Angelina was the first to become convinced, that her vocation lay in the antislavery cause. After reading abolitionist newspapers and hearing such lecturers and England’s George Thompson, she joined the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society, recording in her diary (May 12, 1835): 'I am confident not many years will roll by before the horrible traffic in human beings will be destroyed…My earnest prayers have been poured out that the Lord would be pleased to permit me to be instrumental of good to these degraded. Oppressed , and suffering fellow-creatures.”
During the Civil War era, slavery was called the "peculiar institution". The slavery of African Americans began during the 1630s and 1640s. The slaves were treated very poorly. They were prohibited from learning to read and write, and their behavior and movement was restricted. Many masters took sexual liberties with slave women. This is where the abolition movement comes into play.
"Photo of two former slave women reading from a book.
In October 1831, Maria Stewart published "Religion and the Pure Principles of Morality: The Sure Foundation on Which We Must Build" in THE LIBERATOR. Although education is not mentioned explicitly in this title, it was undeniably one of Stewart's keystones for creating liberty and equality. In her speech she called on mothers to fulfill their responsibilities towards their children. She demands:"
"You can have them taught in the rudiments of useful knowledge; and then you can have private teachers who will instruct them in the higher branches; and their intelligence will become greater than ours, and their children will attain to higher advantages, and their children still higher; and then, though we are dead, our works shall live ..."
David Walker was an African American abolitionist. He left the South, stating that "If I remain in this bloody land, I will not live long. . . . I cannot remain where I must hear slaves' chains continually and where I must encounter the insults of their hypocritical enslavers." In 1829 Walker published his famous pamphlet; Walkers Appeal. In it he tried to arouse slaves of the South into rebelling against their master.
Harriet Tubman was an American bondwoman who escaped slavery in 1849 to become an abolitionist. She was called the "conductor of the Underground Railroad because of the hundreds she led to freedom using this elaborate secret network of safe houses, organized to conceal slaves.
A letter Harriet Tubman wrote to President Abraham Lincoln, 1862:
". . . God won't let Master Lincoln beat the South until he does the right thing. Master Lincoln, he's a great man, and I'm a poor Negro but this Negro can tell Master Lincoln how to save money and young men. He can do it by setting the Negroes free. Suppose there was an awful big snake down there on the floor. He bites you. Folks all scared, because you may die. You send for doctor to cut the bite; but the snake is rolled up there, and while the doctor is doing it, he bites you again. The doctor cuts out that bite; but while he's doing it, the snake springs up and bites you again, and so he keeps doing it, till you kill him. That's what Master Lincoln ought to know. . . . "
Sojourner Truth was the self-given name, from 1843 woman, Isabella Baumfree, an African-American abolitionist and women's rights activist. She was best known for her speech on racial inequalities, "Ain't I a Woman?", delivered at the Ohio Women's Rights Convention in 1851. She became a powerful speaker on both women's rights and slavery.
"Then that little man in black there, he says women can't have as much rights as men, 'cause Christ wasn't a woman! Where did your Christ come from? Where did your Christ come from? From God and a woman! Man had nothing to do with Him." (Ain't I a Woman? Sojourner Truth)
The Underground Railroad was a vast network of safe houses that helped hide slaves and lead them to freedom in the North. This was not organize by a single person, but a large group of people who were against slavery.
John Rankin’s house; one of the famous stop in the Underground Railroad:
From 1789 to the outbreak of the Civil War there was disagreement between the Northern and the Southern states over the matter of protective tariffs. These were import taxes on manufactured goods. Northern industries wanted high tariffs in order to protect their factories and laborers from cheaper European products. Southern states wanted low tariffs because they depended on trade.
Agrarian societies were base on agriculture, farming and natural products. Industrial societies were based on mass production of mechanics and were the men who ran the factories of the Industrial Revolution.
Agrarians vs. Industrialists:
Rebels vs. Yankees:
During the civil war, the rebels were the Southern soldiers, because they were rebelling against the federal government. The yankees were the soldiers representing the North. The Yankees were anti-slavery and the Rebels were pro-slavery.
The Mason-Dixon line was known for the division between the northern and southern states in the U.S. The Northern states were anti-slavery while the Southern states were pro-slavery.
The Mason-Dixon Line:
According to the compromise, Texas would relinquish the land in dispute but, in compensation, be given 10 million dollars -- money it would use to pay off its debt to Mexico. Also, the territories of New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, and Utah would be organized without mention of slavery. 5 parts! + map
Compromise of 1850:
The Kansas–Nebraska Act of 1854 created the territories of Kansas and Nebraska. It opened new lands for settlement, and had the effect of repealing the Missouri Compromise of 1820 by allowing white male settlers in those territories to determine through popular sovereignty whether they would allow slavery within each territory.
This was when Douglas, a U.S. senator, decided to let the citizens decide on whether or not slavery should be legal. This led to many from the North and South rushing to Kansas to vote. this caused chaos and a lot of murder, which is why it was called bloody Kansas.
The Nullification Crisis arose in the early 1830s when leaders of South Carolina had the idea that a state did not have to follow a federal law and could, in effect, "nullify" the law. South Carolina felt that the new tariff passed was unfair to the Southern states, and that they were not obligated to obey the law.
"Cartoon drawn during the nullification controversy showing the Northern domestic manufacturers getting fat at the expense of impoverishing the South under protective tariffs."
Violence in Congress:
Tension was high in congress during the years leading up to the Civil War. "In an 1850 debate about slavery, Thomas Benton, a Democrat from Missouri who opposed slavery, became so angry at his fellow Democrat, Henry Foote of Mississippi that he verbally attacked him on the Senate floor. Foote drew a pistol from his Senate desk and pointed it at Benton. Their colleagues stopped the argument before Foote could pull the trigger. The Senate was adjourned so the members could leave for a "cooling off period" prior to returning the next day."
James Buchanan, Democratic Candidate for President of the United States.
"Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the persons who have been, or may hereafter be, appointed commissioners, in virtue of any act of Congress... shall be, and are hereby, authorized and required to exercise and discharge all the powers and duties conferred by this act...."
Excerpt from the Fugitive Slave Act(1851):
Illustration from Harper's Weekly,
November 12, 1859
My dear Sir,
How in God’s name do you let such paragraphs into the Tribune, as the enclosed cut from that paper of yesterday? Does Sheahan write them? How can you have failed to perceive that in this short paragraph you have completely answered all your own well put complaints of Greely [Greeley] and Sister Burlingame? What right have you to interfere in Indiana, more than they in Illinois? And what possible argument can be made why all Republicans shall stand out of Hon. John G. Davis’s way in his district in Indiana that can not be made why all Republicans in Illinois shall stand out of Hon. S.A. Douglas’s way? The part in larger type is plainly editorial, and your editorial at that, as you do not credit it to any other paper. I confess it astonishes me.
Yours truly, A. Lincoln.
For President Abram Lincoln. For Vice President Hannibal Hamlin.
Woodcut or lithograph on linen.
Philadelphia: H.C. Howard, 1860:
Charlestown, Va, 2nd, December, 1859
I John Brown am now quite certain that the crimes of this guilty, land: will never be purged away; but with Blood. I had as I now think: vainly flattered myself that withought very much bloodshed; it might be done.
John Brown's last letter, written on day he hanged. From "John Brown: a Biography," by Oswald Garrison Villard:
Excerpt from letter; 4th N.C. Volunteers
September 30th, 1862
Camp near Bunker Hill:
Dear Father, Mother and Sisters,
Our regiment did not have many wounded nor killed but a good many taken prisoners. Frank Shepherd
and John Fennster we suppose are taken. We have not heard from them since the fight. They were not in
the fight; were left at the camp. The Yankees took them. On their escape they took a good many of our
negroes. That was a great victory at Harper's Ferry. I would like to have been in that. Our men did not
fire a gun. They burn the Yankees to death and they give up everything and raised a white flag and
attack their army. The men say that they saw it and was the best thing they ever saw. The seventh regiment N.C. was there and saw it all. E. Morrison Scroggs was telling me about how they done. He saw it all. I would like to have been there.
1830's map of the Mason Dixon line:
The Whig Party formed out of the National Republican Party, the leaders of which were John Quincy Adams and Henry Clay. They were nationalists, supported internal improvements and moral reforms, and desired gradual westward expansion in congruence with economic growth and modernization.
The Democrats were the successors of Jeffersonian democracy. They favored localism and freedom from modern institutions such as banks, factories, and reform movements.