Nation Breaks Apart
By: Isaac Noble
Missouri Compromise of 1820
The issue of slavery was tearing apart the nation. To keep the union together, Congress created a series of compromises. This one maintained a balance between slave and free states. Every time a slave state was admitted, a free state was admitted. One example is that Maine was a free state and Missouri a slave state.
Nullification Crisis of 1828-1834
South Carolina planter politicians formulated a new brand of slavery-based politics that would culminate in the formation of the southern confederacy. The crisis, which began as a dispute over federal tariff laws, became intertwined with the politics of slavery and sectionalism. John C. Calhoun believed that the state had the right to nullify or veto federal laws and secede from the Union. Calhoun said that they were reserved rights of the states and therefore constitutional.
Compromise of 1850
This compromise enabled North California to be admitted as a free and state and slave trade would be abolished in Washington D.C. To please the South, New Mexico and Utah territories would be able to decide the issue of slavery by a majority vote also known as “popular sovereignty”.
Uncle Toms Cabin March 20, 1852
Written by Harriet Beecher Stowe. She wrote this to portray slavery as brutal and immoral. This influenced people that did not pay attention to slavery. The novel talks about a life of an old slave named Uncle Tom and the evils of slavery during his life. This evidently heightened the conflict between the North and South. Lincoln was quoted as said “So this is the little lady who made this big war.”
Kansas-Nebraska Act May 30 1854
This act was created by Democratic Senator Stephen A. Douglas. It created the territories of Kansas and Nebraska. This allowed the settlers to decide if they wanted to have slavery within their territories. With this “popular sovereignty” meant that essentially that the people rule. It also repealed the 36-30 line of the Missouri Compromise.
Bleeding Kansas 1855-1861
Pro slavery and antislavery settlers rushed into the Kansas territory. Pro slavery members came to Kansas and voted for slavery illegally. The antislavery settlers boycotted and created their own government. The pro slavery people attacked and killed antislavery members. One important event is that John Brown attacked and murdered 7 of his pro slavery neighbors.
Dred Scott Case March 6, 1857
Dred Scott a slave sued for his freedom. Abolitionists thought that this could end slavery. The Supreme Court ruled African-Americans were not citizens and had no rights. “Slavery was Lawful and legal.” Slaves were then viewed as simply as property and thus protected by the 5th amendment.
Lincoln-Douglas Debate Aug. 21, 1858-Oct. 15, 1858
Republican Abraham Lincoln ran against Democrat Stephen A. Douglas for the Illinois US Senate seat. Lincoln and his house divided speech “a house divided against itself cannot stand.” Basically stating that slavery should not be expanded. Douglas also known as the (Little Giant) argued that slavery should be decided by “popular sovereignty.” Douglas evidently won but Lincoln made a name for him and his new party.
Harpers Ferry Attack Oct. 16 1859
Abolitionist John Brown devised a plan to inspire slaves to fight for their freedom. Brown attacked a US Marine Arsenal to capture weapons and supply a slave revolt. The attack failed and John Brown was captured. The attack failed because only 20 slaves showed up. Most of the slaves knew that if they had gotten caught, they and possibly their family could have been executed. John Brown was hanged for murder and treason.
Election of November 6, 1860
In the Election of 1860 the Democrats split their vote between 2 candidates. Douglas was “popular sovereignty”, Breckinridge was “States rights”, and others joined a new party “Constitutional Union”. John Bell was “Preserve the Union”, and Lincoln the Republican candidate was “stop slavery”. Lincoln had 40%, Douglass 30%, Breckinridge 18%, and Bell 12%. Lincoln wins the election, but only receives 40% of the popular vote and not 1 electoral vote from the south.