The Impending Crisis

By: Sara Stegmayer

The Breakdown of the Party System

There were more than three million foreigners that arrived in the states. In the presidential election of 1856, Millard Fillmore had the most votes. The order of the Star-Spangled Banner was Charles Allen's secret society, but citizens knew them as the know nothing's. In 1856 the know nothing's were in decline. In the early 1850's two parties began to disintegrate. Then in 1856 the Whig Party collapsed.

The Kansas-Nebraska Act

Senator Stephen A. Douglas pushed the compromise of 1850 through congress. Douglas's supporters pictured him as a proponent of western development. In 1854 a piece of legislation was introduced in congress that shattered all illusions of sectional peace. Also, the political and economic pressure to organize Kansa and Nebraska had become overwhelming.

The Revival of the Slavery Issue

No single piece of legislation ever passed by congress had more far reaching political consequences. William H. Seward of New York believed that blacks should receive civil rights including the right to vote. In 1854, 44 of the 51 northern democratic representatives who voted for the act were defeated.

Key Vocabulary For All Three Chapters

Beneficiary-a person or group that receives benefits

Radicals-faring drastic political, economic, or social reforms.

Conviction-a fixed or firm belief

Chairman-the presiding office of a meeting, committee, board, etc.

Inoperative-without affect, canceled

Void-having in legal force or effect

Transcontinental-passing or extending across a continent

Sovereignty-the status, dominion, power, or authority of a sovereign.