Causes of the Civil War

April 12, 1861 – April 9, 1865

Compromise of 1850

The Compromise of 1850 was the compromise that made California a free state and prohibited slave trade in Washington D.C, which helped the North. However, it did have its perks for the South, it made no slave trade restrictions in New Mexico and Utah, permitted slaveholding in Washington D.C, and strengthened the Fugitive Slave Act, which allowed the South to have federal agents or bounty hunters to go to the North to return their escaped slaves. It backfired on the South because the bounty hunters would just go to the North and take random black people, slave or not, and the North would see them take these people that they knew were definitely not slaves away from their lives and families in the North. This showed the North how immoral slavery was in the South and brought the slavery issue closer to them, which increased the Northern desire for abolition of slavery.

Kansas-Nebraska Act

This is the law that lead to "Bleeding Kansas", a "series of violent confrontations" in which Northerners and Southerners fought to make the state of Kansas either a free or slave state that started in 1854. The North was lead by extreme abolitionist, John Brown. This resulted in the deaths of many Americans, and could even be considered the first battle in the Civil War. The Whig party disappeared after this because they didn't say anything about it, so the people didn't continue supporting them. The new party created to represent the political values of the Whigs was the Republican party.

They don't even wear wigs

THE John Brown

John Brown was an extreme abolitionist in the mid 1800's. He led the Northerners in "Bleeding Kansas", and even led a raid on Harper's Ferry. The reason for the raid was to steal weapons that they could give to slaves for a slave revolt against the South. During the raid Brown was killed. In the North he was hailed as a hero and martyr that died for the rights of slaves, but in the South they viewed him basically as a terrorist, who wanted to ruin their way of life.

Aka Charlie Sheen

Preston Brooks vs. Charles Sumner

On May 21, 1856, Senator Charles Sumner was giving a speech in the senate called "The Crime Against Kansas" in which he called citizens of Missouri "murderous robbers" and at one point he began to talk bad about Senator Andrew Butler of South Carolina. Sumner said, "Butler has chosen a mistress. I mean the harlot, slavery." Senator Preston Brooks, the cousin of Butler, also from South Carolina heard these things said about his cousin and was infuriated, so he vowed to teach Sumner a lesson. This lesson was beating Sumner almost to the point of death with Brooks' cane. In the process Brooks broke his cane from hitting the other Senator so many times. The North was outraged while the South was fired up and excited about the incident. The Northerners also used the incident as proof that slavery was not only bad for slaves, but also Southern whites who supported it. They claimed that it made them dangerous and aggressive.

Important Abolitionists: Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, William Lloyd Garrison

Dredd Scott Decision

Friday, March 6th 1857 at 4:30pm

Washington, DC, United States

Washington, DC

Dred Scott was a slave who lived in Illinois and Wisconsin, a free state and a free territory, with his owner. His argument was that if he was in free states, but was still a slave that he should have his freedom because it was illegal where he had lived. However, at that time slaves were considered property of their owners rather than citizens, so he could not sue his owner for his freedom. The North was angered because they considered it inhumane to try to say that slaves weren't people. This just added more fuel to the fire that was slowly becoming the Civil War.

There's Some New Republicans in Town!

In 1860, the Whigs at this point were non-existent. The Republican party became a party that was opposed slavery, but they weren't a black-supporting party. They needed more support to in the North, so they could have a representative of their party to run for president. Lincoln was the Republican representative and Stephen Douglas was the Democratic representative, and the two debated around the state of Illinois in 7 different locations. These debates attracted numerous amounts of voters and newspaper journalists from around the country. Lincoln thought that blacks deserved the rights in the Declaration of Independence just like everyone else. Douglas however, said that the Declaration of Independence was not intended for blacks.