Events Leading Up to the Civil War

By: Austin Liu

Compromise of 1850

The Compromise of 1850 kept the South and the North happy. It allowed the South to have slaves and the North to be free. If the slaves escaped to the North the slave owners would have to show evidence to Congress to take them back to the South and work on the plantations. If they didn't have evidence then they would remain in the North, free. Texas also gave up a big part of their land for $10,000,000 to help with their debt to Mexico. Texas also gave up trying to take New Mexico and they got to keep the panhandle. Califonia was also accepted as a free state; it also stopped trading of slaves in some states. It was important to the Civil war because the states slowly started to divide by having free states and slave states.

Fugitive Slave Act of 1850

The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 was a part of the Compromise of 1850. It stopped the trading of slaves in the Distric of Columbia and had California be a free state. This law also encouraged the Underground Railroad and sent many slaves to Canada. This law was in place because the states wouldn't send slaves back to owners if they escapes and the law made it a Federal job. If the slaves were found in a free state they would have to be brought back to their slave owners. If the slave oweners have proof that they owned the slave they got them back, but if they didn't they remain a free person. This contributed to the Civil War because the North did not like sending back the slaves and they also sent free people into slavery.

The Dred Scott Decision of 1857

Dred Scott was fighting for his freedom against slavery and his family after Mr. Emerson, his owner, had died. Dred Scott and his family were left in the hands of his wife. Dred Scott went to court for freedom but lost his first trial because of rumors and lies that people said about the Scotts. The judge said that they could have another trial and they won their freedom. Then Mrs. Emerson went to the Missouri State Supreme Court and they lost and were slaves again. Finally they hired a new lawyer and regained their freedom. The reason it angered the South and effected the Civil War is because the Supreme Court decision said that slaves are property and so they were not authorized to go to court. It also made people so angry because it said that an African American could ever be a citizen.

Kansas-Nebraska Act

This Act allowed the Nebraska/Kansas Territory into two states, Kansas and Nebraska. The Union wasn't sure whether to have them be free or slave states, but the Kansas-Nebraska Act allowed these states to choose whether they wanted to be a free or slave state. They both eventually became free states and Kansas helped alot with the Civil War by sending 20,000 soldiers to the Union army. The South and the North both started going into the states so there was slavery and anti slavery support. The southerns went there to vote to have them become a slave state. The Kansas-Nebraska Act got rid of the Misoury Compromise and created two strong political parties, those that supported slavery in the South (Democrats)and those that supported non-slavery in the North (Republicans). This contributed to the Civil War because now they weren't only fighting over slavery but also about which states were allowed to have slavery.

John Brown's Raid of 1859

John Brown was an abolitionist and was raised to hate slavery so his entire life he fought against slavery. In 1846 he moved into a farming community of eX slaves and African American people. On October 16th, of 1859 he carried out a plan that he created to steal weapons for slaves so that they could fight against slavery. He led 21 men to raid the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry Virginia. John Brown was captured and sentence to hang for treason and died Decmber 2, 1869. He became a martyr for the abolitionists. Now the anti-slavery North had an example of someone willing to die in defense of slaves right to be free, showing them what the Civil War could look like.