Civil War Timeline

By: Samantha Mygatt

Compromise of 1850

The compromise of 1850 was a package of five laws passed by the US congress. The Compromise of 1850 happened in September of 1850. This compromise to a four-year political conflict between slave and free states. This compromise required the territories that were obtained during the Mexican-American War.

Fugitive Slave Act (1850)

The Fugitive Slave Act was passed by US congress on September 18, 1850. This was a part of the Compromise of 1850 that dealt with free/slave acts. This was a pair of federal laws that would allow the capture and return of runaway slaves within the territory of the United States. Some free blacks would even get caught in US territory and be sold into slavery.
Fugitive Slave Act 1850

Kansas-Nebraska Act (1854)

The Kansas-Nebraska act allowed settlers of a territory to decide if their state was going to allow slavery or not though this only happened within the new states boundaries. This was known as popular sovereignty. The thought od popular sovereignty was proposed by Stephen Douglas. As the new states, Nebraska and Kansas enter the union as free states it arose conflicts and lead to the Bleeding of Kansas.

Bleeding Kansas (1854 - 1861)

Bleeding Kansas was a period where violence during the settling of Kansas occurred. While popular sovereignty had happened for the new states Kansas and Nebraska violence had erupted. During the voting for state, Missouri had citizens that flooded into Kansas and it swayed the vote. While they were all voting for slavery this made citizens of Kansas and Nebraska upset because they did not live within the borders to vote.

Election of 1856

The election of 1856 was the 18th quadrennial president election. The election was held on Tuesday, November 4, 1856. Franklin Pierce tried to be renominated by the Democratic Party but it was a failed attempt. Instead, James Buchanan won the election.

Samantha Mygatt

James Buchanan by Samantha Mygatt

Dred Scott decision (1857)

The Dred Scott decision affirmed the right of slave owners to take their slaves into the western territories. Dred Scott was a slave and tried to sue for his freedom. That is when the Supreme Court ruled that blacks were not citizens and Dred Scott could not sue for his freedom. The main question asked was: Should slavery be allowed in the West? This was a decision that was accomplished by vote.

John Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry (1859)

On October 16, 1859, John Brown, abolitionist, lead a small group of slaves on a raid against a federal armory in Harpers Ferry, Virginia. This federal armory was the biggest in the nation and this was John Browns attempt to start an armed slavery rebellion. He wanted to destroy the institution of slavery. The US marines stopped the raid and captured Brown. Later he was tried and hung along with the people who were caught a part of the raid. This raid left the south worried about another attack and slaves creating a revolt.

Election of 1860

In the Election of 1860, Abraham Lincoln was elected the 16th president of the United States. Lincoln was the first republican to be the president of the US and he only had 40% of popular vote. Lincoln defeated three other candidates, John Breckinridge, Stephen Douglas, and John Bell. The election of Lincoln signaled the secession of the southern states. During his presidency the American Civil War was created and slavery came to an end.

South Secedes (December 1860 - June 1861)

The secession of the southern states was a response to Abraham Lincoln being elected president. The south thought that the government would try and destroy the southern economy and way of life. They south wanted to expand slavery because they knew it would eventually wear out and their way of life would be destroyed. Lincoln stated that he would not get rid of slavery in the south but they were not to expand in the west. This was supposed to make the North and the South happy but the south was never happy. So they seceded and it was basically the North vs. the South.

Did you know?

During the election of 1856 the Whig Party which had been a party since the 1830's had been destroyed.

Did you know?

Nearly one in ten men who fought for the Union Army were African American. Also, nearly one-third the soldiers were immigrants.

Could the civil war have been avoided?

I think that the Civil war was inevitable. I do not think that the Civil War could have been avoided because there would always be a problem with balancing the free/slave states. Yes, Lincoln could have become president and tried to keep compromising with the south but, it would always be difficult to try and please both the North and the South. A perfect example to support this is when the South secedes from the union. The south wants slaves to continue and spread through the west while the North wants all slaves to become citizens instead of being known as property. So how could you make them both happy at once?