Civil War


​PERIOD 5: 1844-1877

As the nation expanded and its population grew, regional tensions, especially over slavery, led to a civil war — the course and aftermath of which transformed American society.


Between 1844 and 1877, American became a nation from sea to shining sea and therefore more unified by winning wars such as the Mexican-American War and the Civil War, and by creating a stronger central government perused heavily by President Lincoln. This stage of America in national expansion and state building is recognized in periods of time: Antebellum America, the Civil War, and Reconstruction. This time period is significant because it allowed America to develop politically, socially, and constitutionally that helped produce a unified national republic laying a foundation for American values and ideals.
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Key Terms

1) Wilmot Proviso- Proposal led by Congressman David Wilmot in which the slavery would be prohibited in lands acquired from Mexico as a result of the Mexican-American War. It was never passed but further increased sectionalism (Page 421)

2) Know-Nothing Party- Prominent political party that rose in the late 1840s, early 1850s due to the increasing German and Irish immigrants and thought they were hostile to Republican ideals. The political positions included supporting nativism and opposition to Catholics. (Page 432)

3) Dred Scott- A slave that went to court for freedom but concluded that African Americans could not sue the federal court because they were property, regardless if the states were free or slave. (Page 433)

4) Kansas-Nebraska Act- Act passed in 1854 which allowed the territories of Nebraska and Kansas to be decided by the fate of popular sovereignty ruling the unconstitutionality of the Missouri Compromise of 1820. (Page 431)

5) Compromise of 1850- Led by the infamous Senator Henry Clay, a series of laws were passed that allowed California to enter the Union as a free state, the Fugitive Slave Act, introduction to popular sovereignty, and ended the slave trade in DC. This did not stop the increasing sectionalism but did ease the current tensions and helped postponed the Civil War for another decade. (Page 429)

6) Homestead Act- Federal law put into effect in 1862. This act offered cheap- sometimes free- land to people who would settle in the West and improve the state of his/her property. (Page 460)

7) John C. Calhoun- Senator from South Carolina (1782-1850). He feared the North intended to dominate the South, and tried to prevent the federal government from weakening states rights from interfering with the Southern way of life by supporting the efforts to nullify the Tariff of 1832. (Page 324)

8) Gettysburg- Union Victory fought from July 1-3, 1863 in and around the town of Gettysburg. The bloodiest battle of the Civil War marked a turning point in the war as the Northern movement was held back and the remaining of the war would be fought on Southern territory. This battle also gave Abraham Lincoln the justification to pursue the Emancipation Proclamation. (Page 465)

9) March to the Sea- Union Victory fought from November 15 to December 21, 1864. Led by General Sherman, Union forces, Union forces destroyed military targets as well as industry, infrastructure, and civilian property (including slaves) which detrimentally ruined the Southern's ability to wage a sustainable economy. (Page 470)

10) Emancipation Proclamation- Presidential proclamation and executive order that changed the purpose of the war from just preserving union to instead ending slavery once and for all. This did not free slaves in border states, but rather slaves in Confederate States under Union Control. (page 464)

11) Gettysburg Address- Speech recited by Abraham Lincoln on November 19. 1863 that stated that the nation was, "conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal." (Page 466)

12) Hiram Revels- Elected in 1870 for the state of Mississippi, he was the first African American to serve in the US Congress to fill Jefferson Davids's former seat. (Page 494)

War & Expansion: Crash Course US History #17
The Civil War, Part I: Crash Course US History #20
The Civil War Part 2: Crash Course US History #21
The Election of 1860 & the Road to Disunion: Crash Course US History #18

Brought to you by:

Brandon Calvillo-Chou

David Barsamian

Grace Mesropian

Josiah Wong