Events Leading Up to the Civil War

The True Events of the Civil War

Compromise of 1850

The Compromise of 1850 was an agreement that settled the argument between the northern and southern states. The southern states wanted slavery, but the other states did not agree with this. There were 5 laws that settled this agreement between the states south of Missouri and the northern states north of Missouri. The laws of the Compromise of 1850 were:
  1. California was admitted to the Union as a free state.
  2. The New Mexico and Utah territories were to decide if they wanted slavery in their state.
  3. Texas lost the New Mexico territory, but received $10 million from the federal government for its loss.
  4. The Slave trade in the District of Columbia was abolished.
  5. It created a new Fugitive Slave Act.


The significance of The Compromise of 1850 was great! It gave the U.S the states of New Mexico and Utah the right to decide if they wanted slavery or not. Most of all this was one of the events they caused tension to grow even more between the north and south. It caused them to want to go to war even more.


Picture 1: http://www.ushistory.org/us/30d.asp

Picture 2: http://www.findingdulcinea.com/news/on-this-day/March/Daniel-Webster-Endorses-Compromise-of-1850-in-3-Hour-Speech.html

Fugitive Slave Act of 1850

The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 was a group of laws related to the Compromise of 1850. This law was passed by the United States in September of 1850. This act abandoned runaway slaves no matter what state that the slaves lived in. Slave-Hunters were forced to seize the slaves. It also gained California as a free state. This impacted the Civil War because it abandoned runaway slaves and Slave-Hunters. It added California to the U.S which made the U.S grow.

The significance of this act was very big to this war. It forbidded runaway slaves in all states. This caused the Northerners to become angrier and the southerners to become happier because this act was helping the south grow their way of life. This was another event that led to the Civil War.


Picture 1: http://fathertheo.wordpress.com/2011/02/12/fugitive-slave-act-1850/


Picture 2: http://www.usmarshals.gov/history/fugitive_slave_law.htm




The Dred Scott Decision of 1857

The Dred Scott Decision Of 1857 was a huge agrument between the North and South. It started with a regular slave named Dred Scott who fought very hard for his freedom. He sued his owners wife because he did not like being sold out and he wanted his freedom. When his owner and him moved out of the south and into a free state, he thought he could be free, but his owner would not allow him to. Howeve,r he could not complete the law suit because he was not a citizen of the U.S. He was considered to be property. This law suit really stirred up emotions and caused the a battle to break between the North and the South.


The significance of the Dred Scott Desicion made Northerners furious. This was showed upon to the Northerners as unfair. They thought that if Dred Scott is in a free state why can't he be free? Dred Scott also thought it was unfair, but since he was just a slave and part of property he could not do anything.


Picture 1: http://www.loc.gov/rr/program/bib/ourdocs/DredScott.html

Picture 2: http://www.nps.gov/resources/story.htm?id=196

The Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854

The Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 was passed by the U.S Congress on May 30, 1854. This act allowed the territories, Nebraska and Kansas to decide whether or not they wanted slavery in their territories. This act made the northern states furious while the southern states supported it completely. After this act was passed pro-slavery and anti-slavery supporters rushed to settle in Kansas to affect the first election. Pro-Slavery and Anti-Slavery broke out in a major argument at the election which resulted in a bloody fight led by John Brown.


The significance of this act was very different from the others. Since Kansas and Nebraska got to choose if they wanted to be a free or slave state, the South and the North were very anxious to know which side each state would choose. In the end, Nebraska and Kansas decided to become a free state after the battle ended which caused the south to become suprised and angry.


Picture 1: http://www.ushistory.org/us/31a.asp

Picture 2: http://www.nvcc.edu/home/dporter/his121/handouts/sectionalism.htm

John Browns Raid of 1859

On October 16, 1859 John Brown led 16 white men and 5 black men across the Potomac River from Maryland to Virgina. Their main goal was to destroy the slave systems of the South. After making his march in the South, Brown's mission was a success. Federal forces arrived on Monday evening and successfully stormed the stronghold the following day, seriously wounding Brown. He was tried and convicted of treason against the Commonwealth of Virginia. Just before his hanging on December 2, 1859, Brown uttered a prophetic forewarning of the coming.


This event was important because it caused tension to increase. It made the North and the South hate each other more, making them want to fight for what they wanted. The North was happy with this event, but the South was not. They were not happy at all with the North for trying to destroy their slave systems.


Picture 1: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Brown's_raid_on_Harpers_Ferry

Picture 2: http://www.civilwar.org/150th-anniversary/john-browns-harpers-ferry.html