The Nation Breaks Apart

By: Alyssa Marshall

Missouri Compromise 1820

The Missouri Compromise was a federal statue in the United States the regulated slavery in the country's western territories. The compromise, devised by Henry Clay, was agreed to by the pro-slavery and anti-slavery factions in the United States Congress and passed as a law in 1820.

nullifiction crisis of 1828

The Nullification Crisis was a sectional crisis during the presidency of Andrew Jackson created by South Carolina's 1832 Ordinance of nullification. This ordinance declared by the power of the State that the federal Tariff of 1828 and 1832 were unconstitutional and therefore null and void within the sovereign boundaries of South Carolina. The controversial and highly protective Tariff of 1828 (known to its detractors as the "Tariff of Abominations")

mexican war/ mexican cession

A historical name in the United States for the region of the modern day southwestern United States that Mexico ceded to the U.S. in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848, but had not been part of the areas east of the Rio Grande which had been claimed by the Republic, though the Texas annexation.

Brooks-Sumner Affair

Without warning, Brooks rushed forward and began beating the unsuspecting Sumner savagely with a gold-tipped wooden cane. Even after knocking the older man to the ground, Brooks continued raining down blows upon Sumner's bleeding head and defenseless body, only stopping when his cane shattered into pieces. Finally, after perhaps the most shocking few minutes in the history of Congress, Brooks turned and walked calmly out of the chamber, leaving Sumner bloodied and unconscious. Charles Sumner nearly died of the wounds he suffered that day

Compromise of 1850

Senator Henry Clay introduced a series of resolutions on January 29, 1850, in an attempt to seek a compromise and avert a crisis between North and South. As part of the Compromise of 1850, the Fugitive Slave Act was amended and the slave trade in Washington, D.C., was abolished

uncle tom's cabin

Uncle Tom's Cabin was the best-selling novel of the 19th century and the second best-selling book of that century, following the Bible. It is credited with helping fuel the abolitionist cause in the 1850s. In the first year after it was published, 300,000 copies of the book were sold in the United States; one million copies in Great Britain. In 1855, three years after it was published, it was called "the most popular novel of our day.

Kansas-nebraska Act

The Kansas–Nebraska Act of 1854 created the territories of Kansas and Nebraska, opening new lands for settlement, and had the effect of repealing the Missouri Compromise of 1820 by allowing white male settlers in those territories to determine through popular sovereignty whether they would allow slavery within each territory. The act was designed by Democratic Senator Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois. The initial purpose of the Kansas–Nebraska Act was to open up many thousands of new farms and make feasible a Midwestern Transcontinental Railroad. It became a problem when popular sovereignty was written into the proposal so that the voters of the moment would decide whether slavery would be allowed or not. The result was that pro- and anti-slavery elements flooded into Kansas with the goal of voting slavery up or down, leading to Bleeding Kansas.

Bleeding Kansas

The Border War was a series of violent political confrontations in the United States involving anti-slavery Free-Staters and pro-slavery "Border Ruffian" elements, that took place in the Kansas Territory and the neighboring towns of the state of Missouri between 1854 and 1861.

Dred Scott Case

In March 1857, in one of the most controversial events preceding the American Civil War (1861-65), the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in the case of Dred Scott v. Sanford. The case had been brought before the court by Dred Scott, a slave who had lived with his owner in a free state before returning to the slave state of Missouri. Scott argued that his time spent in these locations entitled him to emancipation. In his decision, Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, a staunch supporter of slavery, disagreed: The court found that no black, free or slave, could claim U.S. citizenship, and therefore blacks were unable to petition the court for their freedom. The Dred Scott decision incensed abolitionists and heightened North-South tensions, which would erupt in war just three years later.

Harpers Ferry Attack

On the evening of October 16, 1859 John Brown, a staunch abolitionist, and a group of his supporters left their farmhouse hide-out en route to Harpers Ferry. Descending upon the town in the early hours of October 17th, Brown and his men captured prominent citizens and seized the federal armory and arsenal. Brown had hopes that the local slave population would join the raid and through the raid’s success weapons would be supplied to slaves and freedom fighters throughout the country; this was not to be. First held down by the local militia in the late morning of the 17th, Brown took refuge in the arsenal’s engine house. However, this sanctuary from the fire storm did not last long, when in the late afternoon US Marines under Colonel Robert E. Lee arrived and stormed the engine house, killing many of the raiders and capturing Brown.

lincoln-douglas debate

The Lincoln–Douglas Debates of 1858 (also known as The Great Debates of 1858) were a series of seven debates between Abraham Lincoln, the Republican candidate for the Senate in Illinois, and Senator Stephan Douglas, the Democrat Republican candidate. At the time, U.S. senators were elected by state legislature; thus Lincoln and Douglas were trying for their respective parties to win control of the Illinois legislature. The debates previewed the issues that Lincoln would face in the aftermath of his victory in the 1860 Presidential Election. The main issue discussed in all seven debates was slavery.

Election of 1860

The United States presidential election of 1860 was the 19th quadrennial presidential election. The election was held on Tuesday, November 6, 1860, and served as the immediate impetus for the outbreak of the American Civil War. The United States had been divided during the 1850s on questions surrounding the expansion of slavery and the rights of slave owners. In 1860, these issues broke the Democratic Party into Northern and Southern factions, and a new Constitutional Union Party appeared. In the face of a divided opposition, the Republican Party, dominant in the North, secured a majority of the electoral votes, putting Abraham Lincoln in the White House with almost no support from the South.

South Carolina Secedes

On this day, a secession convention meeting in Charleston, South Carolina, unanimously adopted an ordinance dissolving the connection between South Carolina and the United States of America. The convention had been called by the governor and legislature of South Carolina once Lincoln's victory was assured. Delegates were elected on December 6, 1860, and the convention convened on December 17. Its action made South Carolina the first state to secede. Support for the Union was negligible, and a distinguished South Carolina unionist, James L. Petigru, allegedly commented at this time that his state was too small to be a nation and too large to be an insane asylum.

Beginning of the Civil war

The American Civil War, widely known in the United States as simply the Civil War as well as other sectional names, was a civil war fought from 1861 to 1865 to determine the survival of the Union or independence for the Confederacy. Among the 34 states as of January 1861, seven Southern slave states individually declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America, known as the "Confederacy" or the "South". They grew to include eleven states, and although they claimed thirteen states and additional western territories, the Confederacy was never diplomatically recognized by a foreign country.