Causes of the Civil War Timeline

By: Josh Kidwell


The Civil War was a time that had divided the entire nation. The events that led up to it started with slavery. As slavery progressed and the differences between the north and south grew bigger, the problem grew worse. The country remained divided up to the point where the bry broke out into warfare. This is how it started.

Compromise of 1850

The Compromises of 1850 was a series of 5 laws that were passed. There was an issue when California wanted to join the Union and there wasn't a state that wanted to be a slave state trying to join at that time. To fix this the Missouri Compromise was made void This made popular sovereignty the way for states to become free or slave. New Mexico and Utah were also added to the Union. The Fugitive Slave act was also strengthened to appease the southerners.

Fugutive Slave Act of 1850

The Fugitive Slave Act was originally passed in 1793. Later the act was ignored by the northerners. The Slave Act of 1850 was passed as part of the compromise of 1850. it strengthened the original act allowing for punishment of those who helped slaves.
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Uncle Tom's Cabin is Published 1851

Uncle Tom's Cabin was a book that was written by Harriet Beecher Stowe. It was very popular and sold hundreds of thousands of copies. This book helped show the horrors of slavery to the north. Some say this book even helped start the Civil War.

Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854

With this bill came a new idea. Popular sovereignty. That means that the state or territory has the right to vote and chose what kind of state or territory they are, free or slave. This also admitted two new territories, Kansas and Nebraska.

Election of 1856

Dred Scott Decision 1857

Dred was a slave that was owned by Dr. Emerson. During his travels, Emerson had brought Scott with him to two free territories. There was a supreme court case that Dred Scott was in and it was decided that slaves could not have a trial because they are property not people. Dred Scott did not gain his freedom.

John Brown's Raid on Harper Ferry 1859

John Brown was en extreme Abolitionist. He had a goal to steal the federal weapons from the federal army in Virginia. His plan was to arm the slaves and fight with them. The slaves didn't come and him and his men were taking in custody, trialed and some were even hung.

John Brown Explained

The following link will take you to a video that will teach you more in depth on John Brown. Was he a hero? Or does he deserve to be called America's first terrorist?
America's First Terrorist or National Hero?

Election of 1860

During this election Abraham Lincoln, John C. Breckenridge, and John Bell ran for president. Lincoln won with an almost unanimous vote. He got 180/183 votes from the electoral colleges. The south were angry that Lincoln was president and acted violently. Lincoln did not campaign in the south and the southern states felt like they weren't supported by him. The south thought they were losing their place in the nation's government.

South Secedes (December 1860-June 1861)

After Lincoln was elected for president, the south became unhappy. They thought they were losing their rights and their power in the government. They also needed slaves to keep their economy running. If Lincoln prevented the spreading of slavery, then the slave population would naturally die off eventually. This would harm them.