Civil War Causes

By: Paige Atagi

Missouri Compromise (1820)

The Missouri Compromise allowed Missouri to enter the Union. At first Missouri could not enter the union because it would mess up the equal amount of slave states and free states. The Missouri compromise was formed by Sectionalism. When Missouri entered the union as a slave state, Maine entered as a free state to keep the balance between slave and free states. If any state was formed above the line then it was a free state, but if it was formed below, it was a slave state.

Compromise of 1850

Henry Clay created the Compromise of 1850, that had five parts. California started the Compromise of 1850 and got rid of the Missouri Compromise because the Missouri Compromise wasn’t able to use the free and slave state equality. Because this happened, slave and free states counted on the people in the states. If they wanted to be free or slave state. The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 was tightened because of the Compromise of 1850.

Fugitive Slave Act (1850)

The Fugitive Slave Act was already invented but it was accepted in 1850 because of the Compromise of 1850. If anyone would have ever helped or hid slaves who have escaped slavery would be put in prison for 6 months. But slave owners were allowed to come up to the North to take slaves back to the South as their own. The people in the North did not agree with slavery and most of the Northerners opposed the act. Abolitionist tried to rescue the slaves from jail.

Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852)

Uncle Tom’s Cabin was written by Harriet Beecher Stowe. Stowe’s book was inspired by slavery and the harms of it. Stowe’s book was about runaway slaves and what she had experienced when she lived in Ohio with her husband. Their house had been a stop for the Underground Railroad that was meant for runaway slaves. The story is about an old slave, Uncle Tom, a young pregnant slave, Eliza, a young white girl, Eva, and a cold-hearted master, Simon Legree. Stowe’s book was published in 1852. Some parts were published separately and then, later on was published as a book.


Kansas-Nebraska Act (1852)

In the Kansas-Nebraska Act, President Price wanted all slavery to be put to an end. There was something that was brought up about building a railroad in the West that tried to bring slavery back into the United States. Stephen Douglas agreed and made a plan. Southerners in Congress didn’t agree with this plan because it was trying to get the South route for the railroad. The extra territory of the Louisiana purchase was split into two different territories, Kansas and Nebraska. It allowed people on both sides to choose if they wanted to be free or slave states. After this happened the new legislature passed new laws that you weren’t allowed to question a slaveholders’ rights.

Dred Scott Decision (1857)

Dred Scott was a slave of Dr. John Emerson. Emerson had taken Scott to Illinois and Wisconsin territory. When they came back to Missouri, Emerson had died and his slave, Dred Scott, had now been owned by his widowed wife. Later on in 1846, Dred Scott had sued because he wanted freedom. He argued that he was free when he lived in free territory. The lower court said free or slave African Americans were not citizens of the United States so they had no rights.

John Brown's Raid on Harpers Ferry (1859)

John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry was his plan to take himself and his men to give weapons to slaves in hopes to starting a rebellion. He sent his men to go get slaves to join him. John Brown didn’t attack first, white people attacked him and his men. Two of his men were killed and the rest of them including John got captured. After his death, Abolitionist blamed John for what happened, Northerners mourned his death and Southerners were threatened.

Election of 1860

Northern and Southern Democrats could not decide on a candidate for The Election of 1860. Northern Democrats chose Stephen Douglas and Southern Democrats chose the current Vice-President, John C. Breckinridge because he supported slavery for the South. While this was happening, a new political party was being created called The Constitutional Union Party. The members of this party met in Baltimore, Maryland, and chose John Bell as their candidate. Lincoln won the highest amount of votes with a total of 180 out of 183 electoral votes. Douglas was the second highest but only won one state. Breckinridge and Bell split the electoral votes for the slave states.

South Secedes (December 1860-June 1861)

In the South people believed their economy and how they lived would be stopped. Later on after Lincoln’s election, South Carolina’s legislature called for convection. Some people in the South thought that they could leave the Union. Lincoln did not agree with the plan. Every Republican rejected the plan because of Lincoln. He did not agree to the idea of Southern States leaving the Union because they did not like what the Government said about slavery.

Was it inevitable that the United States had the Civil War or could it have been avoided?

No, the war could not have been avoided. Many people had very many disagreements with others about what they believed in and what should happen. So I think this war could not have just been passed by, it was happening.