What Events Led to the Civil War?

By Alli Feille

The Compromise of 1850

The Compromise of 1850 was created to make the North and South happy. The North disagreed with the South having slaves, so they allowed slaves to work for the South, but slave trade could not continue in Washington D.C.

However, slavery was not the only argument. The state of California was to be made a free state, but if the balance between slave and free states would become unbalanced because of this, California would not be allowed to be free.

The state of Texas wanted to own the territory that was New Mexico. The compromise gave Texas $10,000,000 to cause them to stop claiming it.

This is one of the reasons that the Civil War started because it caused arguments and problems that couldn't be solved.

The Fugitive Slave Law of 1850

The Fugitive Slave Law was part of the Compromise of 1850. This act made the North return their slaves to their rightful owners. Now, these slaves had run away on the Underground Railroad. They did not want to go back. The Fugitive Slave Law was very strict about this and the North felt that they needed to stop it.

The South liked this law very much, but the North did not agree, so the disagreement led to the Civil War.

The Dred Scott Decision of 1857

Dred Scott was a slave in Missouri that was looking for freedom. He fought for his freedom for a very long time. This was a huge case before the Civil War.

Dred Scott filed a lawsuit against his owner for his freedom in 1846. Scott and his family lost their first trial because people started rumors about them. After this event, the Scotts got a new lawyer that was very against slavery.

The Supreme heard this court, but did not decide the case that year. Then, in 1857, the court decided that Dred Scott was still a slave. The North was very angry about this because they thought he, and all slaves, should have rights.

The North were on Scott's side and they did not agree with this decision. This disagreement was only part of the reason that the Civil War started.

The Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854

This act also dealt with the slavery problem, but this time, it was dealt with in new territories. The Kansas-Nebraska Act was a bill, which is a document before it is passed as a law. The bill became a law later. This act made north abolitionists to fight against proslavery in the South. Abolitionists are people who are against slavery.

The north also wanted more free states then slave states, but the south wanted the opposite. The north and south continued to argue every time a new state joined.

Since this argument couldn't be stopped, the Civil War started. The North and South could not agree on which side every new state would be on.

John Brown's Raid of 1859

John Brown was a very determined man. He was against slavery, and he would stop at nothing to end it. In 1859, he led 21 men to Harpers Ferry, Virginia to raid it. He had a plan: to arm slaves with weapons. But this mission was put to an end by Robert E. Lee, his men, and some local farmers. About 3 days later, John Brown and most of his men were dead or had been captured.