Events Leading Up to the Civil War

By: Ashley Miznazi- Period 4

The Compromise of 1850

This compromise was made to try to settle the slavery issue, making both the North and the South happy. This compromise allowed the slaves to work for the South, but it stopped slave trade in Washington D.C. The state of California was also made a free state by the U.S. Congress. The compromise made a very strict law, the Fugitive Slave Act. This called for all of the North to return the slaves to the south. Popular Sovereignty was also a huge part of the Compromise. This didn't benefit either side and caused more tension.
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Significance to Civil War: It temporally eased the tensions in the United States, which postponed the Civil War. It also made more problems start to stir between the North and the South.

Fugitive Slave Act- 1850

The Fugitive Slave act is know as the most controversial in the Compromise of 1850. This act made the North send back their slaves to the South if they were captured in the North. The citizens had to assist in the recovery of all of the slaves. There were Bounty Hunters that received a bounty for each of the slaves that they returned. If you were someone who did not help a bounty hunter, you could be punished under the law!

Significance to Civil War: The fugitive slave act of 1850 caused abolitionists to increase their efforts against slavery, which made a reason and cause for the Civil war to happen.

The Dred Scott Decision of 1857

The Dred Scott Decision of 1857 was a major disagreement between the North and the South, and was the most important court decision in U.S history! Dred Scott was an African American slave. His master took him from Missouri, a slave state to Illinois which is a free state, and lastly to the free state Wisconsin. Dred Scott lived on free territory for a long period of time. The army ordered his master back to Missouri, and he took Dred with him. His master later died in Missouri. He was helped by anti-slave lawyers to grant him freedom because he had lived on free soil for such a long time. The case went to the United States supreme court, and the results were that he must remain a slave. Abraham Lincoln felt disgust with this ruling and went into political action, publicly speaking out against it. The Dred Scott decision widened the gap of differences in the North and the South and took the nation closer to the Civil War.

Significance to the Civil War: The Dred Scott decision was significant to the Civil War because it widened the political and social gap between the North and South causing fighting, which lead it to the Civil War.

The Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854

Kansas and Nebraska were territories and wanted to become states. What was to be decided was if they should be a free state, or a slave state. The The Kansas-Nebraska Act was a bill that handled the slavery problem in new territories. The bill soon became a law. It called for the territories being able to decide by popular vote whether slavery should continue once the territory becomes a state. This act caused more tension because the Northern abolitionists fought against the Southerners. Kansas was voted to become a slave state. Kansas asked Congress for statehood as a slave state, but Congress refused since Kansas was north of Missouri. The pro-slavery party was angry about this decisions and the anti-slavery party took control of Kansas.

Significance to the Civil War: The North and the South continued to disagree, argue, and fight every time a new state wanted to enter the United States. The south got so tired of this that they decided to brake away from the union to make their own country. This tension is what finally started the Civil War.

John Brown's Raid of 1859

The Raid at Harper's ferry was lead by John Brown. John Brown is an abolitionist from the north. When he was just a child he became friends with a boy that was a slave, and witnessed the master strike the slave with a shovel. From then on he hated slavery. In 1859, John Brown had planed to attack the U.S. Federal Arsenal. What he wanted was all the guns from the arsenal for slaves who were willing to rebel against their masters. The Raid at Harpers Ferry was what started the Civil War, and was an end for John Brown. When they left the arsenal a train had seen them. His men fired at the train and accedently fired at an innocent black man that worked for the railroad. Brown soon lost his only escape route and was surrounded by an army of Marines. They told Brown that if he were to surrender, he would live. Brown refused and they took him to a trial where he spoke out about how slavery is wrong. He was later hung for the Raid at Harper's Ferry.

Significance to the Civil War: The Raid at Harpers Ferry became one of the contributing factors that led to the Civil War. This is what started the Civil War!