Road to Civil War: 1848-1860

Timeline created by rhammartime
In History
  • Impact of the Mexican War

    Impact of the Mexican War
    B) The results and legacies of the War with Mexico were numerous. For better of worse, they shaped the next 15 years of american life. C) Legacies of the Mexican-American War had an bigger impact on America at the time than many thought. It brought up the ugly issue of slavery in congress with the aquisition of new land, the war helped train officers and was a practice field for Civil War tactics. The war soured America's relationship with Latin America and is southern nieghbor as well.
  • Popular Sovereignty

    B) Popular Sovereignty was the idea that residents of States and terrirotries could determine whether their land would be Free or Slave. C) Popular Sovereignty was a major issues in Kansas, where pro-slavery Missourians would hop the border and vote in elections and other events to skew the voting. It was thought to be an aid, although it actually hindered the Union and increased confrontation between the two adversaries.
  • Compromise of 1850

    B) Developed in responce to keeping the balance of free and slave states, its main points were the continuation of fugative slave codes, popular sovereignty in new states and terrirories, as well as adding California as a free state. C) The compromise of 1850 helped ease tensions around the expansion of the west and slavery for a while. It was only a temporary fix, but issues were flaring up more violently than ever, expecially once opposing forces clashed in Kansas.
  • Fugitive Slave Act

    B) In responce to the Underground Railroad, the Fugitive Slave Act helped give southerners a tighter hold on their property by allowing them to go into the north and take back their escaped slaves. C) This act gave southerners more power than before to keep their property. Part of the Compromise of 1850, it evened the playing field in the souths eyes and cooled tensions down by allowing them to go north and retrieve their slaves, even in the new territories and states.
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin

    Uncle Tom's Cabin
    B) Uncle Tom's Cabin was a book published by Harriet Beecher Stowe in 1852 that showed the dark underbelly of the peculiar institution. C) This novel cut deep into the stereotypes of slavery and helped many people see the true nature of the beast. It exposed the horrors of slavery to many in the north, and turned the tide of public opinion towards the abolishment of slavery.
  • Gadsden Purchase

    B) This purchase of 30,000 acres was prompted by thoughts of a southern continental railroad, and was made for $10,000,000 by the U.S. Minister to Mexico, James Gadsden at the end of 1853. C) The Gadsden Purchase was made with the intent to build a southern route in the continental railroad, as well as satisfy opposition that the southern interest in Mexico was not solely for the expansion of slavery.
  • Kansas - Nebraska Act

    Kansas - Nebraska Act
    B) The Kansas-Nebrasksa act was proprosed by Senator Stephen Douglass of Illinios, It proposed that Nebraska and Kansas both be decided by popular sovereignty, instead of the Missouri Compromise. C) Popular Sovereignty gave the citizens a choice about what their state would allow, and this opportunity attracted Pro and Anti slavery suppoters by the hundreds, some armed and dangerous. This highly charged political and ideological clash showed the nation how strongly this mattered.
  • Republican Party

    B) This party was formed mainly of ex-Whigs and ex-Free Soilers, as well as abolitionists from the north. It became the main contender against the Democrats of the South. C) The Republican Party was one of the main reasons for southern secession. After winning majorities in the legislature and the presidential election with Abraham Lincoln, the Republicans strong anti slavery stance turned away many of the southern states.
  • Ostend Manifesto

    B) American intrest, especially in the south, in Cuba peaked when they offered to buy it from Spain, and if the offer fell through they would take it by military force. C) Southern manifest destiny efforts for the expansion of slavery were exploring all options when they reached for Cuba. It showcased the agressive need for more land to supplement the "expand or die" mindset of many slave holders. After being denied, the next logical step was to expand westward into newly open land.
  • Charles Sumner and Preston Brooks Affair

    Charles Sumner and Preston Brooks Affair
    B) Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts gave a two day speech over the horrors of slavery. Afterward, Preston Brooks of South Carolina took a stand for his beliefs and soundly beat Sumner with his cane after the end of his speech. C) After his beating, Sumner resigned, bur was was reelected. Unable to fill his chair in the senate, the empty seat symbolized the violent clashes throughout the country and mounting sectionial tensions between the north and south.
  • Pottawatomie Massacre

    B) A responce to the sacking of Lawrence by the fiery abolitionalist John Brown, he and a few men snuck into Pottawatomie Creek and murdered 5 people. C) The first violent outbreak as tensions were mounting put how much was at stake for the different sides, enough that people were willing to kill for their beliefs. Shocking the nation, it sparked outrage in southerners who, in turn, repayed Brown with more bloodshed.
  • Dred Scott Decisioin (Roger B. Taney)

    B) Roger B Taney ruled that Scott was a slave and therefore not a citizen, and that property was property, no matter where it was transported to, such as a free state or territory. C) This decision declared the Missouri Compromise all but unconstitutioinal and gave slave holders renewed interest in their rights to expand slavery, because the federal government could not restrict their "property" under the 5th Amendment.
  • Lecompton Constitution

    B) The Lecompton Constituton was the second constitution drafted for the Kansas Territory, but by Pro-Slavery advocates. It allowed slavery, prohibitied free blacks, and only allowed male U.S. Citizens to vote. C) When presented with seperate constitutions, Kansas highlighted the division between pro and anti slavery forces not only in the terrirories, but in the federal government. After years and 4 constitutions later, Kansas was finally admitted as a free state to the Union.
  • John Brown at Harper's Ferry

    John Brown at Harper's Ferry
    B) The Raid at Harper's Ferry was an attack on a federal arsenal in hopes of insighting an armed slave rebellion by John Brown. Him and is men captured the arsenal but were then defeated by a company of U.S. Marines, failing to accomplish their overall goal. C) The battle at the federal arsenal highlighted the escalating tensions in Kansas, as well between the North and South in general. Political debates were one thing, but violence and bloodshed was a new level of hostitlites.
  • Election of 1860

    B) Abraham Lincoln of the Republican party was elected president over Stephen Douglass of the Democratic party, The Republicans were opposed to slavery and supported the union and expansion of the united states. C) The election of Lincoln was the final straw for many southern states considering secession. After losing the elections and majorities to Republicans, there was no chance of a diplomatic resolution to their fears, which left nothing but secession left on the table.
  • Crittenden Amendment

    B) A series of amendments proposed by Senator John Crittenden of Kentucky as a (unsuccessful) last ditch effort to avert a civil war by addressing grieviences of states considering secession. C) Thrown out as a final olive branch to the southern states before the Lincoln Administration, whom many of them were deeply opposed to, took over. It was rejected in both levels of the legislature, and failed to bandage up the deep cracks in the union. Secession and war were the only options left open.
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    Free Soil Party

    B) The free soil party, formed in 1848, was based off the principlesa of opposition to slavery, and a nationalistic view of tarrifs and internal improvements. A slogan associated with them was "Free soil, free speech, free labor, and free man". C) Precursur to the Republican Party, the Free Soilers were the first party formally opposed to slavery and to run for election with that in mind. They highlighted the tensions inside of parties around slavery, created after a split in the Democrats.
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    California Gold Rush

    B) The finding of gold in the region of California sparked a massive rush of people to the area. Almost overnight the area was booming with economic expansion and new settlers. C) With thousands of newly settled people and a booming economy, California was suddenly clamoring for admission to the Union as a free state. That would upset the equal number of free states and slave states, and this raised tensions back east in congress and in the states. It was settled in the Compromise of 1850.
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    Underground Railroad

    B) The Underground Railroad was a secret network of safehouses and people that helped runaway slaves escape to the north or even to Canada, where the Fugative Slave Act had no effect and slavery was outlawed. C) This antislacery orginization was responcible for liberating thousands of slaves. It was so successful that laws were passed to curb the railroad, making the south even harsher on their slaves.
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    Reasons for Southern Secession

    B) The southern states that succeeded from the Union left for many long term offensenses, but a few sudden occurences as well. C) Starting with California entering the Union as a free state and upsetting the balance and continuing to when Lincoln was elected the southern state were battered. Continually pressured to "expand or die", coupled with the losses of political battles and power shifts throughout the decade, they felt pressured into nothing less than rebellion.
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    Know-Nothing Party

    B) This party was formed of the nativism movement when there was a large influx of immigrants. The party focused on nativism and anti immigration aspects of politics and politicians. C) The Know-Nothing party tried to surpress immigrants power as they ammassed in greater quantities and gained political power. Chiefly active in the northeast, the movement failed to amount to much, as it had such a small support base of only protestant males.
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    Bleeding Kansas

    B) A series of skirmishs and rising tensions between the Jayhawkers of Kansas and the Bushwackers of Missouri were the first casualties and battles of the civil war, where ideology clashed and violence erupted across the border. C) These bloody years showed the nation how passionate people were about their ideas and that they were willing to fight for them. Called the first battleground of the civil war, Kansas was the first time that Pro and Anti slavery forces clashed.
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    Panic of 1857

    B) An economic downturn following the boom after the Mexican war, its major causes were the failure of the Ohio LIfe Insurance and Trust Co., the British recall of funds, overspeculation of new land, and crop failures. C) The Panic helped solidify the belief in the South that their economic ways were better and helped them justify the reliance on slave labor, as they were less affected by it than the manafacturing economy of the North.
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    Lincoln - Douglas Debates

    B) A series of seven debates held in Illinois about Slavery. They drew many followers from around the region. These arguements would be a preview of what Lincoln would face later in the presidential election. C) The debates helped publize the issues of slavery in the new states and terrirories, as well as show the public stance of Abraham Lincoln. They drew many followeres and helped shape the opinions of many onlookers.