Slavery and its Legacies in the United States

  • The Northwest Ordinance

    The Northwest Ordinance
    This act by the Congress of the Confederation created the Northwest Territory, which aided the country’s westward expansion, and prohibited slavery in the said territory. The territory included the region extending north of the Ohio River to the Great Lakes and west of Pennsylvania to the Mississippi River.
  • The Three-Fifths Compromise

    The Three-Fifths Compromise
    This amendment, enacted by the House of Representatives, officially abolished slavery and involuntary servitude across the entire United States.
  • Act of Prohibiting Slave Importation

    Act of Prohibiting Slave Importation
    This act of 1807 prohibited the importation of new slaves into the United States and ended transatlantic slave trade, although slavery still continued illegally long after the ban.
  • Missouri Compromise of 1820

    Missouri Compromise of 1820
    This agreement admitted the territory of Missouri as a slave state and the territory of Maine as a free state. It also abolished slavery in the Louisiana Territory north of the 36 30’ latitude line, with the exception of Missouri.
  • Nat Turner's Rebellion

    Nat Turner's Rebellion
    This tremendous slave rebellion, led by African American slave Nat Turner, caused the killing of a high number of white people by rebel slaves in Virginia. The rebels also freed slaves as they traveled from house to house.
  • The Anti-Literacy Laws of 1832

    The Anti-Literacy Laws of 1832
    These laws prohibited slave education and fined anyone who undertook a slave’s education. In addition, the laws restricted the rights of assembly for free blacks.
  • Compromise of 1850

    Compromise of 1850
    The compromise consisted of five bills whose purposes were to balance the sectional strife between the North and the South. Along with this came the prohibition of slave-trading in the District of Columbia, providing a return of runaway slaves , entering California as a free state, popular sovereignty among Utah and New Mexico, and a return of lands and debt to pay from Texas to New Mexico.
  • Fugitive Slave Act of 1850

    Fugitive Slave Act of 1850
    In this act, belonging to a group of laws referred to as the “Compromise of 1850”, provided a return of runaway slaves. In addition, it prohibited slave-trading in the District of Columbia and welcomed California as a free state.
  • The Kansas-Nebraska Act

    The Kansas-Nebraska Act
    This act, which repealed the Missouri Compromise of 1820, introduced popular sovereignty to the people of Kansas and Nebraska, in order to decide whether or not to allow slavery within their borders.
  • The Dred Scott Case

    The Dred Scott Case
    This Supreme Court case, concerning the freedom of African American slave Dred Scott, declared that all blacks were not and could never be citizens of the United States and permitted slavery in all of the country’s territories. Chief Justice Taney had claimed that, because Scott was black, he was not a citizen and had no right to sue.
  • 1860 Presidential Election

    1860 Presidential Election
    The election revolved around the opposing interests regarding the issue of slavery between the North and South. During the election, Abraham Lincoln ran for Republican nomination for president and faced competition with Stephen A. Douglas, John C. Breckinridge, and John Bell. It resulted with a victory by Lincoln, without the support of any southern states.
  • The Emancipation Proclamation

    The Emancipation Proclamation
    President Lincoln’s proclamation did not legally free slaves from slave-holding states that bordered the Confederacy, but rather freed any slave who had escaped Union lines.
  • The Thirteenth Amendment

    The Thirteenth Amendment
    This amendment, enacted by the House of Representatives in 1865, officially abolished slavery and involuntary servitude across the entire United States.
  • Virginia House Joint Resolution

    Virginia House Joint Resolution
    The Virginia General Assembly passed a resolution expressing its profound regret for their state’s involvement in slavery. Virginia became the first state to acknowledge its remorse over the issue.
  • U.S. House of Representatives Issues Apology

    U.S. House of Representatives Issues Apology
    Representatives passed a resolution apologizing for involuntary servitude and discriminatory laws. The resolution was an effort to heal the ills of the nation’s past and a confession of the wrongs of slavery.