• Uncle Tom's Cabin

    Uncle Tom's Cabin
    First published in June of 1851 in The National Era, Harriet Beecher Stowe authored, what would later be a book in its entirety, "Uncle Tom's Cabin" which told of the conditions and horrors of slavery within the United States, as well as its injustices. Many Southerners, and quite a number of Northerners, felt that the novel misrepresented slavery in the South. However, the book still caused division between the North and the South and would be a major guide towards the Civil War.
  • The Republican Party

    The Republican Party
    Founded in the mid-1850s, the Republican party was formed with the ideals of preventing slavery from spreading to the new territories/states. The major catalyst that caused the creation of the party was the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act. The party was made up of previous members of the Whig and Democratic parties. Lincoln would be a presidential nominee for the Republican party in the election of 1860.
  • Kansas-Nebraska Act

    Kansas-Nebraska Act
    Proposed by Illinois Senator, Stephen Douglas, the Kansas-Nebraska Act was passed in order to keep balance between the number of free and slave states. The Act had three main points: the Missouri Compromise of 1820 would be repealed as it was unconstitutional , Kansas and Nebraska were the two new territories, and popular sovereignty would be the deciding factor of whether the territories would allow or prohibit slavery. Although Nebraska was deemed free easily, Kansas was swarmed by both sides.
  • Bloody Kansas (1854-1859)

    Bloody Kansas (1854-1859)
    Since the Kansas-Nebraska Act established that the status of the territories would be decided by popular sovereignty, both abolitionist and pro-slavery forces flooded into Kansas in order to sway the votes. This eventually caused Kansas to become an arena of disagreement as violence erupted between both sides. One specific occurrence of violence was on May 21, 1856, when pro-slavery forces marched into Lawrence, Kansas and burnt down two printing presses and hotel, and looted the town.
  • Brooks-Sumner Incident

    Brooks-Sumner Incident
    Senator Charles Sumner was beat, almost to death, by House Representative Preston Brooks while in his office in the Senate Chamber. A dew days prior while Senator Sumner, who was an anti-slavery Republican, addressed the issues occurring in Kansas and blamed two Democratic senators, Stephen Douglas and Andrew Butler. Preston Brooks was a kin of Butler and sought out to defend him from the mocking that Sumner had about Butler. Sumner had a slow recovery, but eventually returned to the Senate.
  • Election of 1856

    Election of 1856
    The Presidential Candidates for the Election of 1856 were James Buchanan, a Democrat, John C. Fremont, a Republican, and Millard Fillmore, an American. Republican Fremont condemned the Kansas-Nebraska Act and sought out to end slavery expansion, while Democrat Buchanan said that the actions of the Republicans would only cause more division and eruption of war. Fillmore with the new American party disregarded slavery and focused on anti-immigration. James Buchanan won with 174 electoral votes.
  • Dred Scott

    Dred Scott
    Dred Scott was a black man born into slavery in Missouri. His owner was Dr. Emerson and as he traveled to various army posts, Scott went along with him and they once lived in a free state. Once Emerson died, Scott decided to sue John Sanford, who was considered his new owner. The case went to the Supreme Court and the ruling was that slaves with African decent weren't citizens as they are property, being in a free state doesn't guarantee freedom, and the Missouri compromise was unconstitutional.
  • LeCompton Constitution

    LeCompton Constitution
    The Lecompton constitution was written by a pro-slavery Lecompton convention in order to favor Kansas entering the Union as a slave state. The constitution prohibited any amended for seven years, governors of the state had to be at least 20 years old and there would be a prohibition of free blacks in the state. This constitution also allowed for protection of property rights of slave holders. Many disagreed with the Lecompton Constitution, but President Buchanan supported it fully.
  • House Divided Speech

    House Divided Speech
    Abraham Lincoln gave his "House Divided" speech at the Republican Convention being held in Springfield, Illinois. He was trying to make his way to be a senator, going up against a well known politician, Stephen Douglas. Within his speech he gave a famous line "A house divided against itself cannot stand" emphasizing the divide between the nation. He also alluded to the Dred Scott case which he believed was a way to legalize slavery in all states.
  • Lincoln-Douglas Debates

    Lincoln-Douglas Debates
    These were a series of debates between Democratic Senator Stephen Douglas and competing Republican Lincoln in the Illinois Senatorial campaigns. One of the biggest issues mentioned within the debates was slavery. Lincoln believed that slavery was a "moral iniquity" and condemned popular sovereignty, giving the example of bloodshed in Kansas. Douglas on the other hand believed the territories had the right to popular sovereignty and to choose whether a state would be admitted as free or slave.
  • John Brown

    John Brown
    John Brown was an American Abolitionist who led the raid at Harper's Ferry with the goal to free every slave in the South. When he was interviewed he didn't disclose what he would have done with the 18 men he took with him. He was later executed and became a martyr for the abolitionist movement. For Southerners, he was feared as he had been a extreme abolitionist ready to end the slavery industry.
  • Harper's Ferry

    Harper's Ferry
    Harper's Ferry raid was led by extreme abolitionist, John Brown, and began in the late hours of October 16 and into the morning of October 17. He led a group of men into the town where they captured citizens and sized various federal armory and arsenal. His hopes were that slaves would revolt alongside him and help create a rebellion against slavery. However, this was not the case and John Brown was caught and later executed for treason.
  • Election of 1860

    Election of 1860
    The election of 1860 consisted of four candidates, Abraham Lincoln (Republican party), John C. Breckenridge (Democrat), John Bell (Constitutional Union), and Stephen Douglas (Democratic). This presidential election set the stage for the Civil War to commence. Abraham Lincoln was elected president, winning 180 electoral votes. He did not win any of the southern states and this continued the divide between the nation.
  • Secession

    The secession of the Southern states began in January of 1861. After the election of of Abraham Lincoln, South Carolina's legislature perceived him as a threat and thus voted to remove the state from the Union. With the secession of South Carolina, other southern states followed such as Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas. Other states such as Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee and North Carolina threatened to secede. This began the Civil War.
  • Lincoln's 1st Inaugural Address

    Lincoln's 1st Inaugural Address
    Abraham Lincoln gave his first Inaugural Address after being sworn in as President after the election of 1860. His address consisted of various issues occurring within the U.S. at the time. His main focus within his speech was to conserve the Union and keep Southern states from succeeding. He warned southern states that it was unconstitutional to leave the Union and it would harm the country that took hard work to create and establish. He gave his word that slavery would be matters of states.