Events Leading to the Civil War

  • Bleeding Kansas

    Bleeding Kansas
    After Congress voted to allow Kansas and Nebraska to determine by popular sovreignty whether they would be slave or free states, violence broke out between pro- and anti-slavery supporters. This violence resulted in the deaths of over 200 people.
  • Sumner/Brooks Incident

    Sumner/Brooks Incident
    Preston Brooks beats Charles Sumner with a cane on the floor of the Senate following Sumner's two day speech deriding the south and slavery.
  • Dredd Scott Decision

    Dredd Scott Decision
    The Supreme Court handed down its decision in Dredd Scott v. Sanford, a case which challenged Scott's station as property. Scott believed he should be freed because he lived in free territory. The Supreme Court determined that he remained property despite his location.
  • Lincoln/Douglas Debates

    Lincoln/Douglas Debates
    Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas debated each other as they were running for the Illinois Senate seat. Lincoln believed that slavery should not expand into the territories, whereas Douglas believed in popular sovreignty and developed what came to be known as the Freeport Doctrine; that slavery could not exist without community support.
  • John Brown's Raid

    John Brown's Raid
    John Brown led 21 men in a raid on the federal arsenal at Harpers' Ferry, VA. He wanted to arm slaves and start an uprising. Brown was captured by Robert E. Lee and convicted of treason. He was sentenced to death by hanging.
  • Lincoln's Election

    Lincoln's Election
    Lincoln was elected as a representative of the Republican Party. He gained the office of President without a single Southern vote, which angered the South.