Events Leading to the Civil War

  • Compromise of 1850

    Compromise of 1850
    When Califronia applied for statehood, it wanted to be a free state. The Compromise of 1850 gave states the ability to choose whether they wanted to be free or slave-holding, and it made Fugitive Slave Laws stronger. The compromise was rejected, but it was passed when Douglas introduced each piece as a seperate bill.
  • Fugitive Slave Act

    Fugitive Slave Act
    The Fugitive Slave Act stated that there would be no trial for fugitive slaves, that there was a $10 reward for returning a slave, and that there would be a $1000 fine and six months in jail for each slave a person helped to escape. However, nine northern states passed "personal liberty laws" that gave fugitive slaves some rights.
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin

    Uncle Tom's Cabin
    Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote this novel depicting the evilness of slavery, and the North had a very positive response to it. This novel helped to fuel the abolitionist cause.
  • Sumner/Brooks Incident

    Sumner/Brooks Incident
    Charles Sumner held a 2-day rant against the South in the middle of Congress. Preston Brooks, a representative from South Carolina, became angry and caned Sumner on the floor. Sumner suffered shock and brain damage, and wasn't able to fulfill his role as Senator for quite a while.
  • John Brown's Raid

    John Brown's Raid
    John Brown planned to raid the Federal Arsenal and give weapons to slaves, so they could retaliate. He held 60 hostages, but he was captured by Robert E. Lee and 8 of his men were killed. Brown was tried for treason and hanged.