Civil War Causes

Timeline created by Mergenthaler
In History
  • Missouri Compromise of 1820

    Missouri Compromise of 1820
    Admitted Maine to the Union as a free state and Missouri as a slave state, it then introduced the 36’30 line in which slavery would be allowed all places below the line, and not allowed anywhere above it.
  • Nat Turner Slave Rebellion

    Nat Turner Slave Rebellion
    A slave-led rebellion in which 30 people were killed. This added to the division and violence in America at the time.
  • Mexican American War

    Mexican American War
    War between US and Mexico over disputes about Texas. US victory gained new territory expanding all the way from Texas to California. Disputes about slavery in these new territories helped cause the Civil War.
  • Wilmot Proviso

    Wilmot Proviso
    A proposition that would have slavery banned in all new lands gained from the Mexican American War. Never signed into law but created further division and issues.
  • Compromise of 1850

    Compromise of 1850
    Separate Bills that were collectively known as the Compromise of 1850, created the Fugitive Slave Act.
  • Fugitive Slave Act

    Fugitive Slave Act
    Part of the Compromise of 1850, allowed slavers from the South to come North and recapture escaped Slaves.
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin Published

    Uncle Tom's Cabin Published
    The Book Uncle Tom's Cabin written by Harriet Beecher Stowe was published. It was about life on a plantation and opened many people's eyes to what slavery was like in the South. Had a major cultural impact.
  • Kansas Nebraska Act

    Kansas Nebraska Act
    Allowed for popular sovereignty vote over the topic of slavery in Kansas and Nebraska. This was a terrible mistake that caused much violence.
  • Bleeding Kansas

    Bleeding Kansas
    A mini civil war in the state of Kansas that involved many violent incidents caused by disputes over slavery.
  • Dred Scott Decision

    Dred Scott Decision
    A slave attempted to sue for freedom when his master moved into a free state, was denied because slaves are not citizens and cannot sue, leading to the Missouri Compromise being declared unconstitutional.
  • John Brown's Raid on Harpers Ferry

    John Brown's Raid on Harpers Ferry
  • Election of 1860

    Election of 1860
    Abraham Lincoln won without a single southern electoral vote, the south immediately threatened secession.
  • South Carolina Secession

    South Carolina Secession
    After Abraham Lincoln's election in 1860, South Carolina became the first southern state to secede from the Union.
  • Formation of the Confederate States of America

    Formation of the Confederate States of America
    Shortly after South Carolina seceded, other southern states followed. They formed the confederate states.
  • Fort Sumter Bombardment

    Fort Sumter Bombardment
    Once the southern states had started to secede, they wanted Union forces out of their territory. Union forces within Fort Sumter were bombarded with cannon fire all night. Miraculously nobody was killed, but the fort was battered and the confederates claimed victory.
  • Antietam

    Antietam
    Lee’s forces attempted to invade the North. Union Generals caught wind of the plan and a bloody battle at Antietam occurred, The Union successfully defended and the confederates retreated but were not pursued.
  • Vicksburg

    Vicksburg
    Union Campaign to capture the Vicksburg stronghold and cut off southern access to the Mississippi River, part of the Anaconda Plan. This divided the south and cut off their access to the Mississippi River.
  • Gettysburg

    Gettysburg
    General Lee attempted a second invasion into the North, Union defenses held them off at Gettysburg.
  • Second Battle of Fort Sumter

    Second Battle of Fort Sumter
    Union forces tried to recapture the fort after its loss in the first battle of the war. The fort was absolutely bombarded to the point of destruction, but the Union did not capture it, the confederates won this battle.
  • Appomattox Courthouse Battle

    Appomattox Courthouse Battle
    After a failed last-ditch action by General Lee and his forces, the tired commander sent a message to General Grant, informing him of Lee’s wishes to surrender. They met soon after and drafted up the terms of surrender, the Civil War was over.