Civil War Timeline

  • Missouri Compromise

    Missouri Compromise
    The Missouri Compromise was an attempt to prohibit slavery in territories above the 36/30 line. Because it only lasted 34 years, it was a temporary solution to the eventual expansion of slavery. It was repealed, and the slave territory would be able to decide wheter or not to allow slavery.
  • War with Mexico and the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo

    War with Mexico and the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
    The United States went to war with Mexico because of their desire to expand west. Northerners considered this an attempt by the Southerners to acquire more slave territories. This would offset the balance of slave states and free states. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo gave the U.S. territories south of the 36/30 line which would become slave territories.
  • Wilmont Proviso

    Wilmont Proviso
    The Wilmont proviso was a proposed law by David Wilmont of Pennsylvania to ban slavery in all of the new territories gained by from Mexico. This bill passed the House, but it was not passed in the Senate due to southern senators attempting to block it. Even though the bill never passed, it made the southerners realize that if they didn't have control of the Senate slavery could be banned.
  • Fugitive Slave Act of 1850

    Fugitive Slave Act of 1850
    As a result of the Compromise of 1850, the Fugitive Slave Act encouraged southern slave owners to capture their runaway slaves in the North and return them. This act was different than the previous Fugitive Slave Act because it punished those who did not return slaves. Slaves were also denied a trial by jury. This act made free blacks in the North angry because special commisions were rewarded more for returning slaves back to the South.
  • Kansas-Nebrasks Act

    Kansas-Nebrasks Act
    The Kansas-Nebraska Act repealed the Missouri Compromise and allowed the territories to choose whether or not to have slavery through popular sovereignty. Popular sovereignty allows the people to decide on slavery if they choose to vote on it.
  • Formation of the Republican Party

    Formation of the Republican Party
    The events of "Bleeding Kansas" resulted in the formation of the Republican Party. Their goal was to keep slavery where it is and not let it expand into the new territories. This idea was the opposite of southern beliefs, so the two parties were already conflicting.
  • Breakdown of the Two-Party System

    Breakdown of the Two-Party System
    With the Republican Party in the North, the Democrats represented the views of the South. This separated the North and the South more than ever.
  • "Bleeding Kansas"

    "Bleeding Kansas"
    The first test of popular sovereignty happened in Kansas where supporters of slavery from Missouri came across the border into Kansas. Their goal was to influence the support of slavery in Kansas. Northerners fought back because they supported abolition of slavery. The battle resulted in hundreds of deaths which is why it is called "Bleeding Kansas." The result was Kansas splitting into two legislatures and creating two different constitutions.
  • Brooks Beats Sumner with a Cane

    Brooks Beats Sumner with a Cane
    Senator Charles Sumner of Massechusetts was giving a speech against slavery when he was attacked by Congressman Preston Sumner. This violent act shows how radical each side was getting. The North rewarded Sumner for his actions, and the South rewarded Brooks for his actions. Our representatives were supposed to be our most civilized people, but they seem to be radical.
  • Dred Scott Decision

    Dred Scott Decision
    The Supreme Court ruling in the Dred Scott case essentially nullified the Missouri Compromise and Kansas-Nebraska Act. Because of their fear for slave owners using the government to legalize slavery and a Supreme court dominated by the South, the Northerners attempted to pack the courts with more Republicans.
  • Publishing of Uncle Tom's Cabin

    Publishing of Uncle Tom's Cabin
    The novel Uncle Tom's Cabin revealed to everyone the conditions in which slaves had to work. These conditions were decribed as brutal and horrifying. This novel caught the attention of northerners because they were surprised at what slavery was actually like. This strengthened their argument against it. The South was very angry at the publishing of this book and beat anyone who had it.
  • Lincoln-Douglas Debate

    Lincoln-Douglas Debate
    In these famous debates Lincoln supported the fact that the U.S. could not continue to exist with half free states and half slave states. Douglas supported popular sovereignty. This contrast in viewpoits made citizens divided on who to choose in the next election.
  • Slavery Revolts Led by John Brown

    Slavery Revolts Led by John Brown
    John Brown, a self-proclaimed abolitionist sent by God, attempted to lead slave revolts in Harper's Ferry, Virginia. His revolts made the Southerners fear the safety of slaves killing their owners.
  • The 1860 Presidential Election

    The 1860 Presidential Election
    With the election of President Abraham Lincoln, the South now had to either secede from the Union or have slavery be restricted. Lincoln's policy was to restrict slavery from expanding whcih the South would not tolerate.
  • Fort Sumter

    Fort Sumter
    Seven southern states seceded from the Union and later four more followed. The new southern union attacked at Fort Sumter which resulted in four more states seceding.
  • The Crittenden Compromise

    The Crittenden Compromise
    This compromise was the last chance for the Missouri Compromise to return. It would extend the 36/30 line west and allow slavery below it. The North rejected it because it allowed for the expansion of slavery.