Conflicts leading up to the civil war

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    Pre civil war

  • The Wilmot Proviso

    The Wilmot Proviso
    A piece of legislation that would outlaw territory gained from the Mexican-American war becoming a slave state. Democrats who wanted to expand slavery fought this bill and eventually killed it. The Wilmot Proviso sparked heated debates in congress, and succession started to be mentioned by the south.
  • The Compromise of 1850

    The Compromise of 1850
    This compromise constructed by Henry Clay and Stephen Douglas admitted California as a free state, and left the rest of the unorganized territory from the Mexican war as “popular sovereignty” concerning whether or not they wanted to allow slavery. The compromise also increased punishment for runaway slaves in the Fugitive Slave Act. This meant northerns also had to comply with fugitive slave laws.
  • California Becoming a Free State

    After gold was found in California many people poured into the state, and they quickly qualified for state hood. When California applied for statehood in 1849 the wished to be added as a free state. This would cause an imbalance is slave vs free states; giving the north an extra free state. With the North gaining another state they would have more votes in the senate.
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    Bleeding Kansas

    The Kansas Nebraska Act in 1854 allowed Kansas and Nebraska to decide the issue of slavery under popular sovereignty. Many north and southerns fled to Kansas to try and create more support for their side. This led to a extremely hostile environment and violence broke out all over the state.
  • Dred Scott v Stanford

    Dred Scott was a slave who’s master had died while living in the north. He tried to sue the people who “inherited” him for his freedom. The case eventually reached the Supreme Court, and they ruled in favor of Stanford 7-2. They concluded a slave was nothing more than a piece of property, and therefore had no rights that a white man had. The Supreme Courts decision implied that since the government cannot tell people how to handle their property, slaves can be moved anywhere in the US.
  • Lincoln-Douglas Debates

    Lincoln and Douglas had 7 debates against each other while they were running for Illinois senator in 1858. The debates were about slavery, one of the most controversial topics at the time. While Lincoln lost the election, he gained national attention from his debates which ultimately helped him win the 1860 presidential election.
  • John Brown’s Rebellion

    John Brown was an abolitionist from Kansas who supported using acts of violence against the south to end slavery. He and 19 other supporters planned a raid on an armory in Virginia after the Pottawatomie Massacre. Their plan was to take the weapons from the armory and distribute them to hundreds of slaves so they could rebel, and “defend themselves”.
  • Abraham Lincolns Election

    Abraham Lincoln was a former Republican Senator who was elected president in 1860. Prior to this election many southern senators had vowed that if a Republican ever became president they would secede from the union. About a month after his election South Carolina seceded from the union and many other southern states followed soon after.
  • The Battle of Fort Sumner

    Following the secession of southern states many US forts became outposts in these regions. To antagonize the South Abraham Lincoln called for supplies to be delivered to Fort Sumner. Confederate warships turned around the ships headed to Fort Sumner, and attacked the fort in a 34 hour bombardment.
  • Lincoln Summons Troops

    After the the battle of Fort Sumner, Lincoln calls for 75,000 volunteer troops to join the union army. Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina, and Tennessee were unwilling to give troops, and they too seceded from the union.