Crucial Decade: Key Events

  • Election of 1848

    Democrat: Senator Cass
    Whig: Zachary Taylor (winner)
    Free-Soil: Martin Van Buren
  • Compromise of 1850

    California was admitted as a free state, Utah and New Mexico made territories that would answer to popular sovereignty, banned slave trade in Washington DC, and the enforcing of a much stricter Fugitive Slave Law
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin

    Author=Harriet Beecher Stove, novel that made slaveowners seem cruel and evil. About a slave, Tom, and his cruel master.
  • Election of 1852

    Whig: Winfield Scott
    Democrat: Franklin Pierce (winner)
  • Kansas-Nebraska Act

    Started up by Stephen Douglas, this act decided that the Nebraska territory would divide into the Kansas and Nebraska territories, and popular sovereignty would decide whether there was to be slavery there or not. This caused "bleeding Kansas"
  • "bleeding Kansas" (not a single date- this was an ongoing event)

    violence that erupted in Kansas as a result of the Kansas-Nebraska Act. Pro and Anti-slavery advocates migrated to Kansas to pull the vote in their favor, and the tension resulted in many deaths (Sacking of Lawrence, Pattawatomie Creek)
  • Election of 1856

    Republican: John C. Fremont
    Know-nothing: Millard Fillmore
    Democrat: James Buchanan (winner)
  • Dred Scott v. Sandford

    -slave, Dred Scott, claimed that his extended period of time in a free state made him a freedman
    -in charge of case was Chief Justice Roger Taney- Southern Democrat
    -final decision:
    1. Dred Scott could not sue in the first place because he was an African-American, and therefore not a US citizen
    2. Congress could not take away property from anyone without due process of law, and because slaves were property, Congress could not restrict slavery in any federal territory
    3. Declared the Missouri Com
  • Lincoln-Douglas Debates (ongoing)

    Lincoln asserted that he was not an abolitionist, but wanted to contain slavery (seeing it as an evil)
  • John Brown's Raid at Harpers Ferry

    John Brown attempted to start a slave uprising in Virginia- wanted to seize weapons at Harpers Ferry and cause a rebellion- failed.
  • Election of 1860

    Republican- Abraham Lincoln (winner)
    Democrat- Stephen Douglas Lincoln winning was the final straw for the South, as South Carolina was the first state to secede from the Union following his election
  • Secession

    South Carolina was the first to secede, as a result of Lincoln's election. Many other southern states followed.
  • Crittended Compromise

    A compromise that would have guaranteed slavery below the 36-30 line- Lincoln did not support this, and it was not passed