Leading up to The Civil War

  • Gag Rule Repealed

    Gag Rule Repealed
    The Gag Rule was in place between 1836 and 1844. It forbid discusions about the repeal of Slavery in Congess. Repealing it angered people in favor of slavery.
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    Presidency of John Tyler

    Actually Begins Before This
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    Presidency of James K. Polk

  • Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave

    Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave
    A book writen by famous abolitionist and former slave Frederick Douglass. This book was a huge influence for abolitionist and it also helped to convence the public former slaves could be educated.
  • Texas Becomes a State

    Texas Becomes a State
    At first Texas was prevented from becoming a state by abolitionist in Congress. It was eventualy accepted to keep European powers out of the New World. It started the Mexican-American War. Due to all of the land gained from Texas and new territories, various issues about the exspantion of slavery were created.
  • Gold Discovered in California

    Gold Discovered in California
    Many "49ers" (as they would be know) packed up and left in the California Gold Rush. The state had such a high population boom, it was able to apply for statehood within a few years of being aquired by the US. This would lead directly to the compromise of 1850
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    Presidency of Zachary Taylor

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    Presidency of Millard Fillmore

  • Admission of California as a State

    Admission of California as a State
    This was part of the compromise of 1850. Its admission to the Union broke the previous balance of power between the Free and Slave states in Congress. It tillted the balance of power in favor of free states.
  • Fugitive Slave Act

    Fugitive Slave Act
    Required that escaped slaves had to be returned to their masters. This was heavily opposed by abolitionist. Northern states started to not enforce the law. This inturn created higher levels of hostilty between free and slave states.
  • Compromise of 1850

    Compromise of 1850
    Besides the Fugitive Slave Act and the Admission of California, there were some other key factors. The slave trade was banned in DC for example, but the most important part was that the New Mexico and Utah territories could vote to be free or slave through popular sovereignty.
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin

    Uncle Tom's Cabin
    The second best selling book of the 19th century (following The Bible). It was a huge factor in the abolitionist movment. Its message combined with its widespread selling helped it gain its massive influence. It fuled more hostility between the free and slave states.
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    Presidency of Franklin Pierce

  • Kansas-Nebraska Act

    Kansas-Nebraska Act
    This Act opened up the territories of Kansas and Nebraska to slavery by popular sovereignty. This lead to people moving to Kansas to vote for the side they sided with. The result of this was a miniture war in Kansas between the abolitionist and people who were pro-slavery. This mini-war would be know as "Bloody Kansas".
  • Sacking of Lawrence

    Sacking of Lawrence
    During "Bleeding Kansas" pro-slave forces raided and burned most of the the then capital of the abolitionist government in Kansas. This even lead directly to the retaliation of John Brown in the Potawatomie Massacre
  • Beating of Charles Sumner

    Beating of Charles Sumner
    After giving an anti-slavery speech, Charles Sumner was assulted by Preston Brooks. This event was largely polarizing to the nation. The South praised Preston as a hero, while the North created a martyr out of Sumner.
  • Pottawatomie Massacre

    Pottawatomie Massacre
    The brutal massacre of 5 pro-slave men by John Brown. This would spark off a series of raids and counter raids between abolitionist and pro-slavery forces. This period would go on for a few months. The events in Kansas polirized the nation on if John Brown was a hero or not.
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    Presidency of James Buchanan

  • Dred Scott v. Sandford Decision

    Dred Scott v. Sandford Decision
    A Supreme Court decision that was a victory for slavery. Dred Scott (a slave) was taken to a free teritory. He tried to sue for his freedom, but the court ruled he did not have the right to sue because he was propertey. This decision also overturned all previous laws regarding slaves in territories. All the territories were able to have slaves after this.
  • Freeport Doctrine

    Freeport Doctrine
    Resulted from a debate between Lincoln and Douglas. Douglas responded to Lincoln's tough questions with the Freeport Doctrine. This won him the senate seat in that election year. Later this doctrine would be used aginst him, causing him to lose to Lincoln in the 1860 presidential election.
  • John Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry

    John Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry
    John Brown wanted to steel the wepons and use them to arm slaves in Virginia. The US military put a stop to him and captured him. He was later tried and hanged. This event caused outrage in the south over the north's plan to take away their property (which is how they viewed it).
  • Election of Abraham Lincoln

  • South Carolina's Secession from the Union

  • American Civil War Begins