Manifest Destiny, Sectional Crisis, & the Civil War

  • Polk defeats Clay in Manifest Destiny election

    James Polk won the election of 1844 because of his campaign of Manifest Destiny. This was the supposed right of the United States to spread from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Americans believed that God had "manifestly" destined them to own all of this land. The supposed right of the United States to own this land would shape the country in the oncoming years. Polk's platform for his election helped him get elected, and he started the expansion of the United States.
  • United States annexes Texas

    After the Mexican and Texas War, Texas was its own nation. It stayed this way for 7 years, and then the United States looked to annex Texas. Texas was annexed in 1845, adding the land to the United States. The adding of Texas helped support the cause of Manifest Destiny. The adding of Texas also sparked much debate in the government over whether it would be added to the Union as a free or slave state. The border dispute over Texas would also cause the Mexican American War.
  • United States settles Oregon dispute with Britain

    Before 1846, the Oregon Territory was in joint occupation by the United States and Britain. Then, with Manifest Destiny, many caught "Oregon fever" and packed up wagons and came to the territory. This increase population gave the United States a large majority of occupation in the territory. After deciding the value of the Oregon Territory was not worth it, Britain agrees to the border of the 49th parallel proposed by the United States.
  • Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo

    This treaty ended the Mexican-American War, which was over the border dispute of Texas. The United States gained much land from this war, including territory that would later became the states of Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, California, Nevada, Colorado, and part of Utah. The United States had to pay little to Mexico for this land. The United States began the war over Texas, but ended with proceeding in Manifest Destiny and gaining much land.
  • California Gold Rush

    As part of Manifest Destiny, people went to settle the newly gained land of California. After some found gold here, the rumors of obtaining gold in the new land spread. This sparked a fever of settlement in California, since everyone was searching for gold. Not much gold was found, but it caused the settlement of California and further proceed in Manifest Destiny.
  • Compromise of 1850

    The Compromise of 1850 was an effort by Henry Clay to keep the Union together. California was added as a free state, and the rest of the land gained from the Mexican-American War would be decided free or slave by popular sovereignty. The compromise also added the Fugitive Slave Law, which required all fugitive slaves to be returned to their owners. This law angered the North and caused them to unite together against slavery. This also added to the establishment of the Underground Railroad.
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin published

    Harriett Beecher Stowe published Uncle Tom's Cabin. This story showed the evils of slavery and the cruel treatment of the slave owners towards the slave. The South found this book insulting and outlawed it. The book was very popular in the North and the North supported all of the ideals in the book. This book increased tension between the North and South. The book also helped the Union gain support from foreign countries during the war because it exposed the wrong side of the South and slavery.
  • Kansas-Nebraska Act

    The Kansas-Nebraska Act separated territory west of Missouri into two states, Kansas and Nebraska. They were then given popular sovereignty to decide whether they should be free or slave. This act repealed the Missouri Compromise because now land above the southern border of Missouri could be established as a slave state. The result was a flood of settlers into Kansas and Nebraska to try to help make the states free or slave. This created even more tension between the North and South.
  • Dred Scott decision

    The case began with Dred Scott, a black slave, suing for his freedom. The Supreme Court ruled that since he was a black slave, he couldn't sue in federal court. Despite this fact, they proceeded with the case anyways. The Court ruled that a slave, being private property, could be moved into any territory. This was decided using the Fifth Amendment, which said that the government can't deprive people of their property. This also went farther to say that the Missouri Compromise was unconsitutional
  • Brown raids Harpers Ferry

    John Brown was a slave that would be considered a terrorist nowadays. He hatched a plan to take followers, cause the slaves in the South to rise, and create a free black state. He went to Harpers Ferry, seized federal weapons and killing seven innocent people. The slaves that were supposed to rise didn't, and Brown and his men were captured, and Brown was hanged. The South believed Brown was a set up by the North to overthrow them. The hanging of Brown was considered horrendous in the North.
  • Lincoln wins election of 1860

    Lincoln, despite controversy, became our 16th President in 1860. He beat out the frontrunner Douglas because of his large support from the North. Lincoln was viewed as the candidate that was going to end slavery. Douglas was supposed to be the "champion of the South" by supporting slavery, but late in the election lost support because he didn't become this champion. As a result of this loss, Lincoln won the election. This angered many southern states.
  • Confederate States of America formed

    The election of Lincoln was the final straw for the South. They felt that Lincoln was going to abolish slavery altogether. The South felt that their way of life, especially their economy, would be directly threatened by Lincoln's presidency. They felt that the only choice they had would be to secede from the Union. South Carolina was the first state to secede, followed by Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas. These states created the Confederate States of America.
  • First Battle of Bull Run

    This battle was the first real battle of the Civil War. Lincoln used this battle to test his troops. In this battle, Stonewall Jackson and his men held off the Union troops. Then a suprise group of reinforcements for the Confederates forced a Union retreat. This victory contributed to the overconfidence of the South. The defeat for the Union made them realize that this would be a legitimate fight if they were to win the war.
  • Battle of Antietam

    This was a critical battle in the war. Before the battle, Lincoln restored "Little Mac" to active command of the main Northern army. The Union army was rejoiced. Two of McClellan's troops found Lee's battle plans dropped on the ground. McClellan used these plans to efeat Lee at Antietam. This was one of the bitterest and bloodiest days of the war. This battle gave the Union much needed momentum which would carry over to Gettysburg and the rest of the war.
  • Emancipation Proclamation

    The Emancipation Proclamation proclaimed by Lincoln freed all slaves in the Confederate areas of rebellion. The Proclamation was more of a proclamation than anything, the slaves were not really freed because the Confederacy was not forced to release them. This proclamation also helped the Union cause because free blacks in the North could now enlist in the war. The Union soldiers saw many slaves escape from the South and come to camp. The perseverance of these slaves boosted the soldier morale.
  • Battle of Gettysburg

    The Battle of Gettysburg was the turning point in the war for the North. The Union general was Meade, the Confederate general was Lee. The battle was a three day fight going back and forth. It was the longest and deadliest battle of the Civil War. The famous Pickett's Charge lost the battle for the South. This was the last chance the Confederacy had of winning the war, the cause was lost with the loss in this battle. After the battle, Lincoln gave the Gettysburg Address.
  • Sherman's march through Georgia

    After wins at Vicksburg and Chatanooga, Georgia was open for invasion. Grant appointed Sherman and his men to invade. They burned Georgia, destroying anything and everything they could. This act lowered the morale of the Confederates and destroyed whatever supplies possible of the Confederates. This would later be problematic in reestablishing the southern economy after the war.
  • Lee surrenders to Grant at Appomattox

    Before the battle, Lincoln made Grant the general to go to Richmond and defeat Lee. Grant outmanned Lee. Towards the end of the battle, Lee called for peace negotiations. Lincoln demanded Union and emancipation, while Lee demanded independence. This disagreement led to continued fighting. Grant finally captured Richmond and cornered Lee at Appomattox Courthouse in Virginia. This was the end of the war. The Confederacy was dissimilated and brought back to the Union.
  • Lincoln Assassinated

    Five days after Lee's surrender, Lincoln went to Ford's Theater to watch a play. A crazy pro-Southern actor, John Wilkes Booth, came up behind Lincoln in the theater and shot him in the head.Lincoln was unconscious all night, and died that morning. This death made people forget Lincoln's shortcomings and remember him for the great man that he was. The South rejoiced at the news of Lincoln's death, but later realized that the loss of Lincoln was detrimental to their reestablishment in the Union.
  • Thirteenth Amendment ratified

    Eight months after the Civil War, with the Conferacy disbanded and back in the Union, the Thirteenth Amendment was ratified. This was an amendment that ended slavery and indentured servitude in the United States. This was an important step in equality of all men in the United States and it ended the controversial debate that had gone on since the nation's beginnings. The South would now have to learn to rebuild itself without slavery.