Road to Civil War

Timeline created by Fielde
  • Northwest Ordinance (Political) (Red)

    Northwest Ordinance (Political) (Red)
    The Northwest Ordinance got rid of the 10 districts established in 1784 replacing them with a single territory comprised of the lands north of the Ohio. This single territory could be divided into anywhere between 3 and 5 territories. When a territory reached a minimum population of 60,000 it could apply for statehood. Additionally, slavery was prohibited in the territory.
  • The Missouri Compromise (Political) (Red)

    The Missouri Compromise (Political) (Red)
    Sectional tensions within the country arose surrounding the permission of slavery in the lands acquired from the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. As a compromise, Missouri was admitted to the union as a slave state while Maine was admitted as a free state. Slavery was also banned from the lands not specified, but obtained in the Louisiana Purchase, north of the 36/30 parallel.
  • Nat Turner Rebellion (Social/ Political) (Red)

    Nat Turner Rebellion (Social/ Political) (Red)
    Lead by a black American slave by the name of Nathaniel "Nat" Turner, the Nat Turner Rebellion is known as the deadliest slave revolt in history. More than 55 white people were killed in the violent revolt in Southampton county.
  • The Gag Rule (Social/ Political)(Red)

    The Gag Rule (Social/ Political)(Red)
    The Gag Rule disregarded the first amendment of the constitution which enables freedom to petition, by ignoring all petitions regarding the abolition of slavery without even reading them.
  • Annexation of Texas (Political) (Red)

    Annexation of Texas (Political) (Red)
    In 1836, American settlers proclaimed their independence from Mexico mostly result of a desire for slavery and economic and cultural ties with their homeland. Santa Anna was captured in the Battle of San Jacinto. After the refusal to recognize the new republic until 1837 by President Jackson, the annexation of Texas was the central issue of the 1844 election. Finally, after being persuaded by President Tyler in 1844, Texas applied for statehood again.
  • The Amistad Case (Social)(Red)

    The Amistad Case (Social)(Red)
    Africans destined for slavery seized control of the Spanish slave vessel, Amistad, in route to Cuba and attempted to return it to Africa. The U.S. Navy seized this ship, holding the Africans as pirates. They eventually declared the African's free and paid their voyage back to Africa as a result of the illegality of the slave trade in the U.S since 1808.
  • Wilmot Proviso (Political) (Red)

    Wilmot Proviso (Political) (Red)
    This amendment was proposed with the goal of the ban of slavery in territories acquired out of the Mexican War. This Proviso fueled the conflict between the power of the North and South in congress, especially after the northern majority of representatives passed the legislation.
  • The Mexican War (Political)(Red)

    The Mexican War (Political)(Red)
    After Mexicans rejected John Sidell's offer to purchase the disputed territories, Polk ordered Taylor's army in Texas to move across the Nueces River. While the Mexican's initially refused to fight, some troops crossed the Rio Grande and attacked a group of American Soldiers, which resulted in a declaration of war. At the end of the war, the U.S. had obtained New Mexico and California through the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which also acknowledged the Rio Grande as the border of Texas.
  • California Gold Rush (Economic/ Social) (Red)

    California Gold Rush (Economic/ Social) (Red)
    When carpenter James Marshall of Sutter's Sawmills found traces of gold in the Sierra Nevada, efforts to keep the discovery confidential were useless. Hundreds of thousands of people began flocking to California, people known as the 49ers. In only about 4 years the population had increased about 20 times. The gold rush had detrimental effects on domestic life as migrants left their jobs and families in search of gold. Additionally, the gold rush created a serious labor shortage in California.
  • The Compromise of 1850 (Political/ Social) (Red)

    The Compromise of 1850 (Political/ Social) (Red)
    First presented on January 29th, 1850 by Henry Clay, the compromise was split into 5 separate bills by Stephen Douglas in order to be passed. The compromise stated that California was to be admitted as a free state, slavery in New Mexico and Utah territories was to be determined by popular sovereignty, the slave trade was ended in Washington DC, Texas was given $10 million in compensation for being split, and a harsher fugitive slave was enacted.
  • Fugitive Slave Act (political/ social)(red)

    Fugitive Slave Act (political/ social)(red)
    The Fugitive Slave Act was passed as a part of the Compromise of 1850. This act required runaway slaves to be returned to their masters, even if they fled to a free state. Additionally, the federal government was made responsible for the capture, return, and persecution of such slaves.
  • Publication of "Uncle Tom's Cabin" (Political/Social) (Red)

    Publication of "Uncle Tom's Cabin" (Political/Social) (Red)
    An example of powerful abolitionist propaganda written by Harriet Beecher Stowe portrayed the innocent slaves victimized by the cruel establishment of slavery.
  • Ostend Manifesto (Political)(Red)

    Ostend Manifesto (Political)(Red)
    Franklin Pierce had been pursuing unsuccessful attempts to purchase Cuba from Spain, when a group of envoys from Ostend, Belgium made the case for seizing Cuba by force.
  • Kansas-Nebraska Act (Economic/ Political) (Red)

    Kansas-Nebraska Act (Economic/ Political) (Red)
    Proposed by Stephen Douglas to ensure his own sectional development through the development of a transcontinental railway, he wanted to create two new territories in the area. This idea disregarded this Missouri Compromise, which angered southerners because that would mean it would become a free state. In order to get the legislation passed, Douglas added a provision that the popular sovereignty in the state would decide its slave status.
  • Dred Scott Decision (Political/ Social) (Red)

    Dred Scott Decision (Political/ Social) (Red)
    After the slave, Dred Scott, was taken into the free territories of Illinois and Wisconsin, he proceeded to sue his master for freedom. A circuit court declaration decision, which declared him free, was over ruled by the supreme court. Justice Roger Taney declared that Dred Scott was not free, but private property of his master, and had no rights under the Constitution.
  • Raid on the Harper's Ferry Federal Arsenal (Social)(Red)

    Raid on the Harper's Ferry Federal Arsenal (Social)(Red)
    A radical abolitionist by the name of John Brown lead a raid on the federal arsenal at Harper's Ferry in Virginia in hopes of starting an armed slave rebellion. The event lasted until October 18th, and, although the mission was ultimately a failure, it convinced southerners that it was no longer safe to live in the union. Talk of southern succession increased.
  • Crittenden Compromise (political)(red)

    Crittenden Compromise (political)(red)
    Introduced by John J. Crittenden as a last attempt to prevent the war, this compromise consisted of 6 constitutional amendments and 4 congressional resolutions. The articles served to reinstate the Missouri compromise 32-30 line, aimed to prevent congress from abolishing slavery overall, slave transport, and slavery in the District of Columbia. Instead congress must compensate slave owners for lost slaves, and can not create a future amendment that goes against these articles.