Road to the Civil War

  • Missouri Compromise

    This day in history
    The Missouri Compromise is a document that admitted Missouri as a slave state and Maine as a free state. This bill also dictates that territory north of 36-30 could be free, and south of 36-30 could be slave.
    The signigicance of this event is that the passing of this bill contributed to the Era of Good Feelings and propelled President James Monroe into a second term.
  • "54-40 or Fight"

    54-40Fifty Four Forty or Fight refers to the Oregon Territory that was joint occupied by the US and Great Britain. IT was the campaign slogan used by Presidential Cantidate James K. Polk. The slogan was used as a rally cry for new settlers into the Oregon territory, where a new bargain was struck with Great Britian, moving the border to 49 degrees.
  • Annexation of Texas

    After winning its independance, the Republic of Texas tried to become part of the Union. But after Mexico threatened war, negoitions came to a halt. It wasnt until President John Tyler reopened negotiations, and with the help of president-elect James Polk that Texas joined the United States.
  • Wilmot Proviso

    Gale US History in Context database The Wilmot Proviso was an attempt by antislavery forces to prevent the spread of slavery into the new mexican territories. While it passed in the House, it never passed in the Senate; therefore, it never became a bill. This bill led to the creation of the Republican Party.
  • Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo

    Guadalupe Hidalgo This treaty ended the Mexican war in favor of the United States. It added an additional 525,000 square miles to the US, including areas that would become Texas, California, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, and parts of Colorado and Wyoming.
  • Compromise of 1850

    Compromise of 1850
    The compromise of 1850 consisted of admitting California as a free state, creating Utah and New Mexico territories with slavery being determined through popular soveriegnty, settling a Texas-New Mexico border dispute, and abolishing slave trade in the nations capital.
  • Uncle Toms Cabin

    Uncle Toms Cabin
    Uncle Tom's Cabin is an antiflavery novel written by Harriet Beecher Stowe. Uncle Tom's Cabin was Stowe's response to her encounters with fugitive slaves and the Underground Railroad. The book was widely recognized and controversial. It changed the way slavery was seen by the American public.
  • Gadsden Purchase

    Gale US History Timeline in Context database
    The Gadsden Purchase was part of President Pierce's plan to unite a divided country. It was the last territory acquired by the US within the boundaries of the lower 48 states; it completed the states. The Gadsden Purchase made it possible for a railway to be completed. This led into the Kansas-Nebraska Act.
  • Republican Party Founded

    The republican party was founded by a group of renegade democrat, whig, and independent politicians. They opposed the expansion of slavery into new territory. The first republican president to be elected was Abraham Lincoln, winning the election of 1860.
  • Kansas-Nebraska Act

    Kansas-Nebraska Act The Kansas Nebraska Act was a bill that became a law, establishing the territories of Kansas and Nebraska
  • Brooks Sumner Incident

    Brooks-Sumner IncidentAfter delivering a speech attacking slavery and slaveholder, Senator Charles Sumner was bruatlly beaten by Congressman Preston Brooks, who had taken Sumner's reference to his uncle very personally. He proceeded to beat Sumner violently with a cane, to a point where part of the cane shattered. This incident shed light upon how much tension was in the US before the civil war.
  • Harpers Ferry Raid

    John Brown, an abolitionist, planned to caputer the federal arsenal in Harpers Ferry, Va and lead a slave uprising. He succesfully captured the arsenal, but there was no slave uprising. He was captured and tried for treason, found guilty, and then executed in December of 1859. Some treated him as a martyr, and some in the south believe that the north were abolitionists ready to fight.
  • Election of 1860

    Election of 1860 The election in which Abraham Lincoln beat out Stephen Douglas, John Breckinridge, and John Bell to become president
  • Firing on Fort Sumter

    Fort Sumter
    Fort Sumter is the site of the first shots fired during the Civil War. US Major Robert Anderson occupied the fort when Confederate General PGT Beauregard opened fire. The artillery exchange lasted for 32 hours, when Major Anderson and 86 Union soldiers surrendered.
  • First Battle of Bull Run

    Battle of Bull Run Union and Confederate armies fought near Manassaas Junction. After a day of battle, Confederate forces were able to break the Union front. This sent the federals into retreat back to Washing DC. This confederate war gave the southerners hope and left the northerners shocked.
  • Monitor vs. Merrimac

    Monitor MerrimackThis showdown was the first fight between two iron warships in history. The battle was a Confederate effort to stop the Union's blockade of southern ports. There was no defined winner or loser, but this changed Naval warfare forever.
  • Battle of Antietam

    Antietam Early morning the Union and Confederate troops clashed in what would be the bloodiest one day battle near the Antietam Creek in Maryland. The battle ended in a stalemate, followed by the retreat of the confederate army back to Virginia
  • Battle of Gettysburg

    GettysburgThe Battle of Gettysburg was a major defeat for the Confederate army. It was a failed attempt to bring the battle to northern territory. This three day battle proved the strength of the Union army, as the Confederacy failed to push Union forces back at its many different attacking points. It is widely considered the most important battle of the Civil War.
  • Sherman's March

    Union General William Sherman marched 60,000 soldiers on a 285 mile trek through Georgia from Savannah to Atlanta. The purpose of the march was to frighten Georgia's population to abandon the Confederate cause. General Sherman said that they were not only fighting a hostile army, but hostile people who needed to feel the hand of war.
  • Appomattox Court House

    AppomattoxOn April 9, 1965, Confederate General Robert Lee surrendered 28,000 troops to Union General Ulysses S. Grant. This ended the American Civil War.