Road to the Civil War

Timeline created by nikolova
  • Northwest Ordinance (Red)

    Northwest Ordinance (Red)
    Political
    Who: The United States
    What: Was a land ordinance that outlawed slavery in the newly formed Northwest territory as well as setting it up for future sale of the land
    Where: The Northwest
    Why: The Northwest territory was a piece of land that was not organized and people wanted to expand westward and settle the fertile lands, so the U.S started dividing the land up.
  • Missouri Compromise (Green)

    Missouri Compromise (Green)
    Political
    Who: Henry Clay and other senators throughout the nation
    What: A compromise that drew a line dividing the nation indicating whether or not new states would have slavery. States north of this line would be free, while states south of this line would become slave states
    Where: US
    Why: To mostly resolve the issue of slavery by creating a clear divide to indicate where slavery would become legal
  • Nat Turner's Rebellion (Red)

    Nat Turner's Rebellion (Red)
    Social
    Who: Nat Turner
    What: A slave uprising that was started by Nat Turner who believed that he had been chosen by God to deliver the enslaved people of America from their bondage
    Where: Southampton County, Virginia
    Why: Nat was an educated slave who believed that it was his duty to help free the slaves from their bonds, and the only way to do that was to start a violent uprising against their masters
  • Gag Rule (Red)

    Gag Rule (Red)
    Political
    Who: John Quincy Adams and Joshua Giddings, and Pro-Slavery advocates in Congress
    What: A law that would prevented the discussion of slavery in the House of Representatives making it impossible for abolitionists to make any ground on the institution of slavery
    Where: Washington DC
    Why: The South wanted to suppress the Northerners who wanted to stop the institution of slavery from taking a hold and to increase their power in Congress
  • Amistad Case (Red)

    Amistad Case (Red)
    Political/Social
    Who: 54 illegally sold slaves, John Quincy Adams
    What: Aboard the Amistad, the illegally sold slaves were being transported when they revolted and gained their freedom. They were captured by the US and then a legal battle ensued about whether or not they were free. Eventually the Supreme Court decided they were free as they had been sold illegally
    Where: Havana, Cuba and Connecticut
    Why: Was important as it gave slaves freedom when they had been wrongfully taken as slaves
  • Annexation of Texas (Red)

    Annexation of Texas (Red)
    Political
    Who: James Polk, Samuel Houston, Stephan Austin
    What: In 1845 the US annexed Texas and made it an official state after it had won its independence 9 years earlier
    Where: Texas
    Why: Texas was a country that had been settled by many American settlers who wished to return to the Union after gaining their freedom from Mexico and the South wished to expand Slavery into the region
  • Mexican War (Red)

    Mexican War (Red)
    Political
    Who: James Polk, Mexico
    What: After a border dispute over territory near the Rio Grande, the Americans marched on Mexico City and claimed the territories of New Mexico, California and changed the border of Texas

    Where: Mexico, New Mexico, Texas, California
    Why: The U.S. wanted to expand its territory into Mexican claimed lands
  • Wimot Provisio (Red)

    Wimot Provisio (Red)
    Political
    Who: David Wilmot, James Polk, Southern dominated Senate
    What: A bill introduced to restrict slavery from all of the land that was gained during the Mexican War though it was killed in the Senate
    Where: New Mexico, Southern California, Arizona, expansion of Texas
    Why: The North feared that the new land gained in the Mexican War would give too much power to the South eventually, when the new territory became states so they proposed this bill to oppose the South
  • California Gold Rush (Red)

    California Gold Rush (Red)
    Economic/Social
    Who: James Marshall, John Sutter
    What: James Marshall discovered gold flakes at Sutter's mill and word soon got out and thousands of men flocked to California in the hopes of becoming rich from the promise of gold
    Where: Sutter's Mill in California and the Sierra Nevadas
    Why: Many flocked to the gold fields looking to make a fortune as they were brought up from a poorer background. Many immigrants from China also came at this time making up much of the labor pool in California
  • Compromise of 1850 (Green)

    Compromise of 1850 (Green)
    Political
    Who: Henry Clay, Stephan Douglas
    What: A bill originally proposed by Henry Clay to dissolve tensions between North and South. It was later broken into five different bills by Stephan Douglas so that it would be accepted.
    Where: Division between North and South, signed in DC
    Why: Noticing the growing divide between the North and South, Congress tried to create the Compromise of 1850 to lessen the secular tension that had been growing in the US
  • Fugitive Slave Act (Red)

    Fugitive Slave Act (Red)
    Political
    Who: Senators and Reps, North and South
    What: A law passed as part of the Compromise of 1850 that required the federal government and citizens of the North to assist Southern slave owners regain the slaves that had run away from their plantation. This law was unpopular in the North and widely ignored in the North
    Where: The United States, more concerning the North
    Why: Fugitive Slave Act was passed to please the South and reach an agreement that would allow the Compromise of 1850 pass
  • Publication of "Uncle Tom's Cabin" (Red)

    Publication of "Uncle Tom's Cabin" (Red)
    Social
    Who: Harriet Beecher Stowe
    What: A novel written by abolitionist Harriet Beecher Stowe explaining the viewpoint of slavery from a black woman
    Where: Popular in the North, written about a Southern plantation
    Why: It was a novel written to expose the horrors of the system of Slavery so that Northerners would be much more likely to act on the horrendous practice.
  • Kansas - Nebraska Act and Bleeding Kansas (Red)

    Kansas - Nebraska Act and Bleeding Kansas (Red)
    Political/Social
    Who: Anti-slavery fighters like John Brown, Pro-slavery fighters
    What: An act that stated that the issue of slavery would be decided by popular sovereignty in Kansas and the bloody battles that occurred as people fought over slavery in the territory
    Where: Kansas and Nebraska
    Why: Stephan A. Douglas wanted to pass the continental railroad through the North so he proposed the Kansas Nebraska act to pacify the South and then the fighting occurred due to the act's controversy.
  • Ostend Manifesto (Red)

    Ostend Manifesto (Red)
    Political
    Who: Secretary of State William L. Marcy, Spain, Pierce
    What: The U.S. tried to coerce Spain to give them the territory of Cuba. Pierce indicated that if Spain did not sell the land, he might invade Cuba and take it anyways.
    Where: Ostend, Belgium
    Why: The U.S. had desires to expand its territory, so it looked southward towards Cuba, where it hoped to secure land from the Spanish and create a new slave state at the same time.
  • Dred Scott Decision (Red)

    Dred Scott Decision (Red)
    Political/Social
    Who: Dred Scott, John Sandford, Roger Taney
    What: Dred Scott was a slave who had been brought to a free territory where his master died. He then sued his master's widow claiming to be free as he now resided in a state where slavery was illegal.
    Where: Missouri, Illinois
    Why: Taney and the court decided that Scott could not bring the case to court since he was property. Also affirmed that the government couldn't take property making the Missouri Compromise unconstitutional
  • John Brown's Raid on Harper's Ferry (Red)

    John Brown's Raid on Harper's Ferry (Red)
    Political/Social
    Who: John Brown, Robert E. Lee
    What: An attack on the federal arsenal at Harper's Ferry led by John Brown, a radical abolitionist.
    Where: Harper's Ferry, Virginia
    Why: Brown wanted to start a slave uprising in the Appalachian Mountains that would fan out southward and free more slaves.
  • Crittenden Compromise (Green)

    Crittenden Compromise (Green)
    Political
    Who: John J. Crittenden
    What: A last ditch effort by the Union to stay together by ceding lots of demands to the South in return for their continued loyalty to the Union. It was killed in the Senate.
    Where: Washington D.C., The U.S.
    Why: South Carolina had just seceded from the Union and they wanted to keep the Union together