Road to the Civil War

Timeline created by goldnera
In History
  • Northwest Ordinance (1787)

    Northwest Ordinance (1787)
    (Red, Social & Political)
    This ordinance declared one territory in the North West. It was previously 10 separate territories and it later turned back into 3-5 territories. Freedom of religion, right of a trial by jury and being a slave state were some of the established rights of these states, or what they would be once their population reached 60,000.
  • Missouri Compromise (1820)

    Missouri Compromise (1820)
    (Green & political)
    This was a compromise between the North and South to balance the slave and free states. Massachusetts was split up and a new state was formed, Maine. This would be a free state. Missouri would be admitted as a slave state and the 36°30 line, or everything south of Missouri's southern border, was established, meaning all states south of the line would be slave states. This is the ideals of Jesse B. Thomas
  • Nat Turner Rebellion

    Nat Turner Rebellion
    (Red & Social)
    A band of African Americans, led by Nat Turner, broke into Benjamin Travis's home, killed him, and his family. Next they killed over 60 people on their expedition into Jerusalem, VA where they captured the armory. Him, along with 16 other slaves were spotted at Dismal Swamp where they were brought back to Jerusalem to be executed. The outcome of this rebellion was for slave owners to be nervous and on edge about the slaves they harbored and what they were capable of.
  • The Gag Rule

    The Gag Rule
    (Red, Political)
    James Hammond of South Carolina proposed the Gag Rule that the HOR put into place that prevented them (HOR) from discussing the slavery and anything about it for 20 years, since there was a cotton production shortage. Henry L. Pinckney included the fact that all petitions, memorials or resolutions that followed the theme of slavery, shall be halted for the time being. Some saw this as an infringement on the first amendment such as John Quincy Adams.
  • The Amistad Case

    The Amistad Case
    (Red & Political)
    Slave hunters from Portugal captured hundreds of slaves in Africa and illegally sold them to Cuba where they'd be put into slavery. Eventually, the slaves seized control of the Amistad ship and sailed to the coast of Long Island where naval officials found them. The U.S. District Court in Hartford, CT, ruled: since they had been illegally captured, they shall return to Africa. The Supreme Court agreed due to the fact that the transatlantic slave trade was abolished
  • The Annexation of Texas

    The Annexation of Texas
    (Red & Political)
    Mexico wanted America to establish themselves in the Texan territory to act as a shield for Mexico from Indian tribes Stephen Austin (Missouri) endorsed this ideal. Centers of Power were created here by Austin, and eventually Texas was annexed from Mexico. Sam Houston, the president at the time, applied for it to be admitted into the union. It was admitted in 1845, however the north was reluctant as it meant another slave state and more electoral college votes for the south
  • Wilmot Provisio

    Wilmot Provisio
    (Red & Political) David Wilmot proposed this amendment to the Appropriation bill (US purchased land from mexico for 2 million dollars) It would allow for slavery in any land purchased from Mexico. It passed in the House, but vetoed in the Senate. Military officers in the south argued that Americans should have equal opportunity in new territories which included the right to move their property AKA slaves, into the new areas.
  • The Mexican War

    The Mexican War
    (Red & Political)
    President Polk sent Slidell to propose an offer to Mexico for the discussed territories but was rejected. Polk ordered the Texan army to mobilize across the Neuces River to the Rio Grande. Mexico did not engage for months but they eventually attacked the U.S. troops at the Rio Grande. People debated whether Polk moved into the country and joined the conflict to drain resources on purpose. The U.S. = got New Mexico as well as California. Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo = resolution
  • California Gold Rush

    California Gold Rush
    (Red & Economic)
    During the gold rush, the population in California increased dramatically. Chinese immigration also increased during this time as well as a labor shortage, meaning Indians were used for labor, and immigration spiked. Gold mining became very prominent and people left their homes and businesses to search for it. They earned the name 49ers. California was adopted into statehood as a free state.
  • Fugitive Slave Act (1850)

    Fugitive Slave Act (1850)
    (Red & political/social)
    The fugitive slave act of 1793 as well as the clause was what protected slave owners investment and required runaway slaves to return to their owners. The two articles weren't loved by all so as a part of the compromise of 1850, the fugitive slave act was also touched upon. It granted the federal government the power and responsibility of finding runaway slaves and returning them, since the northern states weren't following the rules.
  • The Compromise of 1850

    The Compromise of 1850
    (Red & political)
    This compromise was a series of 5 laws, proposed by Henry Clay with intentions of deciding slavery and expansion laws. The terms were as follows: California be admitted as a free state, abolish the slave trade in Washington DC, territorial governments in territory acquired from Mexico without slavery restrictions, new fugitive slave law. There were many disagreements and led to a dire need to settle tensions between the north and south.
  • The Publication of "Uncle Tom's Cabin"

    The Publication of "Uncle Tom's Cabin"
    (Red & Social)
    Harriet Beecher Stowe published a novel that was highly anti-slavery. It was very successful in changing american views of slavery and turned some against the fugitive slave acts.
  • Ostend Manifesto

    Ostend Manifesto
    (Red & political)
    President Pierce was in negotiations to Purchase Cuba from Spain. Ostend, Belgium, extended a declaration in private. It stated that the U.S. has the moral power and righteousness to seize Cuba if Spain didn't cooperate with selling it to the U.S. many antislavery northerners were upset and charged his cabinet with trying to admit a new slave state. The South did not support the purchase either deeming it an unsuccessful mission.
  • The Kansas-Nebraska Act

    The Kansas-Nebraska Act
    (Red & Political)
    Stephan A. Douglas proposed to organize the Nebraska territory, highly debated. He proposed that popular sovereignty/ territory's legislature would decide the state's slave status. It separated the territory into two separate states, Kansas and Nebraska. Northerners didn't like because it went against the Missouri compromise and southerners didn't like because there was a chance it could be a free state. Whig party= over, divided Northern Democrats and created Free Soil Party.
  • Bleeding Kansas (1855-1861)

    Bleeding Kansas (1855-1861)
    (Red & Social)
    Missouri citizens went o Kansas & were seen as residents of Kansas, which meant they voted in territorial elections. Many pro-slavery men made it into the government, after filling ballot boxes with fictitious ballots. A new anti-slavery government formed in Lawrence, Kansas. Violent events happened from between the pro-slavery anti-slavery residents of Kansas, including the Sac of Lawrence and the Pottawatomie Massacre.
  • Dred Scott Decision

    Dred Scott Decision
    (Red & Political) Dred Scott was a slave who he had been taken to live in free territory when Missouri John Emerson, his slave owner died. Scott filed a lawsuit against John's widow for freedom. The circuit court ruled in his favor. John Sandford gained ownership of Scott and brought the case to the Supreme Court. Justice Roger Taney ruled against Scott, as he was not legally a citizen and did not have the right to bring his case to court, leading to increased tensions.
  • John Brown and the Raid on Harpers Ferry

    John Brown and the Raid on Harpers Ferry
    (Red & Political/social) An abolitionist by the name John Brown devised a plan to take a mountain fortress in Harpers Ferry, Virginia, hoping to stir up a slave insurrection in the South. John along with 18 other abolitionists seized control of the U.S. arsenal. Brown was besieged by Robert E. Lee & troops. 10 of his men were killed and Brown surrendered. Brown was later tried for treason and ultimately sentenced to death as well as 6 of his followers.
  • Crittenden Compromise

    Crittenden Compromise
    (Red & Political) This compromise was proposed by John J. Crittenden who was a Whig from Kentucky. The Missouri Compromise would be effective again, extend the line westward, promised to keep slavery, solved the fugitive slave issues and slavery in D.C. A clause in the compromise stated that these amendments could never be repealed or modified. It started as tabled, then rejected in Congress. It tried to calm tensions, prevent the secession, and calm southern opinions as Lincoln was president.