Road to the Civil War - Justin Landon

Timeline created by justinlandon
In History
  • Northwest Ordinance of 1787 - Political

    Northwest Ordinance of 1787 - Political
    A law subsequent to the Ordinances of 1784 and 1785 that governed western settlement. It neglected the 10 districts established in 1784 and created a single territory north of the Ohio that would be divided into 5 states once they met the required population of 60,000. Slavery was prohibited throughout this territory. It also led to conflict with the South because it was one of the first sectional issues, presenting an imbalance of slave state and free states.
  • Missouri Compromise - Political/Social

    Missouri Compromise - Political/Social
    Missouri applied for statehood in 1819, which was introduced by an amendment to the bill that stated there would be no further introduction of slaves and emancipation for slaves in the territory. After much debate regarding the imbalance of slave and free states, the result was the Missouri Compromise; Missouri would be added as a slave state, Maine as a free state, and slavery would be prohibited in the Louisiana Territory above the 36th parallel. This revealed the divide of sectionalism.
  • Nat Turner Uprising - Social/Political

    Nat Turner Uprising - Social/Political
    A slave preacher named Nat Turner organized a slave revolt. Within a day in Southampton County, Virginia, Turner and his followers killed 55 people. They eventually encountered strong resistance to the rebellion and were defeated. Turner and his men scattered in order to reassemble their forces. The following day, several defeats ended the revolt, resulting in the whites gaining control over Southampton County, and the deaths of many blacks without trials. Turner hid, but was hanged when found.
  • Gag Rule - Political

    Gag Rule - Political
    A legislative regulation that limited discussion on a particular topic in hopes to silence conflict people believed may turn into war. From 1836-1844, the U.S. House of Reps adopted a series of regulations that banned petitions calling for the abolition of slavery. John Q. Adams strongly opposed the Gag Rule, as it violated the constitution, and became the leader of those who opposed it. Congress was sent many abolitionist petitions signed by 2 million people and repealed the rule in 1844.
  • The Amistad Case - Social

    The Amistad Case - Social
    From 1839-1841, there was a legal battle over the Spanish slave vessel, Amistad. The ship was seized from the crew by Africans destined for slavery in Cuba in 1839 and tried to return to Africa.The U.S. Navy seized the ship and helped the Africans as pirates afterwards.The case was supported because the slave trade had been abolished in the U.S. since 1808. In 1841, the Supreme Court declared them free and antislavery groups helped fund their trip back to Africa.
  • Annexation of Texas - Political

    Annexation of Texas - Political
    In the 1820's- 30's, tensions in Texas grew due to American migration and Santa Anna's rise to power. In 1836, American settlers declared Texas independent and were defeated at the Alamo and Goliad. In April, however, General Huston defeated Santa Anna and was forced to recognize Texas as free. Though there was much debate about admitting Texas to the Union, the president won Congressional approval for statehood in February of 1845. Texas was later admitted in December.
  • Mexican War - Political/Economical

    Mexican War - Political/Economical
    After the U.S. failed to purchase disputed territory in the Southwest, President Polk order Zachary Taylor, an officer of the U.S. army, and his men to cross the border of the Rio Grande. When Mexican troops attacked a unit of Americans, the U.S. declared war on Mexico. Polk ordered offenses in New Mexico and California, and gained the territory they desired. However, Mexico refused to surrender and the war lasted until the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was created in February of 1848.
  • Wilmot Proviso - Political

    Wilmot Proviso - Political
    An appropriation bill proposed by Representative David Wilmot of Pennsylvania which prohibited slavery in any territory aquired from Mexico. The bill passed in the House on August 8, 1846, but failed to pass in the Senate. It was called up, debated about, and voted on continuously for years and increased the rising sectional tensions.
  • California Gold Rush - Economic/Social

    California Gold Rush - Economic/Social
    In January 1848, James Marshall, an American sawmill operator, found traces of gold while working on a sawmill. Word of the discovery first reached San Francisco, then the east coast of the U.S., and eventually the whole world. California's non-indian population increased immensely and it attracted the first Chinese migrants to the western U.S., who were free laborers hoping to profit from economic opportunities. Many migrants swelled on both the agriculture and populations of the territory.
  • Compromise of 1850 - Political/Social/Economical

    Compromise of 1850 - Political/Social/Economical
    Introduced by Henry Clay, the Compromise of 1850 put several separately proposed measures into one piece of legislation. The bill called for the admission of California as a free state, the formation of territorial governments in the lands acquired from Mexico without restrictions on slavery, the abolition of the slave trade (but not slavery itself in the District of Colombia), and a more effective fugitive slave law. This bill was passed on September 18, 1850.
  • Fugitive Slave Act - Political/Social

    Fugitive Slave Act - Political/Social
    A law passed by Congress in 1850 that was a revision of the previous fugitive slave act in 1793 that permitted the seizure and return of runaway slaves who escaped the states they were being held in. It required that the U.S. government intervenes to assist slave owners with regaining control of any runaways. This act was supported in the South, primarily because it benefited them, but was faced with heavy resistance from northern abolitionists. The law was eventually repealed in June of 1864.
  • Publication of Uncle Tom's Cabin - Social

    Publication of Uncle Tom's Cabin - Social
    Uncle Tom's Cabin was a fictional document of abolitionist propaganda written by Harriet Beecher Stowe. It first appeared as a serial in an antislavery weekly, then published as a book in 1852. It sold more than 300,000 copies within a year and combined its emotional conventions with the political ideas of the abolition movement. It portrayed slaves as good people who were victimized by the cruel and harsh slave system, which was very appealing to several abolitionists.
  • Kansas-Nebraska Act - Political

    Kansas-Nebraska Act - Political
    This act was proposed by Stephen A. Douglas and would allow a transcontinental railroad to be built through Chicago and admit Kansas into the Union (repealing the Missouri Compromise). He stated that Kansas would decide slavery based on popular sovereignty. It was met with unanimous support from the South and from some northern Democrats as well. This allowed it to become a law in May of 1854. However, it resulted in the division of the Whig party and the formation of the new Republican Party.
  • The Ostend Manifesto - Political/Social

    The Ostend Manifesto - Political/Social
    After Franklin Pierce was unsuccessful in diplomatic attempts to purchase Cuba, he received a document from Ostend, Belgium in 1854, which made the case for seizing Cuba by force. This enraged many antislavery northerners who charged the administration and conspired to bring a new slave state into the Union. The Southerners on the other hand did not want to admit any new territory that wouldn't support the slavery system. This caused a dramatic increase in sectional tensions.
  • Bleeding Kansas - Political/Social

    Bleeding Kansas - Political/Social
    In 1855, elections were held for a territorial legislature in the new Kansas territory. There were 1,500 legal voters, but thousands of Missouri voters increased that amount to about 6,000. The elections resulted with a majority of pro-slavery forces. This enraged the free-staters who then adopted a constitution excluding slavery, chose their own governor and legislature, and petitioned Congress for statehood. This caused bitter fighting between the abolitionists and pro-slavery people.
  • Dred Scott Decision - Political/Social/Economical

    Dred Scott Decision - Political/Social/Economical
    Dred Scott was a slave who resided in a free state with his master. When his master died Scott sued his master's wife claiming that his residence in free territory liberated him. In 1850, the circuit court declared him free. Additionally, in March of 1857, Chief Justice Roger Taney declared that since slaves were property and Congress could not seize property without due process of law, Congress did not have the authority to pass a law depriving people of their slave property in the territories.
  • John Brown's Raid on Harper's Ferry - Social/Political

    John Brown's Raid on Harper's Ferry - Social/Political
    John Brown had always wanted to arm slaves and start a slave revolt. On the evening of October 16th through the 18th, John Brown and a band of 21 of other men, including his 5 sons led a raid on the federal arsenal at Harper's Ferry, Virginia with the hopes of arming the slaves there. The raid was quickly defeated, however, by U.S. marines and a local militia. John Brown ended up being accused of treason and was hanged along with 6 of his followers.
  • Crittenden Compromise - Political/Social

    Crittenden Compromise - Political/Social
    John J. Crittenden of Kentucky proposed this compromise in December of 1860. It consisted of amendments to the Constitution because of the growing tensions between the North and the South. It stated that the Missouri Compromise be reinstated and that Congress has no power to abolish slavery in the D.o.C, or in general. In addition, it set the terms of how to transport slaves as well as stating that there cannot be a future amendment that affects the prior articles. This failed in early 1861.