Road to the Civil War - Robert Balda

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

    Northwest Ordinance of 1787 - Political
    A law following the previous land ordinances that governed western settlement. It abandoned the ten districts established in 1784 and created a single territory to be subsequently divided into 5 states once the required population was reached. Slavery was also prohibited throughout the territory. The territory that would be divided into states resulted in conflict with the South because it would be one of the first sectional issues which presented an imbalance of free and slave states.
  • Missouri Compromise - Political and Social

    Missouri Compromise - Political and Social
    Missouri applied for statehood in 1819 which was introduced with an amendment to the bill that stated that there would be no further introduction of slaves and for gradual emancipation for slaves in the territory. After debate about the imbalance of free and slave states, the resulting compromise was Missouri be added as a slave state, Maine as a free state, and slavery would be prohibited in the Louisiana Territory above the 36th parallel. The compromise revealed the divide of sectionalism.
  • Nat Turner Rebellion - Social and Political

    Nat Turner Rebellion - Social and Political
    On August 21-22, 1831, an slave preacher named Nat Turner launched a slave revolt. Over the course of a day in Southampton County, Turner and his allies killed fifty-five people. They later encountered organized resistance and were defeated in an encounter. Turner and other rebels scattered in order to reassemble their forces. The next day, several defeats ended the revolt. Whites quickly gained control over Southampton County, killing dozens of blacks without trials.
  • Gag Rule - Political

    Gag Rule - Political
    The Gag Rule was a legislative regulation that limited discussion or on a particular issue. From 1836 to 1844, the United States House of Representatives adopted a series of regulations that banned petitions which called for the abolition of slavery. John Quincy Adams, strongly opposed the Gag Rule and was a leader of those who opposed it. Congress was sent abolitionist petitions signed by more than two million people. The H.O.R eventually repealed the rule in 1844.
  • The Amistad Case - Social

    The Amistad Case - Social
    From 1839 to 1841, there was a legal battle over the Spanish slave vessel, Amistad. Africans destined for slavery in Cuba seized the ship from the crew in 1839 and tried to return to Africa. The U.S. Navy seized the ship and help the Africans as pirates afterwards. There was support to free the Africans because the slave trade had been abolished in the U.S. since 1808. Eventually in 8141, the Supreme Court declared them free and antislavery groups funded their travels back to Africa.
  • Annexation of Teas - Political

    Annexation of Teas - Political
    In the 1820's-30's, tensions in Texas grew due to American migration, as well as General Santa Anna's rise to power. In 1836, American settlers declared Texas independent and were defeated at the Alamo and Goliad, but in April, General Huston defeated Santa Anna, who was forced to recognize Texas as free. There was great debate about the admission of Texas to the Union, however, the outgoing president won Congressional approval for statehood in February of 1845. Texas was admitted that December.
  • Mexican War - Political and Economic

    Mexican War - Political and Economic
    After the U.S. failed to buy disputed territory in the Southwest, President Polk ordered Zachary Taylor and his men to cross the border to the Rio Grande on January 13, 1846. Then, when Mexican troops attacked a unit of Americans, America declared war on Mexico. Offensives ordered by Polk in New Mexico and California gained the U.S. the territory it wanted in the war, but Mexico refused to concede defeat. The war lasted until the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was created in February of 1848.
  • Wilmot Proviso - Political

    Wilmot Proviso - Political
    The Wilmot Proviso was an appropriation bill proposed by Representative David Wilmot of Pennsylvania, prohibiting slavery in any territory acquired from Mexico. The bill passed in the House on August 8, 1846 but failed in the Senate. Would be called up, debated, and voted on repeatedly for years to come and increased the rising sectional tensions.
  • California Gold Rush - Social and Economic

    California Gold Rush - Social and Economic
    In January 1848, James Marshall, working on a sawmill, found traces of gold. Word of the discovery reached San Francisco, then the east coast of the U.S, and eventually the whole world. Cali's non-Indian population increased largely and also attracted some of the first Chinese migrants to the western U.S. who were free laborers hoping to profit from economic opportunities. Many migrants returned home, while others stayed in Cali and swelled both the agricultural and populations of the territory.
  • Fugitive Slave Law - Political and Social

    Fugitive Slave Law - Political and Social
    The Fugitive Slave Act was a law passed by Congress in 1850 that enforced the return of slaves to their owners and made the federal government responsible for assisting capture. It affected the whole nation, being supported by the South, although facing heavy resistance from northern abolitionists. The law was eventually repealed in June of 1864.
  • Compromise of 1850 - Political, Social, Economic

    Compromise of 1850 - Political, Social, Economic
    Introduced January 29, 1850 by Henry Clay, the Compromise of 1850 put several measures proposed separately into a single piece of legislation. The bill called for the admission of California as a free state, the formation of territorial governments in the rest of 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 new more effective fugitive slave law. The bill was passed September 18, 1850.
  • Publication of Uncle Tom’s Cabin - Soical

    Publication of Uncle Tom’s Cabin - Soical
    Uncle Tom's Cabin was a fictional document of abolitionist propaganda by Harriet Beecher Stowe. First appeared as a serial in an antislavery weekly, then published in 1852 as a book. It sold more than 300,000 copies within a year. She combined the emotional conventions of the sentimental novel with the political ideas of the abolition movement. It portrayed slaves as good and kindly who were victimized by the cruel slave system which appealed to the abolitionist audience.
  • Kansas-Nebraska Act - Political

    Kansas-Nebraska Act  - Political
    The Kansas-Nebraska Act was proposed by Stephen A. Douglas which would allow a transcontinental railroad to be built through Chicago and admit Kansas to the Union, repealing the Missouri Compromise. He said that Kansas would decide slavery based on popular sovereignty and it was met with unanimous support from the South and partial support of northern Democrats, allowing it to become law in May of 1854. It divided and split the Whig party, resulting in the formation of the Republican party.
  • The Ostend Manifesto - Political and Social

    The Ostend Manifesto - Political and Social
    After Franklin Pierce was unsuccessful in in diplomatic attempts to purchase Cuba (starting in 1848), he received a document from Ostend, Belgium in 1854 which made the case for seizing Cuba by force. It enraged many antislavery northerners who charged the administration with conspiring to bring a new slave state into the Union. Meanwhile, the Southerners did not want to admit any new territory that wouldn't support a slave system. The Manifesto resulted in the increase of sectional crisis.
  • Bleeding Kansas - Political and Social

    Bleeding Kansas - Political and Social
    In spring of 1855, elections were held for a territorial legislature in the new Kansas territory. There were only 1,500 legal voters, but thousands of Missourians swelled it to 6,000. There was a majority pro-slavery forces elected, which enraged the free-staters who adopted a constitution excluding slavery, chose their own governor and legislature, and petitioned Congress for statehood. There were bitter battles and fighting between the abolitionists and pro-slavery posses.
  • Dred Scott Decision - Political, Social, Economic

    Dred Scott Decision - Political, Social, Economic
    Dred Scott was a slave who resided in a free state with his master. After his master’s death, Scott sued his master’s wife claiming his residence in free territory liberated him. In 1850, the circuit court declared him free. In March of 1857, Chief Justice Roger Taney declared that since slaves were property, and Congress could not take property without “due process of law”, Congress possessed no authority to pass a law that would deprive persons of their slave property in the territories.
  • John Brown and Raid on Harper’s Ferry - Social and Political

    John Brown and Raid on Harper’s Ferry - Social and Political
    John Brown wanted to start an armed slave revolt, so he believed that Harper’s Ferry was the first step in this rebellion. On the evening of October 16 through October 18, 1859, John Brown and a band of 21 other men, including 5 of his sons led a raid on the federal arsenal at Harper’s Ferry, Virginia hoping to arm slaves. The insurrection was quickly defeated by US marines and local militia. John Brown was accused of treason and hanged along with six of his followers.
  • Crittenden Compromise - Political and Social

    Crittenden Compromise - Political and Social
    Proposed in December of 1860 by John J. Crittenden of Kentucky, the compromise consisted of amendments to the Constitution due to growing tensions between the North and the South. The compromise stated the Missouri Compromise be reinstated, Congress has no power to abolish slavery in the District of Colombia or in general, how to transport slaves, as well as stating that there cannot be a future amendment that affects prior articles. The Compromise eventually failed in early 1861.