Civilwar

The Civil War

  • Missouri Compromise

    Missouri Compromise
    Behind the leadership of Henry Clay, Congress passed a series of agreements in 1820–1821 known as the Missouri Compromise. Under these agreements, Maine was admitted as a free state and Missouri as a slave state. The rest of the
    Louisiana Territory was split into two parts. The dividing line was set at 36°30´ north latitude. South of the line, slavery was legal. North of the line—except in Missouri—slavery was banned. Missouri—slavery was banned. James Monroe was president during this time.
  • Santa Fe Trail

    Santa Fe Trail
    The settlers and traders who made the trek west used a series of old Native American trails as well as new routes. One of the busiest routes was the Santa Fe Trail, which stretched 780 miles from Independence, Missouri, to Santa Fe in the Mexican province of New Mexico.
  • San Felipe de Austin

    San Felipe de Austin
    The main settlement of the colony was named San Felipe de Austin, in Stephen’s honor. By 1825, Austin had issued 297 land grants to the group that later became known as Texas’s Old Three Hundred. Each family received either 177 very
    inexpensive acres of farmland, or 4,428 acres for stock grazing, as well as a 10-year exemption from paying taxes.By 1830, there were more than 20,000 Americans in Texas.
  • Abolition

    Abolition
    The movement to abolish slavery, became the most important of a series of reform movements in America.
  • The Liberator

    The Liberator
    The most radical white abolitionist was a young editor named William Lloyd Garrison. Active in religious reform movements
    in Massachusetts, Garrison became the editor of an antislavery paper in 1828. Three years later he established his own paper, The Liberator, to deliver an uncompromising demand: immediate emancipation.
  • Nat Turner's Rebellion

    Nat Turner's Rebellion
    In August 1831, Turner and more than 50 followers attacked four plantations and killed about 60 whites. Whites eventually captured and executed many members of the group, including Turner. The Turner rebellion frightened and
    outraged slaveholders. In some states, people argued that the only way to prevent slave revolts was through emancipation. Others, however, chose to tighten restrictions on all African Americans to prevent them from plotting insurrections.
  • Mexico Abolishes Slavery

    Mexico Abolishes Slavery
    Despite peaceful cooperation between Anglos and
    Tejanos, differences over cultural issues intensified between Anglos and the Mexican government. The overwhelmingly Protestant Anglo settlers spoke English instead of Spanish. Furthermore, many of the settlers were Southerners, who had brought slaves with them to Texas. Mexico, which had abolished slavery in 1829, insisted in vain that the Texans free their slaves.
  • Stephen F. Austin goes to Jail

    Stephen F. Austin goes to Jail
    Mexican politics had become increasingly unstable. Austin had traveled to Mexico City late in 1833 to present petitions to Mexican president Antonio López de Santa Anna for greater self-government for Texas. While Austin was on his way home, Santa Anna had Austin imprisoned for inciting
    revolution.
  • Oregon Trail

    Oregon Trail
    The Oregon Trail stretched from Independence,
    Missouri, to Oregon City, Oregon. It was blazed in 1836 by
    two Methodist missionaries named Marcus and Narcissa
    Whitman. By driving their wagon as far as Fort Boise (near
    present-day Boise, Idaho), they proved that wagons could
    travel on the Oregon Trail.
  • Texas Revolution

    Texas Revolution
    After Santa Anna suspended local powers in Texas and other Mexican states, several rebellions broke out, including one that would be known as the Texas Revolution. The 1836 rebellion in which Texas gained its independence from Mexico.
  • Manifest Destiny

    Manifest Destiny
    The phrase “manifest destiny” expressed the belief that the United States was ordained to expand to the Pacific Ocean and into Mexican and Native American territory. Many Americans also believed that this destiny was manifest, or obvious and inevitable.
  • Texas Enters the US

    Texas Enters the US
    Most Texans hoped that the United States would annex their republic, but U.S. opinion divided along sectional lines.
    Southerners wanted Texas in order to extend slavery, which already had been established there. Northerners feared that the annexation of more slave territory would tip the uneasy balance in the Senate in favor of slave states—and prompt
    war with Mexico.
  • Mexican-American War

    Mexican-American War
    The Mexican-American War (1846-1848) marked the first U.S. armed conflict chiefly fought on foreign soil. It pitted a politically divided and militarily unprepared Mexico against the expansionist-minded administration of U.S. President James K. Polk, who believed the United States had a “manifest destiny” to spread across the continent to the Pacific Ocean. A border skirmish along the Rio Grande started off the fighting and was followed by a series of U.S. victories. When the dust cleared, Mexic
  • The North Star

    The North Star
    In 1847, Frederick Douglass began his own antislavery newspaper. He named it The North Star, after the star that
    guided runaway slaves to freedom.
  • Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo

    Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
    On February 2, 1848, the United States and Mexico signed the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Mexico agreed to the Rio Grande as the border between Texas and Mexico and ceded the New Mexico and California territories to the United States. The United States agreed to pay $15 million for the Mexican cession, which included presentday California, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, most of Arizona, and parts of Colorado and Wyoming.
  • Harriet Tubman

    Harriet Tubman
    In 1849, after Tubman’s owner died, she heard rumors that she was about to be sold. Fearing this possibility, Tubman decided to make a break for freedom and succeeded in reaching Philadelphia. Shortly after passage of the Fugitive Slave Act, Tubman resolved to become a conductor on the Underground Railroad. In all, she made 19 trips back to the South and is said to have helped 300 slaves—including her own parents—flee to freedom.
  • Compromise of 1850

    Compromise of 1850
    In the New Mexico Territory, the issue of slavery had not yet been settled. As passions mounted, threats of Southern secession, the formal withdrawal of a state from the Union, became more frequent. Once again, Henry Clay worked to shape a compromise that both the North and the South could accept. After obtaining ssupport of the powerful Massachusetts senator Daniel Webster, Clay presented to the Senate a series of resolutions later called the Compromise of 1850.
  • Fugitive Slave Act

    Fugitive Slave Act
    Under the law, alleged fugitive slaves were not entitled to a trial by jury. In addition, anyone convicted of helping a fugitive was liable for a fine of $1,000 and imprisonment for
    up to six months. Infuriated by the Fugitive Slave Act, some Northerners resisted it by organizing “vigilance committees” to send endangered African Americans to safety in Canada. Others resorted to violence to rescue fugitive slaves. Still others worked to help slaves escape from slavery.
  • Underground Railroad

    Underground Railroad
    Free African Americans and white abolitionists developed a
    secret network of people who would, at great risk to themselves, hide fugitive slaves. “Conductors” on the routes hid fugitives in secret tunnels and false cupboards, provided them with food and clothing, and escorted or directed them to the next “station.” Once fugitives reached the North, many chose to remain there. Others journeyed to Canada to be completely out of reach of their “owners.”
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin

    Uncle Tom's Cabin
    In 1852, Harriet Beecher Stowe published her novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which stressed that slavery was not just a political contest, but also a great moral struggle.
    As a young girl, Stowe had watched boats filled with people on their way to be sold at slave markets. Uncle Tom’s Cabin expressed her lifetime hatred of slavery.
  • Kansas-Nebraska Act

    Kansas-Nebraska Act
    Stephen A. Douglas introduced a bill in Congress on January 23, 1854, that would divide the area into two territories: Nebraska in the north and Kansas in the south. If passed, the bill would repeal the Missouri Compromise and establish popular sovereignty for both territories.
  • Dread Scott v. Sandford

    Dread Scott v. Sandford
    Dred Scott was a slave whose owner took him from the slave state of Missouri to free territory in Illinois and Wisconsin and back to Missouri. Scott appealed to the Supreme Court for his freedom on the grounds that living in a free state and a free territory had made him a free man. Eventually they returned to Missouri. Scott believed that since he had lived in free territory, he should be free. In 1854 he sued in federal court for his freedom. The court ruled against him and he appealed.
  • Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas Debate

    Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas Debate
    Neither wanted slavery in the territories, but they disagreed on how to keep it out. Douglas believed deeply in popular sovereignty. Lincoln, on the other hand, believed that slavery
    was immoral. He did not expect individuals to give up slavery unless Congress abolished slavery with an amendment. His
    attacks on the “vast moral evil” of slavery drew national
    attention, and some Republicans began thinking of him as an
    excellent candidate for the presidency in 1860. Lincoln won.
  • John Brown's Raid/Harpers Ferry

    John Brown's Raid/Harpers Ferry
    On the night of October 16, 1859, he led a band of 21 men, black and white, into Harpers Ferry, Virginia. His aim was to seize the federal arsenal there and start a general slave uprising. No such uprising occurred, however. Instead, troops put down the rebellion. Later, authorities tried Brown and put him to death. In the South, mobs gathered to assault white people in favor of antislavery. In the North, fiery speakers denounced the south.
  • Abraham Lincoln becomes President

    Abraham Lincoln becomes President
    The Democratic Party finally split over slavery. Northern Democrats rallied behind Douglas and his doctrine of popular sovereignty. Southern Democrats, who supported the Dred Scott decision, lined up behind Vice-President John C.
    Breckinridge of Kentucky. Former Know-Nothings and Whigs from the South organized the Constitutional Union Party and nominated John Bell of Tennessee as theirs. Lincoln won with less than half the popular vote and with no electoral votes from the South.
  • Formation of the Confederacy

    Formation of the Confederacy
    In February 1861, delegates from the secessionist states met in
    Montgomery, Alabama, where they formed the Confederate States of America, or Confederacy. South Carolina was the first to secede, on December 20, 1860, followed by Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas. Lincoln was President.
  • Attack on Fort Sumter

    Attack on Fort Sumter
    Lincoln decided to neither abandon Fort Sumter nor reinforce it. He would merely send in “food for hungry men.” At 4:30 A.M. on April 12, 1861, Confederate batteries began thundering away to the cheers of Charleston’s citizens. The deadly struggle between North and South was under way. Fort Sumter eventually fell.
  • Battle of Bull Run

    Battle of Bull Run
    The first bloodshed on the battlefield on July 21, 1861 occurred about three months after Fort Sumter fell, near the little creek of Bull Run. “There stands Jackson like a stone wall!” another general shouted,coining the nickname Stonewall Jackson. In the afternoon Confederate reinforcements helped win the first Southern victory.
  • Income Tax

    Income Tax
    As the Northern economy grew, Congress decided to help pay for the war by collecting the nation’s first income tax, a tax that takes a specified percentage of an individual’s income.
  • Battle of Antietam

    Battle of Antietam
    On September 17, 1862, McClellan ordered his men to pursue Lee, and the two sides fought on September 17 near a creek called the Antietam. The clash proved to be the bloodiest single-day battle in American history, with casualties
    totaling more than 26,000. The next day, instead of pursuing
    the battered Confederate army into Virginia and possibly
    ending the war, McClellan did nothing. As a result, Lincoln removed him from command. The north won.
  • Battle of Vicksburg

    Battle of Vicksburg
    Union general Ulysses S. Grant fought to take Vicksburg, one of the two remaining Confederate strongholds on the Mississippi River. After food supplies ran so low that people were reduced to eating dogs and mules, the Confederate command of Vicksburg asked Grant for terms of surrender. The city fell on July 4. Five days later Port Hudson, Louisiana, the last Confederate holdout on the Mississippi, also fell. The Union achieved another of its major military objectives, and the Confederacy split.
  • Emancipation Proclamation

    Emancipation Proclamation
    On January 1, 1863, Lincoln issued his Emancipation Proclamation which allowed the Union Army to free slaves from southern states. The proclamation did not free any slaves immediately because it applied only to areas behind Confederate lines, outside Union control. Nevertheless, for many, the proclamation gave the war a moral purpose by turning the struggle into a fight to free the slaves. It also ensured that compromise was no longer possible.
  • Conscription

    Conscription
    As the fighting intensified, heavy casualties and widespread desertions led each side to impose conscription, a draft that forced men to serve in the army.
  • Battle at Gettysburg

    Battle at Gettysburg
    Near the sleepy town of Gettysburg, in southern Pennsylvania, the most decisive battle of the war was fought. The Battle of Gettysburg began on July 1 when Confederate soldiers led by A. P. Hill encountered several brigades of Union cavalry under the command of John Buford, an experienced officer from Illinois. The battle produced staggering losses: 23,000 Union men and 28,000 Confederates were killed or wounded. The north won.
  • Gettysburg Address

    Gettysburg Address
    In November 1863, a ceremony was held to dedicate
    a cemetery in Gettysburg. There, President Lincoln spoke for a little more than two minutes. Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address “remade America.” Before Lincoln’s speech, people said,
    “The United States are . . .” Afterward, they said, “The United States is . . .” In other words, the speech helped the country to realize that it was not just a collection of individual states; it was one unified nation.
  • Sherman's March

    Sherman's March
    William Tecumseh Sherman began his march southeast through Georgia to the sea, creating a wide path of destruction. His army burned almost every house in its path and destroyed livestock and railroads. Sherman was determined to make Southerners “so sick of war that generations would pass away before they would again appeal to it.” By mid-November he had burned most of Atlanta. After reaching the ocean, Sherman’s forces—followed by 25,000 former slaves—turned north to help Grant “wipe out Lee.”
  • Surrender at Appomattox Court House

    Surrender at Appomattox Court House
    On April 9, 1865, in a Virginia town called Appomattox Court House, Lee and Grant met at a private home to arrange a Confederate surrender. At Lincoln’s request, the terms were generous. Grant paroled Lee’s soldiers and sent them home with their possessions and three days’ worth of rations. Officers were permitted to keep their side arms. Within a month all remaining Confederate resistance collapsed. After four long years, the Civil War was over.
  • Thirteenth Amendment

    Thirteenth Amendment
    The Thirteenth Amendment was ratified at the end of 1865. The U.S. Constitution now stated, “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States.”
  • Assassination of Abraham Lincoln

    Assassination of Abraham Lincoln
    The incident happened in Ford's Theatre in Washington where After the shooting, the assassin, John Wilkes Booth—a 26-year-old actor and Southern sympathizer—then leaped down from the presidential box to the stage and escaped. Twelve days later, Union cavalry trapped him in a Virginia tobacco shed and shot him dead.