The Events That Created the Civil War

  • The Missouri Compromise

    The Missouri Compromise
    The Missouri Compromise was a document that tried fixing the issue of slavery but stating slavery would not be present above the 36 degrees, 30 minutes line in the Louisiana purchase. It failed to satisfy the demands of both the people against slavery or pro-slavery once the United States acquired more territory, creating tension between the two.
  • The Mexican-American War

    The Mexican-American War
    When America went to war with Mexico over the desire for the southeastern part of the country, Northerners saw this as a threat because the new lands could be turned into slave states. This fear was accurate when the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed, creating new territories south of the 36/30 line, which abided by the Missouri Compromise.
  • Wilmot's Proviso

    Wilmot's Proviso
    Congressman David Wilmot tried to pass a law prohibiting slavery in the land attained from Mexico. Even though the law never passed, the Southerners saw this as proof that as soon as the Northerners invaded Congress slavery would meet it's downfall. This made the Southerners paranoid that the North was trying to bring them down.
  • Fugitive Slave Act

    Fugitive Slave Act
    The Fugitive Slave Act created lots of tension between the North and South, because the law was forcing free black people back into slavery, even if they had once been a slave or not. It was especially disturbing for Northerners because they were required to abide by the law and help send slaves back to the South.
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin

    Uncle Tom's Cabin
    This book was written by Harriet Beecher Stowe about the horrors of slavery. Northerners didn't like it, because it demonstrated horrendous acts that were committed against slaves in the South. The Southerners didn't like the book, because it made them look evil and villianous.
  • Kansas-Nebraska Act

    Kansas-Nebraska Act
    The Kansas-Nebraska Act created popular sovreignty, creating the opportunity for slavery in every territory. This was because it also repealed the Missouri Compromise, which has previously prohibited slavery above the 36/30 line in the Louisiana Purchase territory. This left the people in the state to choose which viewpoint it fronted, causing many murders and fights.
  • "Bleeding Kansas"

    "Bleeding Kansas"
    "Bleeding Kansas" was the event where Northerners and Southerners, who had moved to the state to sway the vote either for their views or against, brutally murdered each other for no reason except their differing opinions. This signified that compromise was no longer an option for the two enemies. It made Northerners angry, because they were forced to defy their opinion.
  • The Formation of the Republican Party

    The Formation of the Republican Party
    The Republican party was created in the North and it's main theme was restricting slavery in all the territories. This was viewed as an informal declaration of war to the Southerners.
  • Breakdown of the Two-Party System

    Breakdown of the Two-Party System
    Two parties had always signified working together in the eyes of American politics, so when the Republican Party formed, it was like signaling the finale of the North and South working together. This created high tensions between the two.
  • Two Congressmen Collide

    Two Congressmen Collide
    Senator Charles Sumner of MA gave a speech attacking members of Congress from the South and the idea of slavery itself. This angered another Congressman, Preston Brooks of SC, very much. One day after Congress let out, Brooks beat Sumner with a cane without mercy. It took Sumner three years to return to his seat in Congress. This signified to the people that if it couldn't be diplomatic in Congress, it couldn't be anywhere.
  • Dred Scott Decision

    Dred Scott Decision
    This ruling to the Supreme Court case nullified slavery in all territories. It confirmed the Northerners' belief that the South would take advantage of the government to legalize slavery. This caused the Northerners to join the Republican party, creating friction between the political parties.
  • 1858 Election Debate

    1858 Election Debate
    Up for Illinois election, Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas had an argument about the continued presence of a half-free, half-slave society. Lincoln had said, "A house divided against itself cannot stand." Douglas had pushed for popular sovreignty. This made the Southerners think that Lincoln wanted to abolish slavery everywhere, when really, he meant just don't let it spread.
  • John Brown

    John Brown
    John Brown of the North had tried to start a slave revolt in Virginia. Even though the rebellion was crushed, the Southerners assumed that all the north was ready to hand knives to the slaves so they could kill their masters. This put the Southerners on edge, because it would be very inconvenient to have slaves and the Northerners working against the Southerners.
  • The Presidential Election of 1860

    The Presidential Election of 1860
    The race was between candidates Lincoln and Breckinridge. The North's population gave a enormous advantage to the Republicans. The South believed they only had one choice- to abandon the Union or everything they valued would be taken away.
  • Attack on Fort Sumter

    Attack on Fort Sumter
    Southerners attacked Fort Sumter to prevent supplies being brought in. This created open hostilities between the North and South. There was no turning back. War was upon them.
  • The Crittenden Compromise

    The Crittenden Compromise
    This was a last-ditch effort to keep the country united. The Missouri Compromise was returned to keep peace between Northerners and Southerners. This compromise failed because paranoia ran too deep on both sides. War seemed inevitable.