Unit 5: Manifest Destiny, Sectional Crisis, & the Civil War

  • United States Annexes Texas

    Texas won its independence from Mexico in 1821. At this time, there were many United States citizens that lived in the Texas territory so talks of us annexing the state began. However, government officials knew that this action would cause conflicts bewteen the two countires. So when Texas became the 28th state to join the Union, trouble was soon to follow. This lead us into the Mexican - American War.
  • Mexican-American War

    The Mexican-American War began one year after the United States annexed Texas. After only two years of fighting, we won the war and the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo was signed. It gave the United States a huge chunk of land in the southwest portion of the country. This newly acquired lands would cause several disputes that stregthened the division between the North and South.
  • Compromise of 1850

    Henry Clay, known as the Great Compromiser, was able to pass a compromise to settle the disputes between the slavery issue in the new territories. However, times were hostile and even the compromise was controversial. It said that the people of these areas would decide the issue of slavery. It also repealed the Missouri Compromise of 1820. It strenthened the fugitive slave act as well to please the North. This compromise set the table for further disputes and further divided the country.
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin Published

    In 1852, Harriet Beecher Stowe published her novel Uncle Tom's Cabin to describe the horrors of life as a slave. It was a best seller and really opened eyes in the North to what was happening in the South. The south thought it misrepresented slavery and published their own books to depict it as helpful to the slaves by providing them with a job and food. The novel fueled the fire and was another cause of the Civil War.
  • Kansas - Nebraska Act

    The Kansas-Nebraska Act in 1854 set up two new states: Kansas and Nebraska. As decided by the Compromise of 1850 4 years prior, slavery in these new territories would be decided by popular sovereignty. Had the Missouri Compromise not been repealed, Kansas would be a slave state and Nebraska would be a free state, which would maintain the balance in congress. The new method raised tensions and led to bloodshed in Kansas.
  • Bleeding Kansas

    Bleeding Kansas was caused by the debate over slavery in the Kansas territory. It had been decided that slavery in the area would be determined by popular sovereignty. This means, all eligible would vote on the issue. Slavery supporters were found to have cheated the system and voted more than once in order to get more votes for slavery. When the abolitionists in Kansas heard about this, there was a confrontation and blood was shed. It was just a foreshadow of things to come.
  • Dred Scott Case

    Dred Scott, a slave, was from the state of Missouri. HIs owner took him on a trip to the free states of Illinois and Wisconsin. Scott thought this meant he was free and sued his owner for his freedom. Roger Taney, the supreme court chief justice at the time ruled against Scott and ruled that slaves are nothing more than property and therefore have no rights. This infuriated the North and raised support for emancipating the slaves.
  • Lincoln-Douglas Debates

    In 1858, Stephen Douglas and Abraham Lincoln were both running for the Republican seat in the senate for the Illinois. The most famous debate between the two was what they would do with the newly acquired lands from the Mexican-American War. Douglas was going to have the issue of slavery in the new lands be decided by popular sovereignty. Lincoln wanted all of the new lands to be free lands. This debate raised Lincoln's popularity in the North and allowed him to be elected two years later.
  • John Brown's Raid

    John Brown was a very passionate abolitionist that was notorious for using violence to support his cause. Brown was present at the Pottawatomie Creek Massacre and started his own revolt later in history. This revolt came in 1859 when he led a group of 21 people of a raid of the federal arsenal at Harper's Ferry. Brown was quickly wounded and captured. He was later tried for treason and killed but he left and impression on both sides of the divided nation.
  • Election of 1860

    For the election of 1860, four candidates were on the ballot. Lincoln was the Republican candidate. Stephen Douglas was the Northern Democratic candidate. John Breckinridge was the Southern Democratic candidate and John Bell ran for the Constitutional Union party. The major debate of this election was the issue over slavery. Lincoln was eventually elected and had made it clear that he would not allow slavery to expand. This infuriated the south and when he was elected, the south seceeded.
  • The War Begins

    After Lincoln was elected in 1860 secession talks became a reality when South Carolina became the first state to secede from the Union. A number of other states followed suit. The states that left formed the Confederate States of America. They elected Jefferson Davis as their President and General Robert E. Lee as their military leader. The War officiailly began when Lincoln sent reinforcements to a Union controlled Fort Sumter. The south took this as an act of war and began firing on the fort.
  • Battle of Antietam

    The Battle at Antietam was the bloodiest single day in American history. Nearly 5,000 soldiers were killed and another 18,000 wounded. There was no true winner of this battle but Lee and his men retreated first so McClellan and the Union forces were said to have one. This battle was significant not only for all of the bloodshed but also because this was "victory" Lincoln was waiting on to issue the Emancipation Proclamation.
  • Battle of the Ironclads

    In 1862, the Monitor and the Merrimac fought the most famouse naval battle of the Civil War. Both of these ships were made of iron, which was a new advantage at the time. Before the iron ships, they were made of wood. The new iron ships stood very strong against cannon ball fire. After days of fighting no ship could gain an edge because their armor was so strong. The battle eventually ended in a draw. This famouse battle officially brought an end to the wooden ship era.
  • Emancipation Proclamation Issued

    The Emancipation Proclamation was issued by President Lincoln in 1863. It stated that all of the slaves in the states that left the Union were to be freed. However, these states since they did not consider themselves part of the Union refused to listen to Lincoln. This and the fact that at this time, the Union Army could not enforce this Proclamation, cuased the Emancipation to actually free very few slaves. However, it gave the Union extra motives to fight.
  • Battle of Gettysburg

    Following some small victories in the south for the Confederates, General Lee decided to try his luck in a battle on Northern soil. He hoped that winning a significant battle up there would revitilize the South's will to fight and make foreign countries respect and possibly help the Confederates as its own nation. At Gettysburg, a small town in Pennsylvania the two sides met in what was the bloodiest battle of the War. The Union ultimately won and were able to regain control of the War.
  • Grant takes over Union Forces

    Lincoln went through a number of generals before he gave control of the army to Grant in 1864. Grant had just won some major battles for the Union in the West before he was promoted. Grant was an experienced war veteran having spent time as a gernal at West Point and during the Mexican-American War. With Grant at the helm, the Union forces were able to defeat the Confederate army in just under a year after he took over.
  • Sherman's March

    In 1864, William Sherman receives order from Lincoln to stop for nothing and begins his march through the south. He called his tactics "Total War" and destroyed everything in his path. He and his army went through the south burning crops, destroying supply lines and other military headquarters. Sherman does whatever he can to try to kill the South's will to fight. He succeeds and not long after Sherman's March, General Lee and the south prepare to surrender and return to the Union.
  • General Lee Surrenders at Appomattox

    In Virgina in May of 1865, General Ulysses S. Grant had the Confederate army surrounded. He held a siege of their troops and called on General Lee to surrender. Two days later, the two met at Appomattox Courthouse in Virginia where Lee surrendered. General Grant gave very generous surrender terms and allowed all of the soldiers to return home. America's bloodiest War was over.
  • Lincoln Assassinated

    Theatre actor John Wilkes Boothe assassinated President Lincoln just days after the Civil War ended while he was attending a play. Lincoln was a beloved by the north and respected by the south because he was able to keep the Union together. Boothe led a group of conspirators against the government and assigned two other people to assassinate Vice Presdient Andrew Johnson and Secretary of State WIlliam Seward. After firing the shot Booth leapt down from the balcony and fled out the back door.
  • Reconstruction Begins

    After the Civil War ended in 1865, the country especially the south needed a huge reconstruction. Expenses during the War were plenty and economic activity was slowed due to the fighting. The south also lost almost of their power in congress. They lost their way of life as well following the passage of the 13th amendment. Reconstruction would not be easy or fast but most importantly the Union was reunited.