Pre-Civil War - Your History Site

January 5, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: Social Science, Political Science
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During the 1840’s & 50’s, Why did the idea civil war in the US appear to be inevitable?

LINCOLN VS DOUGLASS 1858: Lincoln-Douglas Debates In my opinion, it will not cease until a crisis shall have been reached and passed. "A house divided against itself can not stand." I believe this Government can not endure permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved--I do not expect the house to fall-but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing, or all the other. Either the opponents of slavery will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in course of ultimate extinction; or its advocates will push it forward till it shall become alike lawful in all the States, old as well as new, North as well as South. Abraham Lincoln 1858

Lincoln’s view on slavery controversy:

Lincoln believed that: – Slavery was an immoral labor system based on greed – Legislation needed to be passed to stop the spread of slavery (against popular sovereignty) – The nation could not exist half free and half slave

LINCOLN VS DOUGLASS 1858: Lincoln-Douglas Debates

"It is the true intent and meaning of this act (Kansas Nebraska Act) not to legislate slavery into any State or Territory, or to exclude it there from, but to leave the people thereof perfectly free to form and regulate their domestic institutions in their own way, subject only to the federal constitution.'‘ Stephen A. Douglass

Douglass’ view on slavery controversy: Douglas believed that: – That popular sovereignty would be the best way to stop the spread of slavery into the new territories – Slavery was a backward labor system, the people understood this, and would reject it by vote – Douglas won the Senate seat, but Lincoln gained national attention & became the front runner for the Republican Presidential nomination in 1860


Kansas-Nebraska Missouri Compromise Act: (1820) Compromise of 1850: –– Senator Split territories Stephan at 36/30 Douglas linesponsored (north free/south the act California enters as a free state slave) in which the Nebraska territory would be – Utah/New Mexico decide on their own inslavery half to continue as the nation –– divided Allowed Strict fugitive slave laws – Both territories would vote on the slavery issue – When pro slavery & anti slavery forces moved to Kansas, violence between the groups escalated – The term Bleeding Kansas refers to this time period

Violence in the Senate symbolizes the growing national problem.

Congressman Preston Brooks beats Senator Charles Sumner, after Sumner verbally attacked his uncle Senator Andrew Butler for Sen. Butlers pro slavery position.


North – Remained industrial, manufacturing base for the US. – Labor force was made up of low skilled, poorly paid workers (immigrants)

South – Remained agricultural – Plantation system relied on slave labor

COMBINED EFFECT OF DIVISIVE INFLUENCES Dred Scott decision by Supreme Court – Scott is declared property, not a citizen, the decision is celebrated in the south, begins to polarize the north against slavery

New Political Parties – Free Soil Party, the Republican party attempt to keep slavery out of territories

Poor Presidential Leadership – President Taylor dies in office, unable to confront issues that fuel secession – Presidents Fillmore, Pierce, Buchanan provide poor leadership in the face of growing tensions between the regions

Lack of Leadership in the Senate – Senators involved in compromise movements (Webster/Clay, Calhoun) died, or no longer in office

Growth of Abolitionist Movement – Harriet Tubman-underground rail road – John Brown-violent raids against slavery/Harper’s Ferry – Harriet Beecher Stowe-Uncle Tom’s Cabin/puts a human face on the suffering of slaves

The Election of 1860

The Election of 1860 – Lincoln nominated by Republicans – Douglas nominated by Democrats (moderate on slavery) – Breckinridge 3rd candidate (from south)/Bell forms new party – Douglas/Breckinridge/Bell split vote--Lincoln emerges as winner

South views Lincoln’s election as the worst possible outcome – Lincoln wins without the support of a single southern state/the south feels powerless "If you are as happy, my dear sir, on entering this house – 1 month after Lincoln’s election the south secedes as I am in leaving it and returning home, from you the are union. the happiest man in this country.“ James Buchanan to Abraham Lincoln on Inauguration Day

During the 1840’s & 50’s, Why did the idea civil war in the US appear to be inevitable?

Economic & cultural differences put North & South on a collision course North viewed slavery as a moral issue South believed strongly in states rights to nullify federal decisions

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