The Causes of Secession

January 8, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: Social Science, Law, Constitutional Law
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The Causes of Secession

• Begin now by remembering that the north and south had sectional and economical differences dating back to the colonies, the constitution ignored the actual slavery issue in order to be ratified quickly, South Carolina almost seceded in the 1830s over tariffs and nullification, and the Missouri Compromise probably favored the north…

• The new territories acquired through Mexican Cession really turned up the intensity between north and south • The Wilmot Proviso was a bill supported by the Free-soil Party that passed through the house but not the senate-- it banned slavery from entering any new territories acquired out west- especially Mexican Cession- this created more sectionalism

• The Compromise of 1850 came about when California applied for statehood–there was a balance of 15 free and 15 slave states in the union in 1849-- Henry Clay had already fended off war with the Missouri Compromise and his nullification crisis solution– Clay came up with a plan that would maintain peace for another decade, but that would increase the southern feelings that the north was again being favored-California entered the union as a free state- the south received a more strict Fugitive Slave Law

• The Fugitive Slave Act (part of the Compromise of 1850) created more distance between slaveholders and their northern neighbors • Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin, an anti-slavery novel, painted a horrific picture of slave treatment and outraged abolitionist-minded northerners

• The Kansas-Nebraska Act created two new territories out of the remainder of Louisiana—both Kansas and Nebraska would decide on slavery through popular sovereignty (people’s vote) • Leaving the issue of slavery in the hands of the people led to Bleeding Kansas and the Pottawatomie Massacre—it also caused a beating to occur on the floor of the senate

• The Republican Party was formed in 1854 on the anti-spread of slavery platform (combining Whigs and Free-Soilers with Northern Democrats) • The Dred Scott Case was a major victory for the south and brought the war ever closer– the supreme court ruled that slaves were property and therefore protected by the 5th amendment– this ruling meant that the 36*30’ line was unconstitutional

• The Lincoln-Douglas Debates brought up the contradiction between popular sovereignty and the Dred Scott decision • John Brown attempted to start a slave uprising by seizing the weapons at Harper’s Ferry, Virginia—he was hanged for his efforts but struck fear in southerners---the south began mobilizing their militias into the confederate army

• The Election of 1860 was the final straw– when a northern Republican (pro-tariff and against the spread of slavery) named Abraham Lincoln was elected, the south decided it was time to secede from the union • Led by South Carolina, 7 states left the union and formed the Confederate States of America (11 total)

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