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Failures of Compromise and the Prelude to War

Slideshow on the compromises attempted prior to the outbreak of the American Civil War.

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Failures of Compromise and the Prelude to War

  1. 1. Expansion westward Growing abolitionist sentiment in the North Failure of compromise Fugitive Slave Act complicates enforcement across the country Kansas-Nebraska border feud illustrates the growing trend toward violence.
  2. 2. Major compromises over slavery: • Missouri Compromise of 1820:  Missouri asks to be allowed in to the Union – Whigs oppose, Southern Democrats support.  Maine allowed in as a result – 1 free, 1 slave state enter the Union simultaneously.  Slavery banned north of 36’ 30 line.
  3. 3.  Compromise of 1850: • Stronger Fugitive Slave Act • South denies the Wilmot Proviso which would have banned slavery in territories acquired from the Mexican-American War • California enters as a free state
  4. 4. The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 stated that any escaped slaves had to be returned to their owners in the South, or those complicit could face a fine. • Violates the rights of freed blacks • Stokes fears of Slave Power in the North • Further ignites abolitionist sentiment
  5. 5.  Repeals 36’ 30 line of Missouri Compromise of 1820.  Act intends to create states of Kansas and Nebraska to allow for transcontinental railroad.  Slavery would be settled by popular sovereignty: • The decision to be a slave or free state would be left to the residents of the state. • All males eligible to vote could vote pro- or anti-slavery • Leads to Bleeding Kansas
  6. 6. Unofficial start of the Civil War? Pro- and anti-slavery forces battle in Kansas. Lawrence under siege by anti- slavery forces. John Brown and a group of abolitionists raid a pro-slavery event. Hack five men to death with swords on May 24, 1855. Potttawatommie Creek Massacre.
  7. 7. Republican party forms in aftermath of Bleeding Kansas – party of anti-slavery. Republican Party will forward Abraham Lincoln as a candidate for president in 1860. The Democratic Party splits in to Southern Democrats and Northern Democrats. SD’s want federal protection of slavery; ND’s favor popular sovereignty.
  8. 8. 1857: Supreme Court holds that African Americans (enslaved or free) could not be American citizens, and therefore had no standing in court. • Additionally, federal gov’t has no power to regulate slavery in federal territories. • Republicans outraged. Further fuels sectionalism. • Today: “Unquestionably, our worst decision ever.”
  9. 9.  . . . Can a negro, whose ancestors were imported into this country, and sold as slaves, become a member of the political community formed and brought into existence by the Constitution of the United States, and as such become entitled to all the rights, and privileges, and immunities, guarantied by that instrument to the citizen? One of which rights is the privilege of suing in a court of the United States in the cases specified in the Constitution.  We think they [people of African ancestry] are not [citizens], and that they are not included, and were not intended to be included, under the word "citizens" in the Constitution, and can therefore claim none of the rights and privileges which that instrument provides for and secures to citizens of the United States.
  10. 10.  “The next question propounded to me by Mr. Lincoln is, Can the people of a Territory in any lawful way, against the wishes of any citizen of the United States, exclude slavery from their limits prior to the formation of a State constitution? I answer emphatically, as Mr. Lincoln has heard me answer a hundred times from every stump in Illinois, that in my opinion the people of a Territory can, by lawful means, exclude slavery from their limits prior to the formation of a State constitution.”
  11. 11. Four candidates – • Abraham Lincoln: Republican, anti-slavery. • John Bell: Constitutional unionist, concerned with upholding the Constitution and protecting slavery. • Stephen Douglas: Northern Democrat. Favors popular sovereignty in order to settle slavery. • John Breckinridge: Southern Democrat from Kentucky. The gov’t must protect slavery.
  12. 12. Lincoln wins the election with only 40% of the vote – despite not winning a single vote in the Southern states. Within a month, South Carolina secedes from the Union.
  13. 13. “We, the people of the State of South Carolina, in convention assembled, do declare and ordain, and it is hereby declared and ordained, That the ordinance adopted by us in convention on the twenty-third day of May, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-eight, whereby the Constitution of the United States of America was ratified, and also all acts and parts of acts of the General Assembly of this State ratifying amendments of the said Constitution, are hereby repealed; and that the union now subsisting between South Carolina and other States, under the name of the "United States of America," is hereby dissolved.”
  14. 14. What were the major political moments prior to secession of the South?

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