The Wilmot Proviso Amendment added to a congressional appropriations bill prohibiting slavery for ever existing in any territories acquired from Mexico
Popular Sovereignty The idea that individual territories applying for statehood should decide the issue of slavery for themselves.
The Compromise of 1850 California entered the Union as a free state Territorial governments were organized in New Mexico and Utah to apply the principle of popular sovereignty The slave trade was abolished in the District of Columbia A new Fugitive Slave Act of 1850
Consequences of Compromise Political alignment along party lines grew stronger Previously unheard, Americans were now discussing ideals of higher law than the Constitution: succession and disunion Abolitionists stepped up work on the Underground Railroad and several states prohibited elected officials and organizations from participation in slave hunting
The Kansas-Nebraska Act Stephen Douglas of the Whig party, introduced a bill organizing the Nebraska Territory (which included Kansas) Southerners opposed the organization of the territory unless slavery was permitted Douglas suggested the application of popular sovereignty to the issue as the entire territory fell north of the Missouri Compromise line Issue inflamed all sides of the slavery issue, dragging the country closer to war.
“Young America” Americans dedicated to the ideals of a nationalistic vision that included slavery and was modeled upon the revolutions of the era in Europe Specifically interested in the expansion of America into the Latin American continent and the Caribbean
The Know-Nothings Nativist political action party comprised mostly of former Whigs who were dedicated to staunching the tide of foreign immigrants to the United States If asked about their affiliation with the group, members were told to respond, “I Know Nothing.”
“Bleeding Kansas” On the eve of the Civil War, militant abolitionist John Brown and a few followers crept into a pro slavery settlement outside of Lawrence, Kansas They dragged five men out of their homes and hacked them to death with swords This act led to a series of violence in the divided territory
Sectional Splits in the Democratic Party Dred Scott v. Sanford: Supreme Court decision regarding the claims of freedom of a slave that had been transported into a free state. The constitutional crisis in Kansas: the pro- slavery Lecompton constitution was created without a mandate from majority of settlers of Kansas; it led to an uncertain status for Kansas and divided the Democrats further
The Lincoln-Douglas debates in Illinois: Lincoln’s persuasive debates regarding slavery drew away a substantial chunk of the Democratic party. John Brown’s Raids: Still on the lose after the Kansas massacre, John Brown hope to provoke a general uprising of eastern slaves by attacking the federal arsenal at Harper’s Ferry, Virginia. Brown was captured, tried, executed, and eventually became a martyr for the abolitionist/ Unionist cause
Secession On December 20, 1860, South Carolina seceded form the Union; by February, six other Deep South states had followed her lead. A week later a delegation met in Montgomery, Alabama to create the Confederacy. On April 12, shelling of Fort Sumter signaled the start of the American Civil War.