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Heading to the Civil War Sasso US I. Popular Sovereignty One of the key issues in the development of the Civil War This is the concept that the citizens/voters.

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Presentation on theme: "Heading to the Civil War Sasso US I. Popular Sovereignty One of the key issues in the development of the Civil War This is the concept that the citizens/voters."— Presentation transcript:

1 Heading to the Civil War Sasso US I

2 Popular Sovereignty One of the key issues in the development of the Civil War This is the concept that the citizens/voters of a newly developed territory should have the final say on the existence of slavery in that territory It’s a concept that makes sense on some levels It’s a concept that also takes a lot of responsibility away from politicians; they really don’t have to take a firm stance on the issue of slavery The biggest problem with popular sovereignty is regulation- how can the government make sure that these votes are handled safely and efficiently? The rush of settlers moving into the new territories creates some major conflicts

3 Kansas and Nebraska The settlement of the western territories (LA Purchase/Mexican Cession) has become an urgent matter Lots of different reasons: 1) Traditional expansion 2) Removal of Native Americans 3) Development of states 4) Building of a transcontinental railroad 5) Land sales

4 The Kansas-Nebraska Act (1854) The Illegitimate Love Child of Stephen Douglas Stephen Douglas had become the rising star of the Democratic Party Was obsessed with becoming President, and most people felt he would ultimately achieve it Douglas saw Kansas and Nebraska as a major opportunity, both personally and politically This could help establish his hometown of Chicago as a financial hub Transcontinental railroad could cut through the territory Native Americans would be forcibly removed Douglas also stood to profit greatly from land sales

5 The Kansas-Nebraska Act (1854) One sticking point- gaining Southern support Douglas wanted to make sure that he could line up Southern votes for this bill AND his eventual run for President All of this territory was above the MO Compromise line The answer from Douglas- popular sovereignty Introduces the Nebraska Bill calling for the issue of slavery to be determined by popular sovereignty

6 The Kansas-Nebraska Act The South was not satisfied with the Bill and had a few suggestions/demands 1) The territory needed to be split into two: Kansas and Nebraska with popular sovereignty deciding the issue of slavery in both areas 2) The language of the bill had to include the repeal of the Missouri Compromise Douglas agrees to both- he thinks it’s a shrewd political move He felt both territories would ultimately be “free” states- the climates really aren’t conducive to the crops associated with slave labor He also believed that the concessions made in the bill would gain Southern support for his Presidential bid (whenever that may be) The former Nebraska Bill was redrafted, and in May 1854 the Kansas-Nebraska Act went into effect The domino effect of its passage is massive

7 The Kansas-Nebraska Act- Effects Because of its geography, Nebraska would most likely be a free state Kansas was a very different situation, especially because of its proximity to Missouri Establishing its territorial constitution became mayhem Both pro-slavery and abolitionist forces start to flood into Kansas Whichever side could pack more voters would control the constitutional convention

8 The Kansas-Nebraska Act- Effects Pro-slavery forces will overwhelm the legislature Border Ruffians from Missouri spill into the territory Two capitals develop: 1) Lecompton- Pro-Slavery 2) Lawrence- Abolitionist Both camps elect representatives and draft constitutions and see the other side as illegitimate Violence is pretty much unavoidable, as there is a lack of law enforcement “The Sack of Lawrence”

9 The Kansas-Nebraska Act- Effects Violence in Kansas isn’t the only problem- it will extend to Washington The day before the attack on Lawrence, Charles Sumner (MA) delivered a speech called “The Crime Against Kansas” The speech was antagonistic toward Stephen Douglas and Sen. Andrew Butler (SC), and used graphic sexual imagery Nobody was surprised at the comments about Douglas, but the attack on Butler was unfair Rep. Preston Brooks (SC) was a relative of Butler and defended him violently When Sumner would not agree to a duel, Brooks attacked Sumner, beating him with a cane Sumner was so severely injured that he would not return to Washington for nearly three years

10 The Kansas-Nebraska Act- Effects The situation deteriorates quickly with the arrival of John Brown Brown did not have the easiest existence (more on that later), but he was an extreme abolitionist In retaliation for the attack on Lawrence, Brown led an 8-man assault party to attack pro-slavery forces The attack is referred to as the Pottawatomie Massacre Brown and his crew (including four of his sons) attacked and mutilated five men and boys along the Pottawatomie Creek in Kansas This represents a significant shift in the conflict

11 The Kansas-Nebraska Act- Effects Kansas-Nebraska alters the existing political parties Democrats will gain a lot of momentum in the South, but it’s clear that the party is splitting along North/South lines The Whigs will disintegrate The American Party (Know-Nothings) form- develops based on negative reactions to Irish/German/Catholic immigration American Party scores some Congressional victories from , but they aren’t built to last The Republican Party is born in originally developed in opposition to the Kansas-Nebraska Act It’s a big mix of other political parties- unhappy Democrats, Whigs, Libertys, Free Soilers, and Know-Nothings

12 The Election of 1856 James Buchanan (D-PA) John C. Fremont (R-CA) Millard Fillmore (A-NY) Buchanan wins, but there were some notable developments First presidential election for the Republican Party, and they perform well Most of the Republican success is in the North Southern representatives are worried about the success of Republicans continuing

13 The Dred Scott Decision Two days after Buchanan’s inauguration, the Supreme Court made one of its most controversial rulings Dred Scott was the slave of an Army Surgeon named John Emerson Emerson lived in multiple states, taking Scott with him MO → IL → WI → MO Slavery was technically prohibited in IL and WI Scott v. Sandford 1) Could Scott bring a case before the Supreme Court? 2) Did living in a free state make him free? Chief Justice Taney rules that freedmen/slaves were not citizens, that slaves were property (meaning they can be taken anywhere), and that the MO Compromise was unconstitutional Taney saw African-Americans “as a subordinate and inferior class of beings who had no rights which the white man was bound to respect.”


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