Presentation on theme: "USVA History Unit 6 1850-1877. State of the Union The United States just defeated Mexico With the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo the United."— Presentation transcript:
State of the Union The United States just defeated Mexico With the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo the United States has attained the coveted California territory, the territories west of Texas and north to the Oregon territory. Would slavery extend to the newly acquired lands?
Popular Sovereignty The concept that the people of a territory would vote to decide whether to allow slavery or to extend freedom to Africans. General Lewis Cass: “Father of Popular Sovereignty” This puts the slavery debate out of the hands of the politicians and into the laps of the people.
Election of 1848 James K. Polk does not want another run at the Presidency. Democrats: Lewis Cass Whigs: Zachary Taylor “Hero of Buena Vista” Owned slaves on sugar plantation in New Orleans Free Soil Party: Martin Van Buren Against extension of slavery not on moral grounds but it eliminated the chances of white males establishing commerce in the western territories due to competition with slave labor. Free Soil Party eventually becomes the Republican Party
1848 Results Zachary Taylor’s heroics in the Mexican War won him many votes as he won the Presidential election of 1848 for the Whigs.
California Gold Rush: 1849 (49ers) Thousands rushed to California for the prospect of striking it rich with the discovery of gold in the region. Most of these were lawless men, virtue-less women. Crime, violence, disorganization, vigilante justice abounded in the area. In an effort to bring law and order to the area the people drafted a state constitution and applied for statehood in 1849. (It contained no provision for extending slavery).
1850 In 1850, prior to California, there were 15 slave states and 15 free states. The South had the upper hand though with their President in the executive, and a majority in the House of Representatives and in the judiciary. The South was still concerned that a free California would set a precedent for all future additions to the United States.
Underground Railroad The South was also very angry over the number of slaves escaping to the North and the rising abolitionist movement in the North aiding them on their way to Canada. The Underground RR was an informal chain of anti-slavery homes heading north on the way to Canada. Harriet Tubman was a runaway slave from Md. Who rescued more than 300 slaves along the RR. To deal with this growing problem the South wanted a more strict fugitive slave law.
Henry Clay’s Last Compromise President Taylor dies and vice-president Millard Fillmore takes over the Presidency. He supported concessions between the North and the South with the addition of California. Compromise of 1850 California enters as a free state Territory dispute b/w Texas and NM territory goes to NM, Texas gets 10 million $ Slave trade outlawed in the District of Columbia Mexican cession to be organized into NM and Utah territories. Slavery issue decided by Popular Sovereignty. New fugitive slave law
The New Fugitive Slave Law Africans accused of being run-away slaves could not testify on their own behalf They were denied a trial by jury Federal Commissioners were paid $5 to release them, $10 to put them “back” into slavery. Those abolitionists aiding the escaped slaves were heavily fined, jailed. In response, the North took on an antagonistic attitude towards the South. Massachusetts made it a state law that it was illegal for state officials to enforce the new fugitive slave law.
The Fall of the Whig Party Election of 1852 Democrats: Franklin Pierce Committed to territorial expansion Whigs: Winfield Scott Supported Compromise of 1850 Free-Soil Party: John Hale
1852 Results Franklin Pierce and Democrats win The Whig voters were split Anti-slavery northern Whigs vs. Southern Pro-Slavery Whigs. Free-Soil party stole some Northern Whig votes. 1852 Election Significance Marks the death of the Whig political party Rise of sectional political party allegiance rather than ideological.
Transcontinental Railroad A desire to connect the United States with the newly acquired lands in the west brought on the idea of a transcontinental railroad. But where would it run? North vs. South Topographically the best route seemed to be in the South (avoid Rocky Mountains) Also couldn’t run a RR through unorganized territory. Gadsden Purchase: 1853 $10 million purchase of territory south of Utah territory and north of Mexico from Santa Anna for RR to run through.
The North’s RR Plan Stephen Douglas: 1854 Senator from Illinois “Little Giant” (5’4” tall) Excellent orator and leader Democrat: was more concerned with making money rather than slavery issue. Wants to run the RR from Chicago to the west to bring commerce and real estate to Illinois. Desires to organize the Nebraska territory.
Kansas-Nebraska Act 1854 Douglas plan to organize the Nebraska Territory Nebraska split into two sections: Kansas and Nebraska These territories would utilize popular sovereignty to decide slavery issue Missouri Compromise would have to be repealed due to the 36° 30’ latitude line.
Kansas-Nebraska Response Northerners outraged at the repealing of Missouri Compromise. Republican Party emerges Originated in Mid-West (Michigan, Wisconsin) Party platform: Moral protest against slavery Old northern Whigs, some northern Democrats, Free- Soilers, Know-nothings. Abraham Lincoln among most prominent Republican party would not be found anywhere south of the Mason-Dixon line. Further cemented the sectional political allegiances.