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The Turbulent 1850’s The events of this one decade successively removed any prospect of avoiding a Civil War.

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Presentation on theme: "The Turbulent 1850’s The events of this one decade successively removed any prospect of avoiding a Civil War."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Turbulent 1850’s The events of this one decade successively removed any prospect of avoiding a Civil War.

2 I. Successful Suppression of the Slave Issue Before the Mexican War The 2-party system was still functioning and keeping slavery out of the political discussion Partisan views on territorial expansion Abolitionist frustration with the political status quo Missouri Compromise line worked well until U.S. victory in the Mexican War

3 II. Wilmot Proviso Northern Democratic frustration with Polk “Free Soil” position Defeat of Proviso Slavery politicized for good “Free Soil” position threatened existence of political parties

4 III. The Presidency of Zachary Taylor The Election of Lewis Cass: “Popular Sovereignty” -- “Free Soil” Party Taylor’s approach to the crisis of slavery in the territories won from Mexico The Compromise of 1850

5 IV. The Election of 1852: Seeds of the Crisis Avoidance of slavery as an issue by major parties Scott versus Pierce Whig nativism made a difference in this election Voter apathy

6 V. The Kansas-Nebraska Act (1854) Popular Sovereignty for Kansas and Nebraska Repeal of Missouri Compromise Line Congressional Reaction Douglas’ motives for proposing the Act Consequences of the Kansas-Nebraska Act

7 VI. Formation of the Third U.S. Political Party System Rise and fall of the “Know-Nothings” Roots of the Republican Party Centrality of the “Free Soil” Position Experienced, Professional Politicians

8 VII. The Stormy Road to the Inevitable Crisis ( ) “Bleeding Kansas” --Lecompton vs. Topeka “Bleeding Sumner” The Election of 1856 Fremont vs. Buchanan Buchanan’s political debt to the south

9 VII. The Stormy Road (cont.) Religious Sectionalism Sectional Vacation spots Men attend universities in their own region Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852)

10 VII. The Stormy Road (cont.) The Dred Scott Case (March, 1857) Buchanan’s call for the Supreme Court to decide the issue of slavery in the territories Chief Justice Roger Taney’s decision

11 VII. The Stormy Road (cont.) The Lecompton Constitution controversy (1858) Lincoln-Douglas Debates (1858) --Lincoln accused of abolitionism --Douglas’ “Freeport Doctrine”

12 VIII. The South’s “Crisis of Fear” Kansas enters as free state in 1858 No trust in Republican rhetoric John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry (October, 1859) Fight over Speakership of House of Representatives in the fall of Hinton Helper’s Impending Crisis of the South

13 IX. The Election of 1860 Republicans nominate Lincoln in Chicago Split in the Democratic Party --North: Douglas --South: Breckenridge Constitutional Union Party nominated Bell Results of the election

14 X. Why a Crisis in 1850 and not in 1820? 30 years of cultural divergence escalated by the Second Great Awakening and the profitability of southern cotton Southern suspicion of northern attitudes and mutual misconceptions Vehemence of a minority of irritating abolitionists to be heard Advent of party politics taking up the issue and not resolving it peacefully


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