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Background to the Civil War Political Parties Wilmot Proviso Compromise of 1850 Uncle Tom’s Cabin Kansas Nebraska Act--“Bleeding Kansas” Republican Party.

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Presentation on theme: "Background to the Civil War Political Parties Wilmot Proviso Compromise of 1850 Uncle Tom’s Cabin Kansas Nebraska Act--“Bleeding Kansas” Republican Party."— Presentation transcript:

1 Background to the Civil War Political Parties Wilmot Proviso Compromise of 1850 Uncle Tom’s Cabin Kansas Nebraska Act--“Bleeding Kansas” Republican Party Dred Scott John Brown Election of 1860

2 Political Parties Democrats—strongest in South More democratic Generally pro-slavery Whigs—stronger in North More elitist Generally anti-spread of slavery BUT there were southern Whigs and northern Democrats

3 Wilmot Proviso (August 1846) Proposal to prohibit slavery in new territories gained from Mexico Divided upon sectional lines Northern Democrats supported Whigs supported

4 Possible solutions Extend Louisiana Purchase line across Popular sovereignty (Lewis Cass, Stephen Douglas)—but when? Cass became Democratic nominee in 1848 Whigs nominated Zachary Taylor Northern Whigs did not support Taylor Free Soil Party formed


6 Zachary Taylor Southern slaveholder William Seward (antislavery) was chief advisor Southerners regretted his election Virginia newspapers—Richmond Whig and Richmond Enquirer

7 Compromise Proposal (Clay) California admitted free New Mexico and Utah with no reference to slavery Texas territory reduced; Texas debts assumed Slave trade abolished in DC but slavery itself guaranteed

8 Speeches Webster: “speak as an American” Calhoun: “equilibrium destroyed” Seward: “slavery an unjust, backward, dying institution... Higher law than Constitution”


10 Compromise of 1850 President Taylor died in July Millard Fillmore (Buffalo) becomes president Fillmore disliked Seward (NY factions) and favored compromise Stronger fugitive slave law added Compromise passed

11 William Graham (NC) to brother, Jan. 1851 “I think the settlement of the last session and the firm course of the Administration in the execution of the fugitive slave law have given a new lease to slavery. Property of that kind has not been so secure for the last twenty-five years.”

12 Fugitive Slave Law Most divisive of the compromise measures Law of 1793 allowed southerners to come North capture fugitive slaves Northern “liberty laws” gave captives legal rights Law of 1850 gave captives no legal rights

13 Prigg v. Pennsylvania (1842) Prigg appealed conviction for kidnapping Supreme Court ruled Pennsylvania liberty law unconstitutional But also that enforcement of 1793 fugitive slave law was federal responsibility

14 Northern reaction to Fugitive Slave Law Some northern states passed more liberty laws Northerners formed community committees to aid runaway slaves Underground Railroad Southerners saw vast conspiracy

15 Fugitive Slave Law (1850) First 15 months, 84 fugitives returned, only 5 released During decade, 332 returned, 11 declared free No statute of limitations Many blacks went to Canada

16 Cases William and Ellen Craft—protected by Boston anti-slavery group Shadrach—waiter had escaped from Virginia—captured in Boston but rescued and sent to Canada Thomas Sims—captured and sent South

17 Christiana, Pennsylvania (Sept. 1851) Maryland slaveowner killed and son wounded attempting to capture slave. Resisters charged with treason, but case collapsed

18 Fugitive Cases William McHenry (Jerry) rescued from police station in Syracuse Henry “Box” Brown Henry Long Anthony Burns

19 Henry Long Russell County Virginia owner Long worked in Richmond Escaped to New York Returned to Richmond Sold south Richmond Enquirer covered story Richmond Enquirer covered story


21 Uncle Tom’s Cabin Harriet Beecher Stowe Best seller of all time in proportion to population Southerners hated it: “detestable and monstrous” Pro-slavery novels: Uncle Robin in His Cabin in Virginia and Tom Without One in Boston

22 Kansas Nebraska Act Stephen Douglas Transcontinental RR Popular Sovereignty Repeal of Missouri Compromise End of Whigs Formation of Republican Party Emergence of Lincoln

23 “Bleeding Kansas” Anti-slavery leaders to fight there New England Emigrant Aid Company Amos Lawrence Pro-slavery settlers from Missouri outnumbered anti-slavery Kansans Violence broke out—1855-56

24 John Brown in Kansas "These men are all talk. What we need is action - action!" Pottawatomie massacre James Doyle and two sons (slave- catchers and members of the Law and Order Party)

25 Pro-slavery Missourian David Aitchison To Jefferson Davis and Robert Hunter: “We are organizing. We will be compelled to shoot, burn & hang, but the thing will soon be over....If we win we carry slavery to the Pacific Ocean, if we fail we lose Missouri Arkansas Texas and all the territories.”

26 Violence in Senate Sumner caned by Brooks, May 1856 Northerners outraged Southern students contributed to buy Brooks new cane Southern reaction outraged Northerners even more


28 Republican Party 1854 Response to Kansas-Nebraska Act “Free Labor, free land, free men.” Opposed expansion of slavery

29 President Buchanan, 1856 Considered pro-South Accepted Lecompton Constitution for Kansas (pro-slavery) Northerners considered it a fraud Split Democratic Party More fighting in Congress Lecompton defeated; Kansas statehood delayed until 1861

30 Dred Scott Belonged to army surgeon from Missouri Had been taken to Illinois, Minnesota Scott sued for freedom in 1846 Went to federal court

31 Dred Scott Supreme Court heard case 3 questions: Could Scott sue in federal court? Was he free from stays in free territories/state? Was Fort Snelling in Minn. Territory free territory?

32 Dred Scott Chief Justice Roger Taney issued a comprehensive pro-slavery ruling: Blacks could not sue in federal courts Stay in free territory did not make him free Congress had no right to ban slavery in territories

33 Harper’s Ferry, 1859


35 Reaction to Harpers Ferry Raid Search Valley project newspapers Southerners used words like “outrage,” “rebellion” Northerners generally supported cause, but criticized methods

36 Election of 1860 Lincoln—Republican Douglas—Democrat (northern) Breckenridge—Democrat (southern) Bell—(Constitution and Union—mostly Whigs)

37 National Results, 1860 39.8% 29.5% 18.1% 12.6%

38 Electoral College, 1860

39 Election of 1860 Voting by precinct—Augusta ndstats/augusta/aelection60_1.html ndstats/augusta/aelection60_1.html Voting by precinct—Franklin ndstats/franklin/frelection60_1.html ndstats/franklin/frelection60_1.html

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