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The Antebellum Period HUSH Unit 5 The Causes of the Civil War Some say simplistically that the Civil War was fought over slavery. –Unfortunately, there.

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Presentation on theme: "The Antebellum Period HUSH Unit 5 The Causes of the Civil War Some say simplistically that the Civil War was fought over slavery. –Unfortunately, there."— Presentation transcript:


2 The Antebellum Period HUSH Unit 5

3 The Causes of the Civil War Some say simplistically that the Civil War was fought over slavery. –Unfortunately, there is no "simple" reason. The causes of the war were a complex series of events, including slavery, that began long before the first shot was fired. These factors could all be listed as significant contributing factors in America's bloodiest conflict. –Competing sectionalism –Political turmoil –The definition of freedom –The fate of slavery –The structures of society and economy

4 Two Regions, Two Ways of Life By 1860, the North and the South had developed into two very different regions. Divergent social, economic, and political points of view, dating from colonial times, gradually drove the two sections farther and farther apart. –Each tried to impose its point of view on the country as a whole. Although compromises had kept the Union together for many years, in 1860 the situation was explosive. –MO Compromise, Compromise of 1850… The election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860 as president was viewed by the South as a threat to slavery and ignited the war.

5 Know the Regional Differences: North Economy Urban…explain Population Climate Attitudes towards slavery Opinion of tariffs Opinion of other region Other… South Economy Rural…explain Population Climate Attitudes towards slavery Opinion of tariffs Opinion of other region Other…

6 Why did Differences Grow?? During the 19th century the South remained almost completely agricultural, with an economy and a social order largely founded on slavery and the plantation system. –These mutually dependent institutions produced the staples, especially cotton, from which the South derived its wealth.

7 Why did Differences Grow?? The North had its own great agricultural resources, was always more advanced commercially, and was also expanding industrially.

8 The Institution of Slavery Most Southern Whites owned NO slaves Most slaves lived on plantations with a hundred or more slaves So, who controlled slavery and antebellum Southern society? Slavery did not benefit most whites, yet most Southern whites supported the institution. Why?

9 Examining Primary Documents The Old Plantation -ca. 1800 What does this painting tell us about slave life? What does it obscure?

10 The Social Structure of Whites in the Antebellum South Large Planters (100+ Slaves) Small Planters (20-100 Slaves) Small Yeoman Farmers (Largest White Group) Mountain Whites (Mostly Isolated from Plantation Society Poor Whites (Often Tenants or Day Laborers)

11 Large Planters Best education Political and social leaders Employ overseers to run plantations Smallest group Emphasize chivalry, honor, and hospitality

12 Small Planters Many more than large planters, but still a relatively small social group Some political power Generally do not employ overseers Aspire to rise to the class of large planters, but the expense of slaves generally prevents this

13 Yeoman Farmers Some own a few slaves Raise a variety of crops Largest white group Could vote/hold office Strong supporters of slavery Aspire to rise to planter class

14 Mountain Whites Live isolated in Appalachian Mtns. Self-sufficient farmers Nationalists who oppose the power of the planters and the slavery system Most fight for the Union in the Civil War

15 Poor Whites Rarely own land Work as tenants or day laborers Looked down on by most other whites Tend to refuse “slave” work Health problems and malnutrition common Strong supporters of slavery

16 Conditions of Slavery About 4 million slaves in the antebellum South at slavery’s peak Most live in separate slave quarters on plantations Maintain families, religion, and traditions despite slavery Labor systems: gang and task system Have no legal rights

17 House Servants Slave Drivers (made other slaves work) Skilled Craftsmen (Some worked in cities) Field Hands (Largest Group) The Social Structure of Blacks in the Antebellum South

18 The Slave Trade The Middle Passage was a devastating and dangerous experience Slaves were packed tightly into ships. Many died of disease. The U.S. ended the international slave trade in 1808, though illegal smuggling did continue

19 Southern Defense of Slavery Early on, slavery was generally viewed by white Southerners as a necessary evil, but as it came under increasing attacks nationally, Southerners began to defend the “peculiar institution” as a positive good in society Defenders include Thomas Dew, George McDuffy, John C. Calhoun, and William J. Grayson

20 Separation of Families

21 Slave Quarters

22 Physical Torture The use of physical punishment was common, though generally not as brutal as in the Caribbean One slave might be singled out for punishment to serve as an object lesson to others Women faced the added threat of rape by masters

23 Slave Resistance to Abuse Working slowly Sabotaging tools and machinery Feigning illness Running away for brief periods or permanently Self-mutilation Suicide and infanticide

24 Slave Rebellion Slave revolts were uncommon in the United States, though whites feared them greatly The lack of a population majority as well as the lack of a place to go in case of successful rebellion tended to lessen the tendency toward rebellion Slave codes became much more restrictive in the South whenever a rebellion occurred, especially after the successful revolt on San Domingue (Haiti) led by Toussaint L’Overture

25 Reward Poster

26 Free Blacks Always Faced the Danger of Being Returned to Slavery

27 Gabriel’s Rebellion-1800 Virginia Gabriel Prosser planned an assault on the Richmond armory to arm themselves and destroy slavery in Virginia After the Revolution many slaves had greater freedom of movement, especially those like Gabriel who worked on the water Gabriel’s plan was given away by a fellow slave before the revolt could take place, and Gabriel and the other leaders of the plot were executed

28 Denmark Vesey-1822 Born in Africa, he purchased his freedom after winning $1500 in a lottery He organized about 9000 others in the black community to revolt in Charleston, SC The plot was given away before it could go forward and Vesey and over 40 others (including 4 whites) were hanged

29 Nat Turner-1831 A preacher among the slave population of Southampton, Virginia Had a series of visions of two armies clashing in the sky and took this as a sign that he should lead a rebellion to destroy slavery Led his followers in a surprise attack on slaveholding families, beginning with his own masters Over 60 whites were killed in the insurrection, most of them hacked to death with machetes After spending several months hiding in the Dismal Swamp, Turner and his followers were captured, tried, and executed

30 Fear of Slave Revolts Greatly Increases and Slave Codes are Made More Restrictive in the Wake of the “Massacre”

31 “The Confessions of Nat Turner”

32 Uncle Tom’s Cabin Harriet Beecher Stowe’s bestsellerHarriet Beecher Stowe’s bestseller –Best seller in 1850’s (Most sales after the Bible) –Northerner bought it in droves –Southerners burned it and banned it Storyline: –Eliza Harris, a slave, escapes when her child is to be sold The kindly Uncle Tom is sold and is killed by his brutal master, Simon Legree

33 Arguments Used in Defense of Slavery The master/servant relationship is familial, like a parent/child relationship (patriarchal system) The Bible accepts slavery Slavery existed in the great historical civilizations like Greece and Rome Slavery is God’s will because slaves are suited to their condition Slaves are happy The system of slavery allows young, old, and sick slaves to be cared for

34 Major Arguments Used Against Slavery Slavery is in opposition to the founding ideals of the United States: democracy, equality, liberty The Declaration of Independence says “All men are created equal.” Slavery is a violation of basic human rights Slavery is immoral Slavery allows for the commission of horrendous physical abuse The Bible abhors slavery (esp. New Testament)

35 John Brown’s Raid 1859, John Brown and his men attacked the federal arsenal at Harper’s Ferry, Virginia (Today West Virginia) Wanted to lead an rebellion and slave uprising Colonel Robert E. Lee leads troops; Brown is captured and executed for treason.

36 Senate Violence Senator Charles Sumner, a Republican, attacked Southerners for slavery Preston Brooks beat him with his cane Sumner lived but never recovered The event added to the growing hatred between the two regions

37 The Road to Succession Controversial Legislation The Birth of new Political Parties Supreme Court cases The Election of 1860 –Lincoln Armed resistance Succession by South Carolina

38 Election of 1848 Democrats: Lewis Cass Whigs: Zachary Taylor (hero of Mexican War) Free Soil Party took votes away from Cass to give Taylor the victory Taylor dies in 1850; Millard Fillmore takes office

39 Compromise of 1850 1. Admit CA as free state 2. Territories of New Mexico and Utah decide for themselves 3. Abolish sale of slaves in Washington, D.C. 4. Slavery remained legal in Washington, D.C. 5. Fugitive Slave Act: all citizens must assist in the return of runaway slaves to owners; no jury trial for slaves


41 Major Players in Congress Henry Clay proposes the compromise Daniel Webster supported it John C. Calhoun opposed it

42 Kansas-Nebraska Act Stephen Douglas of Illinois wanted to run for President Act supported popular sovereignty for area Passed but made North angry


44 Violence Begins Free Soilers –1,200 New Englanders sent to Kansas to fight against slavery Proslavery settlers opposed them 1856, open violence

45 Two Capital Cities The Free Soil capital was in Topeka, Kansas Proslavery capital was in Lecompton, Kansas

46 Lecompton Constitution A proslavery constitution for Kansas President Buchanan accepted it, but Congress returned it. Defeated by Kansas people SECTION I. The right of property is before and higher than any constitutional sanction, and the right of the owner of a slave to such slave and its increase is the same, and as inviolable as the right of the owner of any property whatever.

47 “Bleeding Kansas” John Brown –Following a raid in Lawrence by a proslavery group, he and his followers killed five proslavery men Summer of murder and raids

48 Two New Political Parties in 1850’s –Republicans Opposed to slavery Ran John Fremont for president in 1856 –Know-Nothings (against Immigrants Irish Catholics) wanted native Americans to have best treatment

49 Republican Party Comprised of antislavery Democrats, Whigs, and Free Soilers from North Small business owners, craftworkers, farmers, professionals Dedicated to stopping “Slave Power” Demanded repeal of the Kansas-Nebraska Act and Fugitive Slave Act

50 Election of 1852 The Whig party loses voters Election of 1852: Franklin Pierce, a Democrat, defeats General Winfield Scott, a Whig The American or Know- Nothing Party: a nativist group against immigrants split the vote

51 Election of 1856 Democrats nominated James Buchanan Republicans nominated John C. Fremont Know-Nothings chose Millard Fillmore

52 Buchanan Buchanan wins the election He hoped that the Supreme Court would use its power to resolve the slavery issue. Next decision angers the North even more

53 Dred Scott v. Sandford Dred Scott v. Sandford 1857 Scott sued his owner and said that he and his wife were taken to states and territories where slavery was illegal and should be free The Court ruled 7 to 2 against Scott –Said slaves are not citizens and cannot sue in court –Scott was not free due to being in free area The Missouri Compromise was also declared unconstitutional


55 Border States Delaware Maryland Kentucky Missouri

56 Abraham Lincoln Studied law and worked at various jobs Served in the Congress in the 1840s Believed that the majority could not deny the minority their rights Foresaw confrontation

57 Stephen Douglas Believed that the majority of people could do anything they wished, even make slavery legal Gets gets national attention

58 Lincoln-Douglas Debates The two men campaign for a Senate seat in Illinois They hold a series of seven debates on the issue of slavery in the territories. Douglas wins election but Lincoln becomes important Republican politician


60 The Election of 1860  In April 1860, Democratic Party split into North and South factions  In Border States, the Constitutional Union party forms from Whigs and American party (Know Nothing)

61 Candidates in1860 Southern Democrats: John C. Breckinrigde Northern Democrats: Stephen Douglas, Illinois Constitutional Union party: John Bell, Tennessee Republican party: Abraham Lincoln, Illinois

62 And the winner was… Lincoln wins with 39% of the vote and 180 electoral votes –A sectional victory –Hadn’t even been on southern ballots!!

63 Lincoln’s First Inauguration

64 Timeline of Secession  South Carolina seceded December 20, 1860 after Lincoln’s election Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina secede soon after  In February 1861, the states created the Confederacy and elected Jefferson Davis as President

65 The Civil War Begins  Lincoln takes office on March 4, 1861  Vows to enforce the laws of the U.S. and to preserve, protect, and defend the Union

66 Fort Sumter  Federal fort located in Charleston Harbor  Had run out of supplies  April 12 General P.G.T. Beauregard fires on the fort on April 12, 1861  The fort surrenders to SC forces  The war begins


68 Brother Against Brother…  Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Arkansas joined the Confederacy  Border States stayed neutral  Northern states started recruitment for federal soldiers


70 And…thus the Civil War began One nation was divided into two parts… and for many nothing was ever the same again.

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