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Slavery and Western Expansion

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1 Slavery and Western Expansion
Guided Reading Activity Answers

2 The Wilmot Proviso The Wilmot Proviso was a bill which passed the House of Representatives prior to the Mexican- American War. It argued that they United States – should it acquire territory in the Southwest from Mexico – would not be allowed to extend slavery into the territories. John C. Calhoun of South Carolina was nonplussed by the suggestion, and it never passed the Senate.

3 Free Soil Parties There were more than one of these, but the most famous was established in New York by former President Martin Van Buren. The Free-Soilers felt that the United States Congress had the power to govern it’s territories as they saw fit, and to forbid the extension of slavery into the territories if they chose to. They argued that slavery was anti-democratic – and the therefore, popular sovereignty was not appropriate in deciding its future.

4 49ers and California The 49ers were the men who moved to California in a great rush in the late 1840s to mine for gold. Most were poor or middle class white men. Virtually none owned slaves. And, because they believed that slavery would corrupt the fairness of the competition for gold, they opposed slavery. By 1850, California had applied for statehood as a free state.

5 The Great Triumvirate of the Senate
Henry Clay of Kentucky – know for crafting the Missouri Compromise, negotiating through the Nullification Crisis, and now, working on the Compromise of 1850. John C. Calhoun of South Carolina – the champion of the South, state’s rights, nullification, posturing, and threats of secession. Daniel Webster of Massachusetts – the Senate’s greatest orator for the cause of Union.

6 The Compromise of 1850 California entered the Union as a free state.
The Slave Trade in Washington, D.C. was abolished – slavery remained legal, though. Texas ceded land to form western territories; received money in exchange. The territories of Utah and New Mexico would determine the slavery issue by popular sovereignty. The Fugitive Slave Law would be strictly enforced.

7 The Fugitive Slave Law According to the Constitution, Northern people were already obliged to return runaway slaves to their owners in the South. The Fugitive Slave Law was tightened and more strictly enforced following the Compromise of Northerners who refused to cooperate could be punished. Northerners despised this law. Federal “slave-catchers” were selected to investigate the status of free blacks. When accused of being a “runaway,” blacks were not allowed to testify on their own behalf during trials.

8 Tubman and the Underground Railroad
Harriet Tubman led hundreds of people to F-R-E-E- D-O-M! along a secret set of hideaways and “safe- houses” known as the Underground Railroad. Tubman moved to Canada, but continued to risk capture by escorting her family and friends to safety and freedom. The Underground Railroad, while difficult to verify today, operated for decades to bring African- Americans to the North or to Canada.

9 Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin
The novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin did as much to divide the nation over the issue of slavery as any other major event in the Antebellum Period. When he met her during the Civil War, Lincoln is reported to have remarked of Harriet Beecher Stowe, “So, you’re the little lady that started this great war.”

10 The Gadsden Purchase The final piece of the puzzle in terms of the continental United States, the Gadsden Purchase was acquired in 1853 in order to secure the right of way for a railroad route. The United State paid Mexico between $10 and $12 Million for the land.

11 The Kansas-Nebraska Act
The Kansas Nebraska Act of 1854 create two new territories out of the Louisiana Purchase lands. Both territories would determine the slavery issue by popular sovereignty, or, as they said then, “Squatter Sovereignty.” Most people who had moved to Kansas had not actually taken up residence. This reversed the old Missouri Compromise, which had split the Louisiana Territory into slave and free sections at the 36°30’ N Latitude line.

12 Abolitionists V. Border Ruffians
Abolitionist societies organized settlement groups to travel to the Kansas territory and vote against slavery. Usually, these abolitionist groups came heavily armed. Meanwhile, “border ruffians” from Missouri – a nearby slave state – moved into the territory as well. Soon, violence erupted in Kansas. The most egregious violation took place when John Brown led a brutal murder of pro-slavery men near Pottawatomie Creek.

13 The Caning of Charles Sumner

14 The Republican Party Believing in Free Land, Free Men, and Free Soil, the Republican Party found consensus in the argument that slavery should not be allowed to be extended into the West. Abolitionists tended to support the party as well, but they were still considered a radical wing. Most men believed that slavery would be allowed to persist in the South. There was a Nativist – or anti-immigrant – streak to the party as well.

15 The Dred Scot Decision Chief Justice Roger Taney ruled that African- Americans, whether free or enslaved, had no rights which a white man was bound to respect. By this assertion, he declared the institution of slavery to be legal in the South, legal in the West, and even legal in the North. James Buchanan, as President, endorsed this.

16 The Lincoln-Douglas Debates
Stephen F. Douglas argued that the issue of slavery should be resolved by democratic means. Americans who lived in the Western Territories would vote on whether or not slavery should be legal, and popular sovereignty would determine the future of slavery Abraham Lincoln asserted that the institution of slavery was completely anti-democratic. Any vote taken which might enslave other men did not protect minority rights, undermined the democratic traditions of the nation, and be proto- fascist. Lincoln lost the Senate seat, but won the debates…

17 John Brown’s Raid on Harper’s Ferry
John Brown was condemned to hang for organizing a slave revolt in He captured the federal arsenal there, but was immediately taken prisoner by Robert E. Lee – then of the United States Army. Brown’s hanging met with different results in different parts of the nation. Southerners cheered. Many Northerners considered Brown a martyr.

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