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The 1850s: A Decade of Crisis

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1 The 1850s: A Decade of Crisis
Causes of the Civil War

2 The Compromise of 1850 California was admitted as a free state.
Utah and New Mexico would decide the slavery issue based on popular sovereignty. Slave trade (not slavery) would be prohibited in Washington, D.C. A new law would be passed to help slave owners regain their runaway slaves.

3 Henry Clay presented the Compromise of 1850

4 The Compromise of 1850

5 Fugitive Slave Act Fugitives were not entitled to witness on their behalf or have a trial by a jury of peers. Federal commissioners got $10 for returned slaves. Aiding/abetting fugitives led to possible fines and/or 6 months in prison.



8 Uncle Tom’s Cabin It exposed the moral issue concerning slavery.
Northerners became more opposed to slavery. Southerners pushed the book as a set of lies. It was written by Harriet Beecher Stowe.

9 "Eliza comes to tell Uncle Tom that he is sold and that she is running away to save her child." from Uncle Tom's Cabin

10 Kansas Nebraska Act It repealed the Missouri Compromise by allowing popular sovereignty to decide the issue of slavery to the north of the 36th parallel. This led to many skirmishes such as the Sack of Lawrence and the Pottawatomie Massacre which further led to the nickname “Bleeding Kansas.”



13 Realignment of Parties
The Whig party dissolved due to disagreement between Northern and Southern factions over the issue of slavery. They ceased to be a factor in national politics after the election of 1856. The Republicans emerged in It was formed mostly by Northern Whigs and Democrats who called for the repeal of the Kansas-Nebraska Act and the Fugitive Slave law and for the abolition of slavery in Washington, D.C.

14 The Dred Scott Decision
Roger B. Taney wrote the Dred Scott decision. It said that slaves were not citizens, and therefore did not have the right to seek redress through the court system. Slaves were considered property and thus not free, even if they lived in free territory. The Missouri Compromise should be repealed because property was protected under the Constitution, and states could not prevent a person from having property.


16 The LeCompton Crisis It revolved around whether or not slave owners already living in Kansas at the time it became a state would be able to keep their slaves. The Free-Soilers (90% of the population) and slave owners argued the issue. President Buchanan’s endorsement in the favor of the slave owners decided the issue and led to friction between him and Douglas in the Democratic Party.

17 Lecompton Crisis

18 Lincoln-Douglas Debates
They were held as part of the Illinois senatorial campaign of 1858. Lincoln, a Republican, felt the nation needed to be unified as a nation on the issue of slavery. Douglas, a democrat, felt popular sovereignty could decide the issue even if the Dred Scott decision had repealed the Missouri Compromise and the outlawing of slavery in the new states/territories. Douglas won the election, but the debates helped Lincoln gain the Republican nomination for president in 1860.


20 John Brown In 1859 he and 18 others attacked and seized the government arsenal at Harper’s Ferry, Virginia. He hoped to gain weapons for future slave revolts, but was captured by federal troops after most of his men had been killed or wounded. He was tried for treason, found guilty, and hanged. He became a martyr for the abolitionist cause. Southerners became more convinced that the “Black Republicans” of the North were plotting to destroy the Southern way of life.


22 The Election of 1860 The Republican Party: nominated Lincoln,
opposed the extension of slavery, supported internal improvements, Supported a protective tariff, Supported a railroad to the Far West, Supported a liberal immigration policy, and Supported free land for Western settlers

23 The Election of 1860 The Southern Democrats:
nominated John C. Breckinridge of Kentucky, and received 72 electoral votes from southern states.

24 The Election of 1860 The Northern Democrats:
nominated Stephen Douglas, supported popular sovereignty, and received 12 electoral votes from New Jersey and Missouri.

25 The Election of 1860 The Constitutional Union Party:
nominated John Bell, combined the Know-Nothings, Whigs, and moderate Northerners, ignored the slavery issue altogether, and received 39 electoral votes from the border states of Kentucky, Virginia, and Tennessee.

26 John C. Breckenridge Abe Lincoln Stephen Douglas John Bell



29 The Secession Crisis On December 20, 1860, South Carolina was the first to fulfill a promise that the South would secede from the Union if a Republican became president. By February, 1861, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas had withdrawn from the Union. They met in Montgomery, Alabama and formed the Confederate States of America. They drew up a constitution, elected Jefferson Davis of Mississippi as their president, and Alexander H. Stephens of Georgia, Vice President.


31 Alexander Stephens Jefferson Davis

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