U.S. History Outline: VII. The Sectional Crisis

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Wilmot Proviso
    Attached the to bill that approved the treaty with Mexico
    Would have outlawed slavery in the territory gained from Mexico

Election of 1848
    Polk didn't run
    Lewis Cass (Democrat) vs. Zachary Taylor (Whig) vs. Martin Van Buren (Free-Soil)
    Free-Soil wanted Willmont Proviso
    Taylor was elected

1848 - Gold Rush - gold discovered at Sutter's Mill in California

Debate over how to handle slavery in new states
    Missouri Compromise ended at Louisiana Purchase boundaries
       Taylor thought new states should be allowed to decide for themselves whether to be slave or free
    The South blocked admission of California & New Mexico
    Compromise of 1850 (the Great Compromise) by Henry Clay
       1. California admitted as a free state
       2. Rest of Mexico cession territory would decide slave status for itself
       3. Texas would agree to arbitrary border, with New Mexico between TX and CA
       4. Slave trade outlawed in District of Columbia
       5. More effective Fugitive Slave Law
    Debate between Clay, Calhoun, & Webster
       During summer Clay got sick, Webster became Sec. of State, and Calhoun died.
    More debate between Jefferson Davis (South) & Stephen Douglas (North)
       Purely sectional arguments
       Eventual agreement
    Presidential Opposition to Compromise of 1850
       Taylor planned to veto because it gave in to sectional arguments
       Taylor died (1850) before he could veto it
       Millard Fillmore took over
       Fillmore passed bill, both sides were happy (for the moment)

Election of 1852 - Democrat (Franklin Pierce) vs. Whig vs. Free-Soil
    Whig & Free-Soil split vote, so Pierce won
    Democrat tended to be the party of the South, but Pierce was a Northerner

North was against Fugitive Slave Law, Wisconsin declared it unconstitutional (1857)

Young American Movement
    Pierce's plan to end sectionalism
    Diverted attention by focusing on West, nationalism, expansion
Ostin Manifesto (1848)
    Pierce advocated annexing Cuba
    North was afraid that he would add it as a slave state
1854 - U.S. annexed Hawaii
    Hawaii added as a free state
    Small movement for trying to annex Canada
Kansas-Nebraska Act - 1854
    Repealed Missouri Compromise, which had made Kansas and Nebraska free states
    Allowed Kansas and Nebraska to choose their slave status
    Outraged the North and destroyed Whig party

Whigs and Free-Soil combined to form Republican party

Kansas Civil War
    Caused by the Kansas-Nebraska Act
    Northerners & Southerners poured in to try to influence vote
    Each side tried to intimidate other into leaving
    Territorial elections, Kansas, 1855
       Slavery won by 6,000 votes (when there were only 15,000 registered voters)
       Missourians had crossed border and voted illegally
       Free-Soilers held their own vote & voted for free state
       Pierce recognized the pro-slavery vote, touched off civil war
    Pro-slavery marshal arrested Free Soil leaders
    John Brown killed pro-slavers in Lawrence
       Murdered their families, too
       Hacked up the bodies and left them in street as a warning

Cassius Clay - 1830s, published an anti-slavery newspaper in Kentucky (border state)
Anti-abolitionists increased racism in arguments
Brooks-Sumner Affair
    Sumner (Northern senator) gave speech against Brooks (Southern senator)
    Brooks beat Sumner with cane, crippling him

Election of 1856
    John Buchanan (Democrat) versus John Freemont (Republican)
    Buchanan's platform - no strong opinions on issues
    Freemont was guy who had declared CA independent during Mexican-American War
    Whigs didn't support Freemont, Buchanan won
Buchanan - weak president who tried not to offend anyone

Dred Scott decision - Supreme Court
    Slave did not become free just by entering slave state
    Overruled all Northern laws that made escaped slaves free

Kansas constitution
    Buchanan supported introduction of Kansas as slave state
    Kansas constitution was pro-slave
    People voted down that version of the constitution
    Pro-slavers claimed vote fraud
    Lee-Compton Constitution re-submitted and rejected
    With no constitution, Kansas couldn't become a state

1858 - Abraham Lincoln elected to Congress
    Lincoln-Douglas debates for Sentate seat
       Debated slavery and western territories
       Lincoln against the expansion of slavery

1859 - John Brown & Harper's Ferry Raid
    Robert E. Lee led marshals who put down raid
    Convinced South that they weren't safe in the Union

Election of 1860
    Lincoln (Rep.) vs. John Breckenridge (Southern Dem.) vs. Douglas (Northern Dem.)
    Lincoln elected, Southern states seceded

    1860 - South Carolina seceded
       Rest of deep South and Texas followed
       Seven states in all seceded immediately
    1861 - Meeting in Alabama, formed Confederacy
    South began seizing federal installations
       1861 - Fort Sumter (in Charlestown)
          South Carolina demanded its surrender
          Buchanan refused and sent reinforcements
          South Carolina fired on supply ships & took fort
    Crittenden Compromise
       Proposed amendment to the Constitution
       Would preserve slavery in slave states
       Would extend Missouri Compromise Line to the Pacific
       Wasn't accepted by Republicans
    April 1861
       South Carolina began bombarding Ft. Sumpter
       Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas joined Confederacy
    Border states
       Maryland, Delaware, Kentucky, Missouri stayed with Union
       West Virginia separated from Virginia and stayed with Union
    Lincoln prepared for war

Next: The Civil War (1861-1865) >>

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