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Civil War Packet

Civil War Packet

Author: Mark Biancuzzo

Summary and helpful videos to aid in comprehension

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Compromise of 1850

With the arguement over slavery growing between the North and South, Henry Clay was able to appease each side with the creation of the Compromise of 1850.  The Compromise of 1850 did the following:

  • California was added as a free state (Good for the North; now there were 16 free states and 15 slave states)
  • Popular Sovereignty (people in the state can vote to choose slavery or not) in the lands the U.S. won from Mexico
  • Slaves could no longer be brought into Washington D.C.
  • Runaway slaves would be brought back to the South (stronger fugitive slave laws)


Kansas-Nebraska Act Passes - Fighting in Kansas

Kansas - Nebraska Act did the following:

  • let settlers in the territories decide whether or not they wanted slavery (people in the territories would vote)
  • Got rid of the line that divided free states and slave states that was created by the Missouri Compromise
  • People in the North were upset.  Many rushed to Kansas to form a governemnt that did not allow slavery
  • People in the South were happy.  They felt this act opened the West to slavery.  Many proslavery people rushed to Kansas to form a government that allowed slavery
  • Two governments were formed and those people from the North and South continued to fight.

Uncle Tom's Cabin Angers the South

In 1852, Harriet Beecher Stowe, a northern white woman, wrote the book Uncle Tom's Cabin.  The story told of how bad slavery was.  The book focused on these actions by slave owners:

  • work slaves too hard
  • beat slaves who did not obey
  • broke up families by selling mothrs, fathers, and children

Slave owners felt the book was unfair and untrue.

Red Scott Decision Angers the North

Dred Scott was a slave from Missouri.  His owner took him and moved into free territory for four years and then moved back to Missouri.  Scott argued that he was a free man because he lived on free land.  The case went to the Supreme Court.  

In its ruling, the Supreme Court stated:

  • Scott does not become free just because he lived in a free state
  • Scott is not a citizen of U.S. or the state of Missouri
  • Scott has no right to sue in state or federal court
  • Scott, like all slaves, is property and can be taken anywhere in the U.S. and be considered a slave

Lincoln loses Debates to Douglas

In Illinois 1858, Lincoln lost the debate and the later the election to Stephen Douglas for a seat in Congress.  Although Lincoln lost the following happened:

  • Lincoln became known across the country
  • People like his wisdom and wit
  • Became a clear leader against slavery
  • Able to run for president in 1860

John Brown Hanged for Harper's Ferry Attack

John Brown was a northern white man who hated slavery.  He attacked U.S. Marines at Harper's Ferry to get guns.  Brown planned on using the guns to ead slaves in a rebellion.  Brown was captured and found guilty of treason and murder.  He was hung for his crimes.

Some in the North did not agree with what Brown did.  They did not want to use violence to end slavery.  Others in the North felt Brown was a hero because he wanted to end slavery.

Southerners were afraid and angry.  Many felt that the North would cotinue to use violence to end slavery.

War between the North and South would begin soon!