The Growing Crisis

  1. Sources of unity break down

    1. Politics - Whigs and Democrats both split on slavery issue

    2. Religion - Methodists, Baptists, Presbyterians all will divide

    3. No common heroes

      1. By 1860, John Calhoun in the South

      2. Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852) by Harriet Beecher Stowe in the North

        1. Depicted horrors and burdens of slave life in a very personal, humanizing fashion

        2. Sold 300,00 copies in first year alone

        3. Widely condemned in the South

    4. Common republican heritage destroyed by slavery - what was that heritage for?

      1. For North, industry and mobility

      2. For South, protection of principle, values, society

    5. Expansion into new lands

      1. For North, new markets and safety valve for those in economic need

      2. For South, new territories for slavery

        1. Those dedicated to expansion, Manifest Destiny, and the growth of slavery were known as "Young America"

        2. Wanted not just Mexican lands, but the whole continent, and beyond - designs on Cuba, Central America, and more

    6. Wilmot Proviso (1846) lays out many of the basic conflicts

      1. An proposed amendment to a war appropriation bill put forth by David Wilmot of Pennsylvania

      2. Would have outlawed slavery in all lands taken from Mexico in the Mexican-American War

        1. Northern farmers feared competition from expanding slave agriculture

        2. Northern politicians sought to restrain what they believed was the growing power of Southern politicians

      3. Led by John Calhoun, the South fought the proviso

        1. argued that the proviso was unconstitutional, that Congress had no right to restrict slavery

        2. Many in South saw proviso as sign North was unwilling to protect slavery against abolition and was prepared to attack the South's economic interests

  2. Compromise of 1850

    1. Henry Clay attempts to resolve many of the growing conflicts in a single bill

    2. California ready to enter the union as free state, which would end the balance in the Senate

    3. South will accepts California only if it gets an explicit guarantee of protection of slavery

    4. Terms of compromise

      1. California in as free state

      2. Boundary of Texas reduced, territory given to New Mexico

      3. New Mexico and Utah territories organized

      4. Territories gained from Mexico will be free or slave based on popular sovereignty, meaning that citizens of those territories will vote on whether or not to have slavery

      5. A new, tougher Fugitive Slave Act with federal enforcement - the South had long complained that the old one of 1793 was rarely enforced

      6. Slave trade, but not slavery, abolished in D.C. - this had been a major cause for the abolitionists

    5. Significance of Compromise of 1850

      1. South talks big

        1. Nine Southern states meet in Nashville Convention to consider future in Union

        2. But got little in Compromise

      2. Northern talk of slavery corrupting federal government

      3. Issue of slavery in the territories not settled, only postponed

      4. Whig party damaged

        1. Whigs do not renominate President Willard Filmore because he signs Fugitive Slave Act

        2. Nominate Mexican War hero Winifield Scott instead - defeated

        3. Southern Whigs abandon the party

        4. Opens up space for Republican Party to appear

  3. Kansas Nebraska Act 1854

    1. "Great American Desert" reorganized into Kansas, Nebraska to build transcontinental railroad

    2. Sen. Stephen Douglas of Illinois presents compromise to insure rail line will start in Chicago

    3. Terms

      1. Overturns Missouri Compromise line of 36/30 in favor of popular sovereignty

      2. Territorial legislatures will determine whether territory (and state) will be free or slave

    4. Sets of titanic struggles in those territories for control of legislature

    5. Whig Party splits - 1854 election gives House of Reps to coalition of Free Soilers, northern Whigs and Democrats, and Know Nothing Party

  4. Republican Party appears out of breakdown of Whigs

    1. Coalition

      1. Northern Whigs

      2. Anti Kansas-Nebraska Act Northern Democrats

      3. Free Soilers

      4. Know Nothings

        1. an anti-immigrant, anti-Catholic party

        2. Made up mostly of urban lower and middle classes who feared competition from Irish and German immigrants

        3. Also associated Catholicism with despotism, thought Catholics were ruled by Rome, not loyal to America

    2. Takes over Congress in 1854 election

    3. Democratic Party becoming more of a Southern Party, Republicans a Northern Party

    4. Defends "free soil" in the West to keep it as a land of opportunity

  5. Kansas

    1. In 1854, territory organized and large scale settlement begins

      1. Majority of population was anti-slavery Midwesterners

      2. But pro-slavery Missourians crossed the border to vote in elections

      3. Pro-slavery government elected

      4. Anti-slavery forces set up rival government

      5. Pierce Administration supported the pro-slavery government

      6. Republican-led Congress supported the anti-slavery conference

    2. "Bleeding Kansas"

      1. Violence quickly broke out on Both sides

      2. John Brown leads a massacre of five pro-slavery settlers in retaliation for attack on Lawrence, KS

      3. Tit-for-tat series of bloody reprisals breaks out

      4. Some 200 people killed

  6. Election of 1856

    1. Democrats dump Pierce for James Buchanan - committed to bringing in Kansas as slave state

    2. Republicans nominate James Fremont - run on policy of free soil in territories

    3. Former President Willard Fillmore runs for American (Know Nothing) party for sectional compromise

    4. Buchanan wins, but Fremont does well.

    5. South very nervous about strength of free soil Republican Party

  7. Dred Scott Case (March 1857)

    1. Involved case of Scott, a slave, arguing for freedom based on living for many years in territory where slavery was banned by Missouri Compromise

    2. Supreme Court drops a bombshell with its decision

      1. Was meant to end slavery question once and for all

      2. Rules that Blacks, slave or free, are not citizens, and can not sue

      3. Rules that Fifth Amendment means property can not be taken without due process - slaves taken to free territory remain slaves

      4. Rules that Congress has no authority to ban slavery - Missouri Compromise is unconstitutional

    3. Five of the votes in favor of the decision were pro-slavery Southerners

    4. Convinced many in North that South was corrupting federal government for its own purposes

  8. Kansas tries to become a state - 1858

    1. Pro-slavery forces produce a constitution through fixed elections

      1. Population overwhelmingly anti-slavery

      2. By 1860, only 2 slaves out of 100,000 people

    2. Buchanan urges Congress to accept pro-slavery constitution for Kansas

    3. Republicans in House reject it

    4. Buchanan's efforts seen as proof pro-slavery forces will do anything to protect and extend slavery

  9. Lincoln-Douglas debates - 1858

    1. A preview of the 1860 election

    2. Stephen Douglas and important Illinois Senator with presidential ambitions

    3. Lincoln a former Whig congressman, now a Republican

    4. Face off in senate election of 1858

    5. Lincoln (Republican)

      1. "A house divided against itself cannot stand"

      2. Argued that slavery was a moral wrong

      3. Argued that those who did not see this would allow slavery to become legal everywhere

      4. Slavery must not be allowed to expand into territories

      5. Proposed the slow extinction of slavery - over 100 years!

      6. Denied he was an abolitionist

      7. Denied he believed in racial equality

    6. Douglas (Democrat)

      1. Committed to popular sovereignty

      2. Freemont doctrine - if people in territories didn't want slavery, they didn't have to pass supporting legislation

      3. Accused Lincoln of being radical abolitionist and proponent of racial equality

      4. Accused Lincoln of endangering the Union

    7. Lincoln loses, but becomes national figure

  10. Harper's Ferry - October, 1859

    1. Leads 22 men, including five freed slaves, in raid on Federal armory in Virginia

    2. Goal - to begin a guerilla campaign against the plantations

    3. Captured in counterattack led by Robert E. Lee

    4. Put on trial for treason, convicted and hung

    5. Trial reveals that he had support from some prominent abolitionists

    6. Becomes a martyr for abolitionism, a hero to some in North (but not by majority)

    7. Ralph Waldo Emerson compared him to Christ (Brown did look like Moses)

    8. South becomes convinced that Brown is the tip of the iceberg, that there is a grand conspiracy to bring race war to the South

    9. U.S. now only a few months from war