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HY 315 Notes: Weeks 1 & 2

by: Emily Notetaker

HY 315 Notes: Weeks 1 & 2 HY 315

Emily Notetaker
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About this Document

These notes cover the background to the Civil War
The Civil War
Dr. Kohl
Class Notes
history, civil war
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This 14 page Class Notes was uploaded by Emily Notetaker on Tuesday January 26, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to HY 315 at University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa taught by Dr. Kohl in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 41 views. For similar materials see The Civil War in History at University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa.


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Date Created: 01/26/16
Background to the War: 1619-1861 01/26/2016 ▯ “The Civil War happened because of slavery, not states’ rights.” – Dr. Kohl  “Northern whites were just as racist as Southerners – this war was about slavery not racism.” ▯ Distinctive Traits of American Slavery  First came on a Dutch ship in 1619  By 1660s, most colonies had laws about slavery  Property o Owned. Believed they could do whatever with their property.  Permanent o Indentured servants vs. Slavery  Indentured servants were volunteers and eventually came to an end unlike slavery  Hereditary  Racial o Wasn’t as racial early on  Indians were used as labor as well as indentured servants o Becomes impossible over time to get European whites to enter servanthood o Indian slaves are too dangerous  Tribes could retaliate  Regional o In all of the British colonies o More in the southern colonies than Northern  It wasn’t economically feasible to have slaves in the North because of the growing seasons o Became associated with staple crops  Crops that wouldn’t perish and were needed everywhere ▯ Why didn’t anyone question slavery?  Ancient institution that had been around for thousands of years  Was around for 150 years before first anti-slavery group emerged o First anti-slavery group: Quakers in 1770s  The Bible didn’t condemn it  They lived in a very hierarchical world o At the very bottom: no rights or freedom o At the very top: kings and rulers (could basically do whatever they wanted) ▯ What about violence?  They lived in a very violent world, especially compared to today o Customary punishment was beheadings, hangings, beatings, etc.  Everything began to change around the American Revolution o Enlightenment thinkers emerged  every man had a right to freedom; religious changes ▯ Founding Fathers and Slavery  Northwest Ordinance (1787) o “Slavery shall be forever prohibited in these territories”  Gradual abolition in the North o All states north of Maryland; all in various ways o Why didn’t the South do this?  Not many slaves in Massachusetts, but half the population in South Carolina consisted of slaves.  Slaves were critical to the economy  Keep in mind the race question: would affect socially the South more than the North ▯ January 19, 2016 ▯ Founding Fathers and Slavery (continued)  End of foreign slave trade (1808) o Wanted to end slave trade at the Constitutional Convention but states like South Carolina and Georgia put up a fight o Compromise: could not close it for 20 years o January 1, 1808 – illegal to bring a new slave into the U.S.  This prevents getting slaves from other countries but there were still over 4 million slaves by 1860  Impacts:  price of slaves became much more expensive  Larger percentage of the South would have owned slaves  Price of slaves in 1860: $1,000 (roughly 3x yearly salary of the average Northern worker)  Slaves were treated better (not necessarily well, but better)  Slave owner had every incentive to nurture slave families  Why didn’t the founding fathers do more? o Profits, prejudice, & priorities  Protect the American Union ▯ The Constitution & Slavery  At this point, the Constitution only mentions slavery three times o The word “slavery” is actually never used, is only alluded to  3/5 Clause (article 1, section 2) o Regarding taxes and representation in the House o The dispute: whether slaves should be counted as citizens or not  Would increase the South’s representation in the House  South said “yes”, North said “no”  Would increase taxes  South said “no”, North said “yes” o Counted as “yes” for both representation and taxation, but only for 3/5 of a person  Irony: after the war was over, when slaves were freed, the side that lost actually gained even more representation  Fugitive slave clause (article 4, section 2) o What happened if a slave went into a free state? o Became a Federal responsibility to capture & return slaves to their owners ▯ Slavery in Early Republic: 1787-1831  “Necessary, Temporary Evil” – thought slavery would eventually fade out because…  Slavery was only profitable when you can grow year-round, worldwide crops o Main staple crops: tobacco, indigo, rice, long-staple cotton o Tobacco: mainly in Virginia, Maryland area  Really wastes the soil  Maryland increasingly begins to look like Pennsylvania, quits growing tobacco, no more need for slaves  Virginia begins to grow less tobacco, now has too many slaves  Becomes the largest net exporter of slaves in the country o Indigo: mainly grown in the Carolinas, used to dye cotton  England didn’t want to buy indigo from France, so it gave a subsidy to workers in the British colonies  After the American Revolution, the subsidy ended and indigo production ceased  No more need for slaves o Long-staple cotton: located in the sea islands of South Carolina and Georgia  Very luxurious cotton & very few seeds  Produces high quality cotton  Since it could only be grown in very specific places, slavery was contained and wasn’t going anywhere  Thought slavery wasn’t going to be a problem because they thought it would eventually fade out but then…  Eli Whitney & the cotton gin boom o The cotton gin took the seeds out of the cotton o Now states could grow short-staple cotton  Didn’t produce as high of a quality  Had to be sold in larger quantities  Could be grown almost anywhere in the South o Without the cotton gin, short-staple cotton isn’t economical o Rejuvenates the need for slaves  Manumission and colonization o A push to manument or free slaves upon their own death so that gradually slavery would end begins o Eventually some states outlawed or made this very hard to do  “bad for the slave trade” o Colonization movement was controversial  After they were freed, they should be colonized somewhere outside of the U.S.  Liberia was the result  Expresses white people’s desire to get rid of black people  Problems:  Slaves didn’t want to go  Africa wasn’t their home, they (for the most part) weren’t from there  Lincoln pushed for it still, never happened  Good side  Promotes manumission  A lot of people were willing to free their slaves if they could be sent back to Africa  You believed it was an evil, but didn’t know how to get rid of it ▯ 1831: The Turning Point  2 most important: o Garrison & the Liberator  Newspaper calling for immediate abolition  “You don’t compromise or continue an evil”  Began a Northern reform movement o Nat Turner slave rebellion  Slave in the Virginia South Hampton area  Most “successful” slave rebellion in history  Killed about 60 people – men, women, & children  Amplifies the fear of every slaveholder in the South  In South Carolina, slaves outnumbered whites 20- to-1  Happens only 6 months after Garrison floods the South with anti-slavery propaganda  Virginia’s Defense o What would happen if we actually ended slavery? o Brought in an economist, said “we can’t do it”  Not economically feasible – would cost too much money  The South turns inward o Had been very cosmopolitan (Thomas Jefferson was a southerner) but changed o Began to stop sending their children North for schooling, they began to start their own schools  UA was founded in 1831 – not a coincidence o Slave codes were tightened  Illegal to educate slaves  Created slave patrols o Slavery’s defense  Had to deal with a psychological problem  Played on consciences  Began to change “necessary evil” into a “positive good”  They were very nurturing and kind to the slaves, provided things like healthcare and shelter  Played up the necessity that blacks need white control o Civil liberties  Becomes dangerous to speak out against slavery – bad time to be an abolitionist  No freedom of speech  Southern postmasters burn Northern anti-slavery propaganda o South begins to close down around the institution and protect it ▯ Abolitionist Position  It is a wrong done to the slaves  There is no compromise to sin  Believed in racial equality  Called for an immediate end (but voluntary) o The abolitionist position was only the view of 2-3% of the white population  Louder than 2-3%  South amplified them by reacting negatively  North didn’t like them either ▯ Anti-Slavery Position  Abe Lincoln & the Republican party will adopt this view  Believed it was a wrong done to whites  White freedom, equality, & opportunity require its absence o Saw the South as either:  Slaves & powerful plantation owners or  “white trash” aka poor whites who could not afford slaves o Kills the poor white’s work ethic because they don’t want to be seen as doing the same work as slaves o Gives some whites (powerful plantation owners) too much power  No belief in equality (pushed for colonization) o You could be anti-slavery and still very racist  Focused on how white society developed o Once slavery was introduced, it was fixed permanently  Containment & gradualism o Gradually get rid of it or contain it ▯ Pro-Slavery Position  White freedom, equality, & opportunity require its presence o To get ahead, you have to have slaves  Insurmountable problems to elimination o See Virginia’s Defense o Once introduced, it was fixed permanently  Slavery must expand or it will die o Scared that it would happen like what did in VA  Didn’t want to have too many slaves ▯ January 21 ▯ Road to War  At this point, South has slavery, North does not  Constitution protected slavery in the states o Fugitive slave law o Did not outlaw it in the states  North as racist as the South o The motion to escape racism is very modern o Blacks were still mistreated in the North  Believed slavery was still bad, but they were still racist  Get rid of slavery, not racism  Can’t get rid of racism before slavery though  Abolitionist were a tiny minority in the North  Western expansion provides loophole for anti-slavery & pro-slavery to clash o The North believed they couldn’t expand West if slavery was still allowed  This makes it a federal, not a state question  Anti-Slavery grows larger, grows into a majority of North in last 15 years before the War ▯ Problem of Western Expansion  Missouri crisis 1819-1820 o Missouri submitted a constitution that admitted slavery o James Tallmadge submitted an amendment for slavery to be gradually abolished  The votes were almost all the way sectionalized  Thomas Jefferson – “awakened him with terror” to realize the country had such a sectional split  People’s moral views have changed  Slavery was wrong in the North, okay in the South  There was a geographic line o Missouri was going to be the first state to be carved out of the Louisiana Purchase  People believed this would set a precedent  Missouri Compromise o Henry Clay o Missouri can be a slave state, but Maine could be a free state o Southern boundary drawn that slavery could not be allowed above o Alabama balanced Illinois (1819 & 1818)  Slavery was dropped from politics in the 20s and 30s ▯ Texas Annexation - 1845  Andrew Jackson was president when Texas wanted to be annexed in the 30s, but said no (because of political/slavery issues)  In 1844 & 1845, there was a manifest destiny push to annex Texas o Territory was huge, worried that it would give the South political clout  Comes directly in as a state o Mexico never recognizes Texas as independent o Went to war in 1846 (Polk)  Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo gives us California  Opens up the question of slavery again  Wilmot Proviso – any land that comes from Mexico should be closed to slavery  Never passes, but it shows Northern desire to keep slavery out of the West ▯ Compromise of 1850  Some states want to secede because of this  Admits California as a free state o 3 stages of admitting a new state  open land, territorial, statehood  territorial stage: government is formed  when enough people live there, they write a constitution and applies for statehood o Could someone prohibit slavery in the territories?  Once a state, nobody questions it  What happens in a state when a territory happens as a state  Texas comes in as a slave state; California is free  2 territories open to slavery – said nothing about it o 4 views:  Wilmot Proviso – prohibit slavery  Southern (John Calhoun) – cannot prohibit  MO Compromise – just draw a line  Popular Sovereignty – the people shall decided  Once it passed, it looked like the decision had been made o Secession of 1850 & 1851 fails (what would have happened?) ▯ Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854  Originally only about the transcontinental railroad – not slavery o Everyone wants it in their own backyard o If in a state, the fed won’t pay for it o Stephen Douglas: draws a route from Chicago to San Francisco  South won’t pass a bill to organize Nebraska because of the MO Compromise line o South wants: divide the territory into two: Kansas and Nebraska o South wants: repeal the Missouri Compromise to allow popular sovereignty  Utah and New Mexico set a precedent (allows slavery)  Sets a fire storm in the North  Vilifies Stephen Douglas  Shatter the Northern Democratic party  Falls completely under Southern sway  The Whig party was destroyed  Already abolished in the South because it was soft on slavery issues  Republican party rises up – anti-slavery party in the territories  No popular sovereignty  First full-service anti-slavery party  Most were Whig ideas  Nobody could be Republican in a slave state, so only in the North ▯ After Kansas-Nebraska  Rise of the Republicans 1854  Dred Scott Decision 1857 o Supreme Court decision – slave was taken into a free territory and thought he should be free o Scott thought he was free because he lived in a free state o Supreme Court declared Missouri Compromise unconstitutional – government could not prohibit slavery in the territories (most justices were Southerners) o Dred Scott is still a slave  Lecompton Constitution 1857-58 o Had to deal with the Kansas-Nebraska Act o Northerners fight over Kansas – applies to be a slave state even though virtually no slaves live in Kansas  Southerners brought in phony electoral votes  1600 votes where 12 people lived o free state government set up – slave state is legitimate o James Buchannan – Kansas is a slave state as much as Missouri  Stephen Douglas is in a pickle because it was basically his fault  He stands against the constitution  Republican party rallies behind him (even though he is a democrat) o Kansas doesn’t become a slave state o This throws off the 1860 election  Lincoln wants to run against him as a Republican in 1858, but the Republican party backs the Democratic Stephen Douglas  Lincoln-Douglas Debates of 1858 o How can Lincoln distinguish himself? ▯ ▯ ▯


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