The Road to The Civil War
The Road to The Civil War HY 103
Popular in American Civilization to 1865
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This 14 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kaylin Wallen on Sunday May 1, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to HY 103 at University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa taught by Dr. Brasher in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 15 views. For similar materials see American Civilization to 1865 in History at University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa.
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Date Created: 05/01/16
The Road to The Civil War Why at the Moment we were most divided the expansion of our nation started the civil war I. Expansion 1. “Manifest Destiny” Antebellum Americans obsessed with it Belief that God wanted America to expand from the Atlantic to the Pacific Why? Because we would be bringing representative democracy and the protestant Christian faith with us We can’t let anything stand in the way of God’s will 2. Texas Mexico In Antebellum America Mexico got their freedom by revolting against Spain & they had an amount of land no one was living in/using—Texas Mexico made an offer If anyone will settle that land we will give you free/cheap land and you just have to become a Mexican citizen White Southerners (the most land hungry) began flooding in But, when they got there…they didn’t want to pay taxes to the Catholic Church and they brought slaves Didn’t want to bow down to Mexico because it was a dictatorship Santa Anna Mexican dictator Had to go and try to kick them out Texans didn’t have an army, but they needed someone to buy them time—The Alamo Revolt Alamo refused to surrender, forcing them to kill every one of them (bought the Texans some time) Sam Houston built an army San Jacinto Army fought Santa Anna’s army and defeated them Captured Santa Anna Put a gun to his head and forced him to sign a treaty giving them Texas Joins the U.S. Texas wanted to become a state, but the US didn’t want that because it would upset the balance of power in congress Northern congressmen delayed for a full decade Texas was it’s own country for 10 years Republic of Texas (Lone star State) They didn’t feel guilty because of manifest destiny 3. Oregon County Went up to Canada Britain and America claimed the land and didn’t push it until Americans began to live there Could have led to a war with the British Settled through diplomatic agreement Divide the land in half Top of country—We have Oregon, above was British 4. Mexican War The offer We offered $20-25 million for the land Mexico doesn’t like us so they said NO The War We wanted the land so we conducted 3 military invasions - Army captured California - Army captured New Mexico and Arizona - Invasion of Mexico City The New Offer We will give Mexico $10 million for the land & If you don’t sell, we will capture your entire country = Mexico sold We basically stole the land, but didn’t feel guilty because of manifest destiny 5. “Mexico Will Poison Us” Transcendentalists: “Mexico will punish us” meant: America will have to pay the price for this—Karma Politicians: “Mexico will punish us” meant: getting all this land is going to bring up a question about that land that we want to avoid…If we deal with it, it is going to rip us a part—will these new states be free states or slave states? Abraham Lincoln spoke out against taking the land (One of the few) II. Three Positions on The New Western Lands 1. Wilmot and “Free Soil” We can’t touch slavery where it already exists but we should stop it from expanding for economic reasons, not moral ones 2. Calhoun and “Constitutional Protection” The Federal government must protect our ability to take our slaves anywhere we want to take them & therefore we should take it out west (If we don’t the free Northern states will have control of congress and abolish it) 3. Cass and “Popular Sovereignty” “The people shall rule” Let the people who move out there decide whether they want slaves or not, but the appeal for popular sovereignty puts the issue out for the future Because it has this appeal, popular sovereignty was the position most American politicians initially embraced but just because most embraced it doesn’t mean people who believed the others didn’t go away The fight between these 3 positions leads to a new political party III. Birth of Republican Party 1. Election of 1848 Both the democratic and Whig parties embraced popular sovereignty so they both nominated someone for president who avoids the issue The free soil people = mad So they start their own party The Free Soil Party 2. Compromise of 1850 Problems: 1. California wants to come in as a free state—will upset the balance of power in congress 2. Texas is claiming it is bigger than it actually is and they believe they should be able to divide into 5 or 6 smaller states (5 or 6 more slaves states = upset balance in congress) 3. Southerners convinced there is enormous amount of slaves escaping on Underground Railroad and the reason is because the Northern states weren’t doing enough to shut down safe houses and the federal government should force them to do it 4. The 2 largest slave auction block was in DC—arguing to make slavery illegal in DC Southerners don’t want the federal government ending slavery anywhere 5. We are saying popular sovereignty but haven’t passed anything to do that—are we going to? Going to try to solve problems for the future Most Important: Steven Douglas—responsible for getting this stuff done Could manipulate things through congress Compromises: 1. California will come in as a free state 2. Texas is not bigger than they claim and they can’t ever divide it up 3. Outlaw slave trade in DC, but not slavery itself (you can still own slaves in DC, just can’t buy them) 4. Decree popular sovereignty in new states 5. New fugitive slave law that was very aggressive about shutting down the Underground Railroad Makes all Northern citizens responsible legally for catching run away slaves (if you know or see one and you don’t report it you can go to jail) Once they passed these they thought they solved the slave problem 3. Consequences of Compromise Final solution? Northern reaction to new fugitive slave law = pissed off Most had never seen a black person and didn’t care about slavery (steps on THEIR rights as citizens) Because of the law there were a very large amount of run away slaves were now getting caught (been in the North for 3, 4, 20 years) Stowe Angry about the new law Channeled his anger into a book: Uncle Tom’s Cabin Became a cultural phenomenon The main characters were slaves Showed what it was like to be a slave The North never did feel quite the same about slavery after Uncle Tom’s Cabin 4. Election of 1852 People still stirred up about slavery Both parties nominate people who blew it off The Free Soil Party grows People who were upset about the fugitive law & compromise The thing that makes it grow the most = Kansas/Nebraska Act 5. Kansas/Nebraska Act (1854) Douglas’s hopes Transcontinental railroad—connecting Chicago to San Francisco But, that will create a problem because Southerners aren’t going to want to see territory North of the Missouri Compromise line settled His plan Get rid of Missouri Compromise line, create the Kansas & Nebraska territories and allow them to come in based on popular sovereignty The South is going to like that because it gives them the chance to get 1 if not 2 new slave states Passed based on the strength of the Southern vote The Reaction Free Soil Party freaked out Stop the expansion of slavery The Missouri Compromise line was the 1 thing that stopped it & it was based on the strength of the Southern vote As a small party they can’t take on these Southern states power so… They decided they needed to create a new party that had other people in it that don’t want slavery to expand that we haven’t been working with in the past - Abolitionists - The Know Nothings 6. The Republicans “Slave Power Conspiracy” Designed to get the nativists into the party Slave Power Southern politicians; involved in conspiracy to one day make slavery legal everywhere If you care so much about jobs and wages it’s not the Irish, it’s the Slave Power Manufacturers will get rid of employees and get slaves— worked New party created that won’t ignore the slavery issue - Free Soilers - Abolitionists - Know Nothings IV. Polarization of the Country 1. Going to Kansas Once created, abolitionists decided not to let become a slave state so they have to migrate there (because of popular sovereignty—the more abolitionists= more popular vote) The south wants a slave state so they move to Kansas too “Bleeding Kansas” Violence—Republicans blame it on the Slave Power Now killing people to expand slavery 2. Election of 1856 Republicans ran someone for president (1 time in history) Platform: We have to stop the expansion of slavery because if the South gets control of congress they’re going to try to spread it everywhere 1 time in America’s history a candidate from political party running on the issue of slavery South sacred Threatened to secede—just a threat but hope it will scare the Northerners away from voting for a Republican James Buchanan (Democrat) won The threat of secession worked but will NOT work again in 1860 Why didn’t it work 4 years later? 4 major events that made it not work: 3. Dred Scott The case African American slave Owned by a military officer who lived most of his life in bases and forts above Missouri Compromise line When he died there was no will = It’s the government’s job to determine where the property goes (Included Dred Scott) Dred Scott sued for his freedom Lived most of his life in free territory, so he should be free Abolitionists fighting his case Appealed till it made it to the Supreme Court The Ruling Supreme Court excited because they see it as an opportunity to interject themselves into the argument over what to do with the Western territories Leads them to going too far in their ruling - Dred Scott being a black man has no rights = no access to courts—Throw out the case - Dred Scott still a slave because the Missouri Compromise line had been unconstitutional (the federal government did not have the ability to limit where slavery can/can’t go Constitutional protection The Impact The South loves the ruling Republicans hate it Blames this on slave power conspiracy Most Justices were Southern slaveholders Argued: this ruling puts us 1 step away from them being successful in the spread of slavery everywhere Because if the federal government can’t tell you where you can/can’t take slaves, the court will argue the state can’t either—Supremacy Clause 4. Lecompton constitution What was it? Kansas- pro slavery people met in Lecompton and made a constitution—slave state & submitted it to Congress for approval Douglas’s action What’s Steven Douglas gonna do? Everyone looks to him, especially the South Why? Gave Railroad in return for a new slave state We don’t now if this thing has been done legitimately—we’re gonna send it back and have Kansas do it again The Impact Southerners became pissed at Douglas (he betrayed us and we can’t trust him) Why does it matter? … 5. Lincoln/Douglas Lincoln Lawyer- Circuit writing lawyer (ride across the state and take all of the towns cases) Made enormous # of friends - Effective lawyer, uses humor to make complex arguments simple Didn’t like the Kansas Nebraska Act—joined the Republican Party His connections pay off Came time to run someone for senator against Douglas (1858) Ran Lincoln (no one thought he could win) The Debates Lincoln proved a nuisance to Douglas Pressure for a debate between the 2 = 7 debates in Illinois 1 speaker 1.5 hours to talk 2 2-hour response 1 30 minutes to respond Lincoln forced Douglas to have to talk about slavery Image of Lincoln Created because of the debates Most people outside of Illinois had never heard of him until the media showed up to cover the debates = Americans find out about Lincoln Polarized image: North: quick whitted, clear thinking & moderate on the slave issue (made it clear he wasn’t an abolitionist, he was Free Soil) South: Means he is an abolitionist Douglas got Lincoln in a trap Lincoln believed slavery was a moral issue not just economically & Douglas got him to admit that Lincoln didn’t win 6. John Brown’s Raid Brown: Abolitionist but, different… By 1850, believed the only way to eliminate slavery was through violence Been trying moral suasion, but it’s not working & even politics won’t work The Plan: Raid Harper’s Fairy & take the weapons and give them to slaves, encourage them to kill their masters March South handing out weapons to slaves—build slave army Wipe out slavery by wiping out slaveholders The Raid: Captured arsenal at Harper’s Fairy VA militia responded quickly (always prepared for this because it was the South’s biggest fear) Trapped him in the building Army captured him and squashed the whole thing The Impact: When captured, he was put on trial in VA During the trial: VA argued that he couldn’t have acted alone & the organization that helped him was the abolitionist = John Brown is the face of abolitionism “Abolitionists want to end slavery by murdering us” The South came to believe it & some things proved it to be true: - Found guilty - When he was hung he gave the hangman a note - As soon as he was dead, many abolitionists praised him & some even compared him to Christ 7. Election of 1860 Democrats split The Democratic Party can’t agree on one person to nominate North: Douglas South: Hell no. (because of Lecompton) Started their own Democratic party & nominated their own = Splits the Democratic vote Lincoln as a moderate Republicans also had difficulty finding one person to nominate (because they were made up of a lot of groups) Contested Convention They could all agree on Lincoln because of the debates: - He is Free Soil - He is an Abolitionist (they believed because of the morality of slavery issue) South’s campaign against Didn’t spend time promoting their nominee Spent time campaigning against Lincoln Argument: He is an abolitionist (believed because of debates) & now they believe abolitionists want to end slavery by killing them (because of John Brown’s Raid) Threat of secession If you vote for him we will secede When they made the threat, most of them didn’t actually want to secede Results Lincoln won (all Northern states, no southern states) How come? The majority of the North believed we were one step away from having slavery everywhere (because of Dred Scott) Southern Response Demonstrated that the South lost control of the Federal government = Slavery will be abolished = We need to secede V. Secession 1. The Deep South goes SC—GA—FL—AL—MS—LA—TX They try to convince the other southern states to secede Upper South holds off Lets see what Lincoln does 2. The Confederate States Established a constitution Got a President Jefferson David Capital: Montgomery, AL 3. Why not just let them go? The North won’t let them secede Many northerners want to let them go Lincoln Administration: We can’t Why not? At the root here, the south is trying to secede because they are trying to hold onto their slaves Someone got elected president that they don’t like and if we let them go & set the precedent that you can leave if the government does something you don’t like Democracy can’t work if the minority just leaves The country will fall apart into smaller entities & they will all argue with each other and then, we are no better than Europe The country and democracy are in jeopardy The South seceded to protect slavery, but secession is what caused the civil war V. Conclusions 1. Opening new lands brought up the slavery question. 2. The fight over that question led to the creation of the Republican Party, which was dedicated to stopping the "Slave Power Conspiracy." 3. When the Republicans pushed the issue, it caused the country to become polarized. 4. In that polarized and heated atmosphere, Lincoln's victory made the South feel that they must secede in order to maintain slavery and other rights. 5. The North's desire to prevent secession from becoming legitimate brought about the Civil War
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