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Week of Feb 29 Class Notes

by: HIST289V

Week of Feb 29 Class Notes HIST289V



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Notes taken in lectures on February 29th and March 2nd.
What Does it Mean to be an American?
Dr. Howard Smead
Class Notes
history, American History
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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by HIST289V on Wednesday March 2, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to HIST289V at University of Maryland - College Park taught by Dr. Howard Smead in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 23 views. For similar materials see What Does it Mean to be an American? in History at University of Maryland - College Park.

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Date Created: 03/02/16
Week of Feb29 Notes  Basics of slavery  Involuntary servitude; human bondage; tyranny  Never critical to the economy outside of the Southern states  Slavery, in addition to the cotton gin, was a staple in the Southern economy  Brutal labor system justified by racism  New World slavery was the only example of enslaving solely people of another race  Slaves were treated as property like an inanimate object  Sanctioned by the Constitution  3/5 ’s Clause (counted slaves as 3/5 of a person)  Slave trade will be legal until at least 1808  Fugitive slave clause  Cotton Gin caused the cotton industry to boom  Invented in 1794 by Eli Whitney  Northerner who also manufactured the Springfield rifle  Made some people extremely wealthy  Forced an added burden on the slaves of the South  Cotton became the most profitable crop in America until roughly 1840  In the Western Hemisphere, sugar was the most popular slave crop, not cotton  Manifest Destiny  Term was coined by John O’Sullivan in 1845  Argues that it is America’s God-given destiny to take land  Encourages the expansion of slavery  Slavery expands to Texas and out into New Mexico territory by 1857  The First Sectional Crisis  1820: a time that featured 11 slaves states and 11 free states  Argument exists over the expansion of slavery, not necessarily the existence of slavery  There became a political equilibrium in the Senate, however the House was dominated by free states  In 1819, Missouri, a slave state, applied for statehood  This would have offset the balance of slave and free states  The Missouri Compromise/The Compromise of 1820  Engineered by Henry Clay  Allows Missouri to obtain statehood as a slave state  However, Maine must also be admitted to the union as a free state to keep the balance  The 36*30’ Line  Any new state that joins the nation above the line, must be a free state  Likewise, any state that join the nation below the line is a slave state  Represented by where the Ohio meets the Mississippi  Essentially suspends this “crisis” for a few more decades  Expansion of Slavery  The “Gag Rule”  Bans any petition “praying for the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia or any state or territory”  Also bans petitions against the slave trade between the states and territories of the US  In effect from 1836-1844  Before the 1800’s, it was generally accepted by most people who supported slavery that slavery was a “necessary evil”  This narrative begins to fade by the 1820’s, 30’s, and 40’s  It begins to be referred to as a “positive good”  Slave owners argue that it is a good thing and that it must expand  Mudsill Speech  Given by James Henry Hammond in 1858  Pro-slavery speech  Argues that there needs to be a lower class (slavery) so that there can be an upper class that leads progress, civilization and refinement  In other words, he argues that society at the time is built upon slavery  Compromise of 1850  Formed by Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, and John Calhoun  Deals with the same narrative of what to do when adding new states  California is established as a free state, upsetting the balance  Utah and New Mexico had no restrictions on slavery at the time  Federal Government assumed Texas’ debt before it was annexed  Slave trade was banned in DC  A new fugitive slave act was passed  It is now the black’s responsibility to prove that he/she was not a slave whenever confronted by a white citizen  If they didn’t have any papers with them, they were thrust back into slavery  Congress declared that it had no power to regulate interstate slave commerce  Civil War  Also known as the “War between the States” and the “War of Northern Aggression”  South’s motives: not necessarily to “win” the war but to successfully secede  Did not have to win to do so  Causes of the Civil War  “One section of the nation believe slavery is right and ought to be extended, while the other believes it is wrong and ought not to be extended” -Abraham Lincoln  11 states seceded  Political Issues involved  A new political reality  Republican Party was formed 1854  Does not share the same views as the South  South clearly in the minority  South is losing its “iron-fisted control” of federal power  South was mostly Democratic and the power in politics was shifting towards the new Republican Party  South saw a diminishing return from compromises (the Missouri Compromise and the Compromise of 1850)  Scared them away from a future compromise  South was less able to block tariff increases  Agrarian economy would benefit from low tariffs  Lincoln was elected, who was the first openly anti-slavery president  Marketed his views as being against he expansion of slavery, not necessarily abolish it as a whole  Southern Leaders began acting out of self-preservation  States rights, as viewed by the South  Role  Fundamental to the Southern point of view  Acts as the central rationale for secession  South thought these rights were being swallowed up by central power th  Supported by the 10 Amendment of the Constitution  Any power not specifically given to the federal government is given to the states  Dred Scott decision in 1857  Declares that the federal government is unable to block the expansion of slavery, but the states are able to decide on their own  Blacks do not have any rights  Main tenets  Federal government is the agent of the sovereign states  Federal powers are specifically delegated  All those not mentioned, remain with the states  States rights as viewed by the North  Also embraced States Rights  Refused to enforce Fugitive Slave Act  Personal Liberty laws  Support of the Underground Railroad  Federal government increasingly more hospital to northern point of view  Economic issues at hand  Divergent northern and southern economies  Northerners/Non-southerners were beginning to reorient along the East-West axis  Slaves were the single largest financial asset in the U.S.: $3.5 Billion  Moral issues at hand  South was apologetically calling slavery a “Peculiar institution”  The view changed from a “necessary evil” to a “positive good”  Growing abolitionist sentiment  Back lash by southern “fire-eaters”  James McPherson  Paths of thinking became increasingly polarized throughout the first half of the 19 century  Northerners argued that it defied the value of liberty that the country was founded on  Proximate Causes of the war  Uncle Tom’s Cabin, 1852  Bleeding Kansas, 1854  Republican Party, 1854  John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry, 1859  Election of Lincoln, 1860  Secession of South Carolina, one month after Lincoln’s election in 1860  Lincoln’s call for troops  Lincoln  Relatively unknown at the time of the election  Lost in running for the Illinois Senate seat in 1858  It was not Lincoln who caused the southern states to secede, it was the fact that the Republican party won


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