Causes of the American Civil War

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Causes of the American Civil War by Mind Map: Causes of the American Civil War

1. Missouri Compromise

1.1. 1860

1.2. When America started moving west, the issue of slavery of whether it should be allowed in new forming states out west became a problem. The first state that was an issue was Missouri, if it entered as a slave state it would upset the balance between slave and free states. Henry Clay decide to persuade congress to approve the Missouri Compromise where Maine was admitted as a free state and Missouri could then be entered as a slave state so that no balance would be disturbed.

2. Wilmot Proviso

2.1. 1848

2.2. Since the Compromise didn't include the large territory gained from Mexico, representative Wilmot Proviso proposed that congress ban slavery in every territory. This proposal made it through the House but failed in the senate.

3. Free-Soil Party

3.1. 1848

3.2. In the 1848 election the Whigs and the Democratic Party hoped to win by not taking a stand on the issue of slavery, they decided to join forces to create another political party, it wanted the territory gained in the Mexican-American war to be " free soil" ( a place where slavery is banned)

4. Election of Zachary Taylor

4.1. The election of 1848 led to a controversy over the Wilmot Proviso, this also led to the development of the "Free-soil Party", democrats nominated Senator Lewis Cass of Michigan, the Whigs nominated Zachary Taylor, and the Free-soil Party nominated former democratic president Martin Van Buren. One nominee felt that the states should decide themselves whether or not to allow slavery ( Senator Cass), but, in the end Zachary Taylor a hero of the Mexican-American war won the election.

4.2. 1848

5. The Compromise of 1850

5.1. 1850

5.2. Gold was found in California causing new settlers to move to the area. More and more settlers came and the territory was large enough to be admitted as a state. It was above the Missouri Compromise line , this angered southern settlers and they threatened to leave the territory. Henry Clay ( person who proposed the compromise) believed it would end all debates and issues over slavery. President Taylor opposed this idea but later died and the new president supported it. On September , 1850 congress passed five series of bills known as the compromise of 1850. Slave trade was banned in the nations capital, California was admitted to the union as a free state, congress couldn't regulate slave trade between slave states, popular sovereignty determined the issue of slavery, and south received a new fugitive slave law.

6. The Fugitive Slave Act

6.1. This allowed government officials to arrest any African-American accused of being a runaway slave. The suspects had no right to trial and prove their innocence, or if they had been falsely accused. All it took was for a white witness to swear that the suspect was a slaveholders property. This law also requires northern citizens to help capture accused runaways if they were requested.

6.2. 1850

7. Uncle Tom's Cabin

7.1. A book written by Harriett Beecher Stowe, that talked about the life of an enslaved man who is abused by the cruel Simon Legree. This book became a best seller in the North, and it shocked a lot of people who were unconcerned about slavery. This book opened a lot of people's eyes to slavery as a human, moral problem. Southerners were outraged.

7.2. 1852

8. The Kansa-Nebraska Act

8.1. Senator Stephen Douglas pushed through the act which caused the nation to lead closer to wars. He wanted a railroad to be built from Illinois to the Pacific territory. He suggested creating two new territories. Since both Kansas and Nebraska territory would be above the Missouri compromise they would be free states. This upset the territory so for him to win their support he suggested using popular sovereignty which would undo the Missouri compromise.

8.2. 1854

9. "Bleeding Kansas"

9.1. Pro and anti slavery settlers flooded to Kansas to try and win the majority, they entered Kansas in March of 1855 to vote illegally in the election of territorial legislature. 8,000 people voted and out of the 39 legislators elected all but 3 of them supported slavery. Anti silvery settlers refused to except the results. By that time Kansas now had two governments , violence broke out and one of the pro slavery sheriffs got shot. He returned the next month with 800 men and attacked the town. Three days later John Brown led seven men to pro slavery settlement near Pottawatomie creek and murdered pro slavery men and boys. This caused widespread fighting in Kansas.

9.2. 1855

10. Bloodshed in Senate

10.1. Charles Sumner the leading abolitionist senator who made fiery speeches attacking pro slavery legislatures in Kansas. In one of his speeches he called out an elderly senator ( Andrew butler) from soth Carolina who was not present that day. A couple days later the senators nephew marched into the senate chamber with a heavy cane and beat Charles until he was bloody and unconscious... He never recovered from his injuries.

10.2. 1859

11. Republican Party

11.1. The Whigs party spilt and northern Whigs created a new political party called the Republican Party. Their ultimate goal was to stop the spread of slavery. They attracted many northern democrats and they ended up forming a new party together called the " Free-Soil Party". It became very powerful after their first election 105 out of 205 were elected into the House of Representatives. Democrats lost control of their two state legislatures and two years later the party ran its first candidate for president... John C. Fremont.

11.2. 1854

12. Election of 1856

12.1. The first republican candidate John C. Fremont waged a strong anti-slavery campaign and won 11 of the 16 free states. Democrat James Buchanan won the election.

12.2. 1856

13. Dred Scott vs. Sanford Case

13.1. Dred Scott was an enslaved person who once been owned by a doctor from the U.S army. they lived in Illinois and the Wisconsin territory for a short time. there slavery was illegal. with the help of a lawyer Scott sued for his freedom. he argued he was free because they once lived in a state where slavery was illegal. this case reached the supreme court, the court delivered a verdict on March of 1857, three days later chief justice Roger B. Laney wrote a decision for court. Scott was not a free man, 1: because he had no right to sue in federal court because African-Americans were not citizens, and 2: living in a state that has slavery illegal for just a short period of time does not make and enslaved people free. Slaves were property and property rights were protected by the United States. The ruling also said that Congress didn't have the power to prohibit slavery in all territory. Making the Missouri Compromise unconstitutional. Southerners were happy that slavery was legal in all territories, Northerners were upset now because now slavery could spread to the west.

13.2. 1857

14. The Lincoln and Douglas Debates

14.1. 1858

14.2. Lincoln was chosen as the Republican candidate for the senate against senator Stephen Douglas in 1858. They were both personal and political rivals. Lincoln challenged Douglas to a series of public debates and thousands were there to see it. Douglas defended popular sovereignty and he painted Lincoln as a dangerous abolitionist who wanted equality for African Americans, he took a stand against the spread of slavery and predicted it would die out but Americans had an obligation to keep it out of the western territories. Douglas won the elections but Lincoln was now known throughout the nation.

15. John Brown attacks Harpers Ferry

15.1. John Brown was driven out of Kansas after the Pottawatomie massacre and returned to New England. He began plotting to free people in the South that were enslaved. In 1859, Brown and a small group of supporters attacked the town Harper's Ferry, Virginia. his goal was to take control of the guns that the U.S army had stored there. He thought that the enslaved African-Americans would help him. he would give them weapons and lead a revolt. he got control of the guns but Colonel Robert E. Lee surrounded Brown's force before they could escape. Some of Brown's followers were killed and Brown was wounded and captured. he was found guilty at his trial and sentenced in Virginia on December 2, 1859. southerners were shocked that this happened. Northerners felt that he was a hero.

15.2. 1859

16. Political Parties Divide

16.1. The Political Party split into two during the election of 1860 because Northern Democrats refused to support slavery in the territories. Some southerners wanted to fix the problems between the North and South and formed the Constitutional Union Party. They wanted to protect slavery and keep the nation together.

16.2. 1860

17. Election of 1860

17.1. 1860

17.2. Republicans chose Abraham Lincoln. Northern democrats nominated Stephen Douglas as their candidate, southern democrats chose Vice President John B. of Kentucky. The constitutional union nominated John Bill of Tennessee. This election showed just how fragmented the nation became. Lincoln won every free state, and John B. won every slave state except for four. Lincoln received 40% of the popular votes. In the end he became president.

18. Southern States Secede

18.1. Lincoln selection made the south feel that they no longer had a voice in the national government. They believed that the president and congress were against their interest especially slavery. South Carolina seceded ( left the United States) . In 1860 a convention passed and a declaration that South Carolina and other states under the name of the United States is hereby dissolved. Six more states followed South Carolina out of the union.

18.2. 1861

19. The Confederate States of America

19.1. 1861

19.2. In February of 1861, the leaders of the 7 seceding states theft left the union met in Montgomery , Alabama to form a new nation that they called the confederate states of America. By the time Lincoln took office in march. They had written a constitution and made former senator Jefferson Davis as president.

20. The Crittenden plan

20.1. This was a plan developed by Senator John J. Crittenden of Kentucky to compromise with the South one last time. It was presented to congress in late February, 1861 while the South was forming its new government but it didn't pass.

20.2. 1861