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Uncle Tom's Cabin

anti-slavery book which alarmed previously unconcerned Northerners about slvery

New England Emigrant Aid Co.

A group that financed groups of Northern abolitionists who wanted to see Kansas as a free state

Bleeding Kansas

Missouri border ruffians crossed into the Kansas to vote against slavery (led by John Brown) - severely divided the fledgling state

John Brown

An abolitionist who attempted to lead a slave revolt by capturing Armories in southern territory and giving weapons to slaves, was hung in Harpers Ferry after capturing an Armory

James Buchanan

The 15th President of the United States (1857-1861). He tried to maintain a balance between proslavery and antislavery factions, but his moderate views angered radicals in both North and South, and he was unable to forestall the secession of South Carolina on December 20, 1860.

Dred Scott Decision

A Missouri slave sued for his freedom, claiming that his four year stay in the northern portion of the Louisiana Territory made free land by the Missouri Compromise had made him a free man. The U.S, Supreme Court decided he couldn't sue in federal court because he was property, not a citizen.

Panic of 1857

Economic downturn caused by overspeculation of western lands, railroads, gold in California, grain. Mostly affected northerners, who called for higher tariffs and free homesteads

Abraham Lincoln

helped preserve the United States by leading the defeat of the secessionist Confederacy; an outspoken opponent of the expansion of slavery

Freeport Doctrine

Idea authored by Stephen Douglas that claimed slavery could only exist when popular sovereignty said so

Harper's Ferry

John Brown's scheme to invade the South with armed slaves, backed by sponsoring, northern abolitionists; seized the federal arsenal; Brown and remnants were caught by Robert E. Lee and the US Marines; Brown was hanged

Election of 1860

The election in which Abraham Lincoln was first elected President due to the schism of the Democrats. Caused a chain reaction of southern states to secede from the Union since they were afraid of Lincoln's policies.

Confederate States of America

the name adopted by the 11 Southern states that seceded from the Union during the Civil War

Crittenden Amendments

These amendements to the Constitution were designed to appease the south by prohibiting slavery north of 36, 30' but allowed protection south of this line. It also allowed future states to enter with or without slavery regardless of their position north or south.

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