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Dred Scott Decision

a Supreme Court case about an enslaved man that argued that since he once lived on free land then he should be free. The judge ruled that he had "none of the rights and privileges" of an American citizen.

Fredrick Douglass

escaped slavery and became famous for his writings and speeches against slavery

Harriet Beecher Stowe

wrote Uncle Tom's Cabin which told the story of how enslaved workers were mistreated. The book made more people in the North dislike slavery.

Underground Railroad

a system of secret escape routes that led enslaved people to free lands

Lincoln-Douglas Debates

Abraham Lincoln, who thought slavery was wrong, ran for Senate in 1858 against Stephen A. Douglas, who thought the states should make their own laws about slavery. Douglas won the election.


leave (some Southerners said they would leave the Union if Lincoln was elected)


Confederate States of America, led by President Jefferson Davis of Mississippi (included South Carolina, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas)

civil war

a war between people of the same country

Battle of Bull Run

first major battle of the Civil War, Confederates won which made people realize the war would last longer than expected

Emancipation Proclamation

document that declared that all enslaved people in areas still fighting against the Union were free. The document did not free many enslaved people but added a goal of the war to include freeing all enslaved people.

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