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Lewis Cass

Named father of "popular sovereignty." Ran for president in 1848 but Gen. Taylor won. The north was against Cass because popular sovereignty made it possible for slavery to spread.

Winfield Scott

He was the old general figure that the Whigs used to symbolize them. Scott, however, did not win the election of 1852. His personality did not fit with the masses which cost him the election. Pierce won the election of 1852. (P.381)

James Gadsden

American diplomat, politician, and railroad promoter who negotiated the Gadsden Purchase.

Stephen A. Douglas

Stephen Douglas took over for Henry Clay in the Compromise of 1850. Clay could not get the compromised passed because neither party wanted to pass it as a whole since they would be passing things for the opposite party as well as their own. Douglas split the compromise up to get it passed.

Matthew C. Perry

He was the military leader who convinced the Japanese to sign a treaty in 1853 with the U.S. The treaty allowed for a commercial foot in Japan which was helpful with furthering a relationship with Japan.

Franklin Pierce

Franklin Pierce was elected president in the 1852 election as the second Democratic "dark horse." He was a pro-southern northerner who supported the Compromise of 1850 and especially the Fugitive Slave Law. He also tried to gain Cuba for the South as a slave state, but was stopped because of Northern public opinion after the incident in Ostend, Belgium. He also supported the dangerous Kansas-Nebraska Act pushed for by Senator Douglas. He was succeeded in 1856 by James Buchanan.

Harriet Tubman

United States abolitionist born a slave on a plantation in Maryland and became a famous conductor on the Underground Railroad leading other slaves to freedom in the North (1820-1913)

Popular sovereignty

people hold the final authority in all matters of government

Compromise of 1850

This compromise signed by Millard Fillmore deals with disputed territory, and the controversy of whether California should join. The results were that California joined as a free state, and what was left of the Mexican Cession land became New Mexico and Utah, and did not restrict slavery. The compromise benefited the North more than the South.


a republic in Central America achieved independence from Spain in 1821


This is an attempt to obstruct a particular decision from being taken by using up the time available, typically through an extremely long speech. This would prevent the "opposing" party to pass an unfavorable law and ultimately force a compromise.

Clayton-Bulwer Treaty

between U.S. and Great Britain agreeing that neither country would try to obtain exclusive rights to canal across Isthmus of Panama; Abrogated by U.S. in 1881


a communist state in the Caribbean on the island of Cuba involved in state-sponsored terrorism

Free Soil Party

The Free-Soil Party was organized by anti-slavery men in the north, democrats who were resentful at Polk's actions, and some conscience Whigs. The Free-Soil Party was against slavery in the new territories. They also advocated federal aid for internal improvements and urged free government homesteads for settlers. This Free-Soil Party foreshadowed the emergence of the Republican party.

Ostend Manifesto

The Ostend Manifesto took place in 1854. A group of southerners met with Spanish officials in Belgium to attempt to get more slave territory. They felt this would balance out congress. They tried to buy Cuba but the Spanish would not sell it. Southerners wanted to take it by force and the northerners were outraged by this thought.

Fugitive Slave Law

a law passed just before the Civil War also called the "Bloodhound Bill", slaves who escaped could not testify in their behalf and were not allowed a trial by jury. If the judge in the case freed the slave they would receive five dollars, if not they would get ten dollars. Those found helping slaves would be fined or jailed. This added to the rage in the North.

Kansas-Nebraska Act

The Kansas-Nebraska Act, set forth in 1854, said that Kansas and Nebraska should come into the Union under popular sovereignty. Senator Stephen A. Douglas introduced it, and it pushed the country even closer the Civil War.

Underground Railroad

chain of anti-slavery homes at which slaves were hidden and taken to the north, Harriet Tubman is known for her role in this

Mason-Dixon Line

Am imaginery line that seperated free territories from slave territories

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