under the river's bank out of reach of the firing from the fort.
The firing now commenced from both parties and was kept up without cessation all day. I advised our
party to set fire to the fort, and commenced preparing arrows for that purpose. At night we made the
attempt, and succeeded in firing the buildings several times, but without effect, as the fire was always
The next day I took my rifle and shot in two the cord by which they hoisted their flag, and prevented
them from raising it again. We continued firing until our ammunition was expended. Finding that we
could not take the fort, we returned home, having one Winnebago killed and one wounded during the
I have since learned that the trader who lived in the fort, wounded the Winnebago while he was
scalping the first man that was killed. The Winnebago recovered, and is now living, and is very friendly
disposed towards the trader, believing him to be a great brave.
Soon after our return home, news reached us that a war was going to take place between the British
and the Americans.
Having now, Senators, explained what it is
that endangers the Union, and traced it to its
cause, and explained its nature and
character, the question again recurs—How
can the Union by saved...
There is but one way by which it can with
any certainty; and that is, by a full and final
settlement, on the principle of justice, of all
the questions at issue between the two
sections. The South asks for justice, simple
justice, and less she ought not to take. She
has no compromise to offer, but the constitution;
and no concession or
The term Reconstruction Era, in the context of the history of the United States, has two senses: the first covers the complete history of the entire country from 1865 to 1877 following the American Civil War (1861 to 1865); the second sense focuses on the transformation of the Southern United States from 1863 to 1877, as directed by Congress, with the reconstruction of state and society.
From 1863 to 1865, Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson both took moderate positions designed to bring the South back to normal as quickly as possible, while the Radical Republicans used Congress to block any moderate approaches, impose harsh terms, and upgrade the rights of the freedmen. Johnson followed a lenient policy toward ex-Confederates much like Lincoln's. Lincoln's last speeches show that he was leaning toward supporting the enfranchisement of all freedmen, whereas Johnson was opposed to this.
Johnson's interpretations of Lincoln's policies prevailed until the Congressional elections of 1866 in the North, which enabled the Radicals to take control of policy, remove former Confederates from power, and enfranchise the freedmen. A Republican coalition came to power in nearly all the southern states and set out to transform the society by setting up a free labor economy, using the U.S. Army and the Freedmen's Bureau. The Bureau protected the legal rights of freedmen, negotiated labor contracts, and set up schools and churches for them. Thousands of Northerners came South as missionaries, teachers, businessmen and politicians; hostile elements called them "Carpetbaggers". Rebuilding the rundown railroad system was a major strategy, but it collapsed when a nationwide depression (called the Panic of 1873) struck the economy. The Radicals in the House of Representatives, frustrated by Johnson's opposition to Congressional Reconstruction, filed impeachment charges but the action failed by one vote in the ASDSenate. In early 1866, Congress passed the Freedmen's Bureau and Civil Rights Bills and sent them to Johnson for his signature. The first bill extended the life of the bureau, originally established as a temporary organization charged with assisting refugees and freed slaves, while the second defined all persons born in the United States as national citizens who were to enjoy equality before the law. After Johnson vetoed the bills-causing a permanent rupture in his relationship with Congress that would culminate in his impeachment in 1868-the Civil Rights Act became the first major bill to become law over presidential veto.
President Ulysses S. Grant supported Radical Reconstruction and enforced the protection of African Americans in the South through the use of the Enforcement Acts passed by Congress. Grant suppressed the Ku Klux Klan, but was unable to resolve the escalating tensions inside the Republican party between the Carpetbaggers and the Scalawags (native whites in the South). Meanwhile, self-styled Conservatives (in close cooperation with the Democratic Party) strongly opposed Republican rule. They alleged widespread corruption by the Carpetbaggers, excessive state spending and ruinous taxes. The opposition violently counterattacked and regained power in each "redeemed" Southern state by 1877. Meanwhile, public support for Reconstruction policies faded in the North, as voters decided the Civil War was over and slavery was dead. The Democrats, who strongly opposed Reconstruction, regained control of the House of Representatives in 1874; the presidential electoral vote in 1876 was very close and confused, forcing Congress to make the final decision. The deployment of the U.S. Army was central to the survival of Republican state governments; they collapsed when the Army was removed in 1877 as part of a Congressional bargain to elect Republican Rutherford B. Hayes as president.
Reconstruction was a significant chapter in the history of civil rights in the United States, but most historians consider it a failure. After Reconstruction ended, the South was left a poverty-stricken backwater dependent on agriculture, while white Southerners soon succeeded in re-establishing legal and political dominance over blacks through violence, intimidation and discrimination. Historian Eric Foner argues, "What remains certain is that Reconstruction failed, and that for blacks its failure was a disaster whose magnitude cannot be obscured by the genuine accomplishments that did endure."
the most influential African American of the nineteenth century, Douglass made a career of agitating the American conscience. He spoke and wrote on behalf of a variety of reform causes: women's rights, temperance, peace, land reform, free public education, and the abolition of capital punishment. But he devoted the bulk of his time, immense talent, and boundless energy to ending slavery and gaining equal rights for African Americans. These were the central concerns of his long reform career. Douglass understood that the struggle for emancipation and equality demanded forceful, persistent, and unyielding agitation. And he recognized that African Americans must play a conspicuous role in that struggle. Less than a month before his death, when a young black man solicited his advice to an African American just starting out in the world, Douglass replied without hesitation: "Agitate! Agitate! Agitate In 1860, Lincoln secured the Republican Party presidential nomination as a moderate from a swing state. Though he gained very little support in the slaveholding states of the South, he swept the North and was elected president in 1860. Lincoln's victory prompted seven southern slave states to form the Confederate States of America before he moved into the White House - no compromise or reconciliation was found regarding slavery and secession. Subsequently, on April 12, 1861, a Confederate attack on Fort Sumter inspired the North to enthusiastically rally behind the Union. As the leader of the moderate faction of the Republican Party, Lincoln confronted Radical Republicans, who demanded harsher treatment of the South, War Democrats, who called for more compromise, anti-war Democrats (called Copperheads), who despised him, and irreconcilable secessionists, who plotted his assassination. Politically, Lincoln fought back by pitting his opponents against each other, by carefully planned political patronage, and by appealing to the American people with his powers of oratory. His Gettysburg Address became an iconic endorsement of the principles of nationalism, republicanism, equal rights, liberty, and democracy.
Lincoln initially concentrated on the military and political dimensions of the war. His primary goal was to reunite the nation. He suspended habeas corpus, leading to the controversial ex parte Merryman decision, and he averted potential British intervention in the war by defusing the Trent Affair in late 1861. Lincoln closely supervised the war effort, especially the selection of top generals, including his most successful general, Ulysses S. Grant. He also made major decisions on Union war strategy, including a naval blockade that shut down the South's normal trade, moves to take control of Kentucky and Tennessee, and using gunboats to gain control of the southern river system. Lincoln tried repeatedly to capture the Confederate capital at Richmond; each time a general failed, Lincoln substituted another, until finally Grant succeeded. As the war progressed, his complex moves toward ending slavery included the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863; Lincoln used the U.S. Army to protect escaped slaves, encouraged the border states to outlaw slavery, and pushed through Congress the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which permanently outlawed slavery.
An exceptionally astute politician deeply involved with power issues in each state, Lincoln reached out to the War Democrats and managed his own re-election campaign in the 1864 presidential election. Anticipating the war's conclusion, Lincoln pushed a moderate view of Reconstruction, seeking to reunite the nation speedily through a policy of generous reconciliation in the face of lingering and bitter divisiveness. On April 14, 1865, five days after the April 9th surrender of Confederate commanding general Robert E. Lee, Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth, a Confederate sympathizer.
John Caldwell Calhoun (/kælˈhuːn/; March 18, 1782 - March 31, 1850) was an American statesman and political theorist from South Carolina, and the seventh Vice President of the United States. He is best remembered for being a strong defender of slavery and for advancing the concept of minority rights in politics, which he did in the context of defending Southern values from perceived Northern threats. He began his political career as a nationalist, modernizer, and proponent of a strong national government and protective tariffs. By the late 1820s, his views reversed and he became a leading proponent of states' rights, limited government, nullification, and opposition to high tariffs—he saw Northern acceptance of these policies as the only way to keep the South in the Union. His beliefs and warnings heavily influenced the South's secession from the Union in 1860-61. Among the 34 U.S. states in January 1861, seven Southern slave states individually declared their secession from the U.S. and formed the Confederate States of America. War broke out in April 1861 when Confederates attacked the U.S. fortress Fort Sumter. The Confederacy grew to include eleven states; it claimed two more states and several western territories. The Confederacy was never diplomatically recognized by any foreign country. The states that remained loyal including border states where slavery was legal, were known as the Union or the North. The war ended with the surrender of all the Confederate armies and the collapse of Confederate government in spring 1865.
The war had its origin in the factious issue of slavery, especially the extension of slavery into the western territories. Four years of intense combat left 620,000 to 750,000 soldiers dead, a higher number than the American military deaths of World War I and World War II combined, and destroyed much of the South's infrastructure. The Confederacy collapsed and slavery was abolished in the entire country. The Reconstruction Era (1863-1877) overlapped and followed the war, with its fitful process of restoring national unity, strengthening the national government, and granting civil rights to the freed slaves.
Americans and some Mexicans revolted against the Mexican government in the 1836 Texas Revolution, creating a republic not recognized by Mexico, which still claimed it as its national territory. The 1845 expansion of US territory with its annexation of Texas escalated the dispute between the United States and Mexico to open war.
In 1844 James K. Polk, the newly-elected president, made a proposition to the Mexican government to purchase the disputed lands between the Nueces River and the Rio Grande. When that offer was rejected, troops from the United States commanded by Major General Zachary Taylor were moved into the disputed territory of Coahuila. These troops were then attacked by Mexican troops, killing 12 American troops and taking 52 prisoners. These same Mexican troops later laid siege to a US fort along the Rio Grande. This would lead to the conflict that resulted in the loss of much of Mexico's northern territory.
US forces quickly occupied Santa Fe de Nuevo México and Alta California Territory, and then invaded parts of Northeastern Mexico and Northwest Mexico; meanwhile, the Pacific Squadron conducted a blockade, and took control of several garrisons on the Pacific coast farther south in Baja California Territory. Another American army, under the command of Major General Winfield Scott, captured the capital Mexico City, marching from the port of Veracruz.
The 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ended and specified the major consequence of the war: the Mexican Cession of the territories of Alta California and Santa Fe de Nuevo México to the United States*. The US agreed to pay $15 million compensation for the physical damage of war. In addition, the United States assumed $3.25 million of debt owed by the Mexican government to US citizens. Mexico recognized the loss of Texas and thereafter cited the Rio Grande as its national border with the United States.
American territorial expansion to the Pacific coast had been the goal of US President James K. Polk, the leader of the Democratic Party. The war was highly controversial in the United States, with the Whig Party, anti-imperialists and anti-slavery elements strongly opposed. Critics in the United States pointed to the heavy casualties of US forces and the high monetary cost of the conflict. The war intensified the slavery issue in the United States, leading to bitter debates that culminated in the American Civil War.
Known as "Old Fuss and Feathers" and the "Grand Old Man of the Army", he served on active duty as a general longer than any other person in American history, is rated as one of the most senior commissioned officers of all time, and many historians rate him as the best American commander of his time. Over the course of his 53-year career, he commanded forces in the War of 1812, the Black Hawk War, the Mexican-American War, the Second Seminole War, and, briefly, the American Civil War, conceiving the Union strategy known as the Anaconda Plan that was used to defeat the Confederacy. He served as Commanding General of the United States Army for twenty years, longer than any other holder of the office.
A national hero after the Mexican-American War, he served as military governor of Mexico City. Such was his stature that, in 1852, the United States Whig Party passed over its own incumbent President of the United States, Millard Fillmore, to nominate Scott in that year's United States presidential election. At six feet five inches in height, he remains the tallest man ever nominated by a major party. Scott lost to Democrat Franklin Pierce in the general election, but remained a popular national figure, receiving a brevet promotion in 1855 to the rank of lieutenant general, becoming the first American since George Washington to hold that rank.
Taylor"s status as a national hero as a result of his victories in the Mexican-American War won him election to the White House despite his vague political beliefs. His top priority as president was preserving the Union, but he died sixteen months into his term, before making any progress on the status of slavery, which had been inflaming tensions in Congress. He remains the only President - or indeed Presidential candidate to win any county - from Louisiana.
In 1845, as the annexation of Texas was underway, President James K. Polk dispatched Taylor to the Rio Grande area in anticipation of a potential battle with Mexico over the disputed Texas-Mexico border. The Mexican-American War broke out in April 1846. In May, Taylor defeated Mexican troops commanded by General Mariano Arista at the Battles of Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma, and managed to drive his troops out of Texas. Taylor subsequently led his troops into Mexico, where they once again defeated Mexican troops commanded by Pedro de Ampudia at the Battle of Monterrey in September. Taylor subsequently defied orders by moving his troops further south, where, despite being severely outnumbered, he dealt a crushing blow to Mexican forces under Antonio López de Santa Anna* in February 1847 at the Battle of Buena Vista. After this, most of Taylor's troops were transferred to the command of Major General Winfield Scott, but Taylor's popularity remained significant.
The Whig Party convinced the reluctant Taylor to lead their ticket, despite his unclear platform and lack of interest in politics. He won the election alongside New York politician Millard Fillmore, defeating Democratic candidates Lewis Cass and William Orlando Butler, as well as a third party effort led by former President Martin Van Buren and Charles Francis Adams, Sr. of the Free Soil Party. As president, Taylor kept his distance from Congress and his cabinet, even as partisan tensions threatened to divide the Union. Debate over the slave status of the large territories claimed in the war led to threats of secession from Southerners.
Despite being a Southerner and a slaveholder himself, Taylor did not push for the expansion of slavery. To avoid the question, he urged settlers in New Mexico and California to bypass the territorial stage and draft constitutions for statehood, setting the stage for the Compromise of 1850. Taylor died suddenly of a stomach-related illness in July 1850, so had little impact on the sectional divide that led to civil war a decade later.
a series of violent political confrontations in the United States involving anti-slavery "Free-Staters" and pro-slavery "Border Ruffian", or "southern yankees" elements in Kansas between 1854 and 1861, including "Bleeding Congress". The Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 called for "popular sovereignty"—that is, the decision about slavery was to be made by the settlers (rather than outsiders). It would be decided by votes—or more exactly which side had more votes counted by officials. At the heart of the conflict was the question of whether Kansas would allow or outlaw slavery, and thus enter the Union as a slave state or a free state. Pro-slavery forces said every settler had the right to bring his own property, including slaves, into the territory. Anti-slavery "free soil"il"* forces said the rich slaveholders would buy up all the good farmland and work it with black slaves, leaving little or no opportunity for non-slaveholders. As such, Bleeding Kansas was a conflict between anti-slavery forces in the North and pro-slavery forces from the South over the issue of slavery in the United States. The term "Bleeding Kansas" was coined by Republican Horace Greeley, editor of the New York Tribune; its violence indicated that compromise was unlikely, and thus it presaged the Civil War. The terms "Slave Power" and "slaveocracy" were used by antislavery campaigners in the U.S. in the 1840s and 1850s, in reference to what they saw as the disproportionate political power held by slave owners in the federal government. The argument was that this small group of rich slave owners had seized political control of their own states and were trying to take over the federal government in an illegitimate fashion in order to expand and protect slavery. The argument was widely used by the Republican Party that formed in 1854-55 to oppose the expansion of slavery.
The main issue expressed by the phrase was distrust of the political power of the slave-owning class. Such distrust was shared by many who were not abolitionists; those who were motivated more by a possible threat to the political balance or the impossibility of competing with unwaged slave labor, than by concern over the treatment of slaves. Those who differed on many other issues (such as hating blacks or liking them, denouncing slavery as a sin or promising to guarantee its protection in the Deep South) could unite to attack the "slaveocracy." The "Free Soil" element emphasized that rich slave owners would move into new territory, use their cash to buy up all the good lands, then use their slaves to work the lands, leaving little opportunity room for free farmers. By 1854 the Free Soil Party had largely merged into the new Republican party.
The term was popularized by antislavery writers such as John Gorham Palfrey, Josiah Quincy III, Horace Bushnell, James Shepherd Pike, and Horace Greeley. Politicians who emphasized the theme included John Quincy Adams, Henry Wilson and William Pitt Fessenden. Abraham Lincoln used the concept after 1854 but not the term.
John Brown (May 9, 1800 - December 2, 1859) was an American abolitionist who believed armed insurrection was the only way to overthrow the institution of slavery in the United States. Brown first gained attention when he led small groups of volunteers during the Bleeding Kansas crisis of 1856. Dissatisfied with the pacifism of the organized abolitionist movement, he said, "These men are all talk. What we need is action—action!" During the Kansas campaign, Brown commanded forces at the Battle of Black Jack and the Battle of Osawatomie. He and his supporters killed five pro-slavery supporters in the Pottawatomie massacre of May 1856 in response to the sacking of Lawrence by pro-slavery forces.
In 1859, Brown led a raid on the federal armory at Harpers Ferry, to start a liberation movement among the slaves there. During the raid, he seized the armory; seven people were killed, and ten or more were injured. He intended to arm slaves with weapons from the arsenal, but the attack failed. Within 36 hours, Brown's men had fled or been killed or captured by local pro-slavery farmers, militiamen, and U.S. Marines led by Robert E. Lee. He was tried for treason against the Commonwealth of Virginia, the murder of five men and inciting a slave insurrection. He was found guilty on all counts and was hanged. Brown's raid captured the nation's attention, as Southerners feared it was just the first of many Northern plots to cause a slave rebellion that might endanger their lives, while Republicans dismissed the notion and claimed they would not interfere with slavery in the South.
Historians agree that the Harpers Ferry raid escalated tensions that, a year later, led to the South's secession and Civil War. David Potter has said the emotional effect of Brown's raid was greater than the philosophical effect of the Lincoln-Douglas debates, and that it revealed a deep division between North and South. Some writers, including Bruce Olds, describe him as a monomaniacal zealot; others, such as Stephen B. Oates, regard him as "one of the most perceptive human beings of his generation." David S. Reynolds hails him as the man who "killed slavery, sparked the civil war, and seeded civil rights" and Richard Owen Boyer emphasizes that Brown was "an American who gave his life that millions of other Americans might be free". "John Brown's Body" was a popular Union marching song during the Civil War and made him a martyr.
Brown's actions prior to the Civil War as an abolitionist, and the tactics he chose, still make him a controversial figure today. He is sometimes memorialized as a heroic martyr and a visionary, and sometimes vilified as a madman and a terrorist.
On 6 March 1836, at the Battle of the Alamo, Santa Anna's forces killed 189 Texian defenders and later executed more than 342 Texian prisoners, including James Fannin at the Goliad Massacre (27 March 1836). These executions were conducted in a manner similar to the executions he witnessed of Mexican rebels in the 1810s as a young soldier.
However, the defeat at the Alamo bought time for General Sam Houston and his Texas forces. During the siege of the Alamo, the Texas Navy had more time to plunder ports along the Gulf of Mexico and the Texian Army gained more weapons and ammunition. Despite Sam Houston's lack of ability to maintain strict control of the Texian Army, they defeated Santa Anna's much larger army at the Battle of San Jacinto on 21 April 1836. The Texans shouted, "Remember Goliad, Remember the Alamo!" The day after the battle, a small Texan force led by James Austin Sylvester captured Santa Anna. They found the general dressed in a dragoon private's uniform and hiding in a marsh.
Acting Texas president David G. Burnet and López de Santa Anna signed the Treaties of Velasco, stating that "in his official character as chief of the Mexican nation, he acknowledged the full, entire, and perfect Independence of the Republic of Texas." In exchange, Burnet and the Texas government guaranteed Santa Anna's safety and transport to Veracruz. During this weeks-long journey Santa Anna passed through Washington D.C. where he met briefly with president Andrew Jackson. Meanwhile, in Mexico City a new government declared that Santa Anna was no longer president and that the treaty he had made with Texas was null and void.
The Louisiana Purchase (French: Vente de la Louisiane "Sale of Louisiana") was the acquisition of the Louisiana territory (828,000 square miles) by the United States from France in 1803. The U.S. paid fifty million francs ($11,250,000 USD) and a cancellation of debts worth eighteen million francs ($3,750,000 USD) for a total of sixty-eight million francs ($15,000,000 USD, or around a quarter of a billion in 2016 dollars). The Louisiana territory included land from fifteen present U.S. states and two Canadian provinces. The territory contained land that forms Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska; the portion of Minnesota west of the Mississippi River; a large portion of North Dakota; a large portion of South Dakota; the northeastern section of New Mexico; the northern portion of Texas; the area of Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado east of the Continental Divide; Louisiana west of the Mississippi River (plus New Orleans); and small portions of land within the present Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. Its population was around 60,000 inhabitants, of whom half were African slaves.
The Kingdom of France controlled the Louisiana territory from 1699 until it was ceded to Spain in 1762. Napoleon in 1800, hoping to re-establish an empire in North America, regained ownership of Louisiana. However, France's failure to put down the revolt in Saint-Domingue, coupled with the prospect of renewed warfare with the United Kingdom, prompted Napoleon to sell Louisiana to the United States. The Americans originally sought to purchase only the port city of New Orleans and its adjacent coastal lands, but quickly accepted the bargain. The Louisiana Purchase occurred during the term of the third President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson. Before the purchase was finalized, the decision faced Federalist Party opposition; they argued that it was unconstitutional to acquire any territory. Jefferson agreed that the U.S. Constitution did not contain explicit provisions for acquiring territory, but he asserted that his constitutional power to negotiate treaties was sufficient.
Harriet Tubman (born Araminta Ross; c. 1822 - March 10, 1913) was an American abolitionist, humanitarian, and an armed scout and spy for the United States Army during the American Civil War. Born into slavery, Tubman escaped and subsequently made some thirteen missions to rescue approximately seventy enslaved families and friends, using the network of antislavery activists and safe houses known as the Underground Railroad. She later helped abolitionist John Brown recruit men for his raid on Harpers Ferry, and in the post-war era was an active participant in the struggle for women's suffrage.
When the Civil War began, Tubman worked for the Union Army, first as a cook and nurse, and then as an armed scout and spy. The first woman to lead an armed expedition in the war, she guided the raid at Combahee Ferry, which liberated more than 700 slaves. After the war, she retired to the family home on property she had purchased in 1859 in Auburn, New York, where she cared for her aging parents. She was active in the women's suffrage movement until illness overtook her and she had to be admitted to a home for elderly African Americans that she had helped to establish years earlier. After she died in 1913, she became an icon of American courage and freedom. On April 20, 2016, the U.S. Treasury Department announced a plan for Tubman to replace Andrew Jackson as the portrait gracing the $20 bill.
The Confederate States, officially the Confederate States of America (CSA or C.S.), commonly referred to as the Confederacy, was a confederation of secessionist American states existing from 1861 to 1865. It was originally formed by seven slave states - South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas - in the Lower South region of the United States whose regional economy was mostly dependent upon agriculture, particularly cotton, and a plantation system that relied upon the labor of African-American slaves.
Each state declared its secession from the United States following the November 1860 election of Republican candidate Abraham Lincoln to the U.S. presidency on a platform which opposed the expansion of slavery. A new Confederate government was proclaimed in February 1861 before Lincoln took office in March, but was considered illegal by the government of the United States. After the Civil War began in April, four slave states of the Upper South - Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina - also declared their secession and joined the Confederacy. The Confederacy later accepted Missouri and Kentucky as members, although neither officially declared secession nor were they ever largely controlled by Confederate forces; Confederate shadow governments attempted to control the two states but were later exiled from them.
The government of the United States (the Union) rejected the claims of secession and considered the Confederacy illegitimate. The Civil War began with the April 12, 1861, Confederate attack upon Fort Sumter, a Union fort in the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina. In spring 1865, after heavy fighting which led to over half a million deaths, largely on Confederate territory, all the Confederate forces surrendered and the Confederacy dissolved. No foreign government officially recognized the Confederacy as an independent country, although the U.K. and France granted it belligerent status. While the war lacked a formal end, nearly all Confederate forces had surrendered or disbanded by the end of 1865. Jefferson Davis later lamented that the Confederacy had "disappeared" in 1865.
The War of 1812 was a military conflict that lasted from June 1812 to February 1815, fought between the United States of America and the United Kingdom, its North American colonies, and its Native American allies. Historians in the United States and Canada see it as a war in its own right, but the British often see it as a minor theatre of the Napoleonic Wars. By the war's end in early 1815, the key issues had been resolved and peace returned with no boundary changes.
The United States declared war for several reasons, including trade restrictions brought about by the British war with France, the impressment of as many as 10,000 American merchant sailors into the Royal Navy, British support for Native American tribes fighting European American settlers on the frontier, outrage over insults to national honor during the Chesapeake-Leopard Affair, and interest in the United States in expanding its borders west. The primary British war goal was to defend their North American colonies; they also hoped to set up a neutral Native American buffer state in the US Midwest that would impede US expansion in the Old Northwest and to minimize American trade with Napoleonic France, which Britain was blockading.
The war was fought in three theatres. First, at sea, warships and privateers of each side attacked the other's merchant ships, while the British blockaded the Atlantic coast of the United States and mounted large raids in the later stages of the war. Second, land and naval battles were fought on the U.S.-Canadian frontier. Third, large-scale battles were fought in the Southern United States and Gulf Coast. At the end of the war, both sides signed and ratified the Treaty of Ghent and, in accordance with the treaty, returned occupied land, prisoners of war and captured ships (with the exception of warships due to frequent re-commissioning upon capture) to their pre-war owners and resumed friendly trade relations without restriction.
In the United States, late victories over invading British armies at the battles of Plattsburgh, Baltimore (inspiring the United States national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner") and New Orleans produced a sense of euphoria over a "second war of independence" against Britain. This brought an "Era of Good Feelings" in which partisan animosity nearly vanished in the face of strengthened American nationalism. The war was also a major turning point in the development of the U.S. military, with militia being increasingly replaced by a more professional force. The U.S. also acquired permanent ownership of Spain's Mobile District, although Spain was not a belligerent.
The Underground Railroad was a network of secret routes and safe houses used by 19th-century enslaved people of African descent in the United States in efforts to escape to free states and Canada with the aid of abolitionists and allies who were sympathetic to their cause. The term is also applied to the abolitionists, both black and white, free and enslaved, who aided the fugitives. Various other routes led to Mexico or overseas. An earlier escape route running south toward Florida, then a Spanish possession, existed from the late 17th century until shortly after the American Revolution. However, the network now generally known as the Underground Railroad was formed in the early 19th century, and reached its height between 1850 and 1860. One estimate suggests that by 1850, 100,000 slaves had escaped via the "Railroad".
British North America (present-day Canada), where slavery was prohibited, was a popular destination, as its long border gave many points of access. Most former slaves settled in Ontario. More than 30,000 people were said to have escaped there via the network during its 20-year peak period, although U.S. Census figures account for only 6,000. Numerous fugitives' stories are documented in the 1872 book The Underground Railroad Records by William Still, an abolitionist who then headed the Philadelphia Vigilance Committee.
The Democratic-Republican Party was an American political party, formed by Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson and James Madison in 1791-93 to oppose the centralizing policies of the Federalist Party run by Alexander Hamilton, who was then Secretary of the Treasury. The new party controlled the presidency and Congress, as well as most states, from 1801 to 1825, during the First Party System. Starting about 1791, one faction in Congress, many of whom had been opposed to the new constitution, began calling themselves Republicans in the Second United States Congress. The party splintered in 1824 into the Jacksonian movement (which became the Democratic Party in the 1830s) and the short-lived National Republican Party (later succeeded by the Whig Party).
The term "Democratic-Republican" is used especially by modern political scientists for the first "Republican Party" (as it called itself), also known as the Jeffersonian Republicans. Historians typically use the title "Republican Party".
The organization formed first as an "Anti-Administration" secret meeting in the national capital (Philadelphia) to oppose Hamilton's financial programs, which Jefferson denounced as leading to aristocracy and subversive of Republicanism in the United States. Jefferson needed to have a nationwide party to challenge the Federalists, a nationwide party organized by Hamilton. Foreign affairs took a leading role in 1794-95 as the Republicans vigorously opposed the Jay Treaty with Britain, which was then at war with France. Republicans saw France as more democratic after its revolution, while Britain represented the hated monarchy. The party denounced many of Hamilton's measures as unconstitutional, especially the national bank.
The party was strongest in the South and weakest in the Northeast. It demanded states' rights as expressed by the "Principles of 1798" articulated in the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions that would allow states to nullify a federal law. Above all, the party stood for the primacy of the yeoman farmers. Republicans were deeply committed to the principles of republicanism, which they feared were threatened by the supposed monarchical tendencies of the Hamiltonian Federalists. The party came to power in 1801 with the election of Jefferson in the 1800 presidential election. The Federalists—too elitist to appeal to most people—faded away, and totally collapsed after 1815. The Republicans dominated the he *First Party System*, despite internal divisions, until partisanship itself withered away during the Era of Good Feelings after 1816.
The party selected its presidential candidates in a caucus of members of Congress. They included Thomas Jefferson (nominated 1796; elected 1800-1, 1804), James Madison (1808, 1812), and James Monroe (1816, 1820). By 1824, the caucus system had practically collapsed. After 1800, the party dominated Congress and most state governments outside New England. By 1824, the party was split four ways and lacked a center, as the First Party System collapsed. The emergence of the Second Party System in the 1830s realigned the old factions. One remnant followed Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren into the new Democratic Party by 1828. Another remnant led by John Quincy Adams and Henry Clay formed the National Republicans in 1828; it developed into the Whig Party by 1835.
The Compromise of 1850 was a package of five separate bills passed by the United States Congress in September 1850, which defused a four-year political confrontation between slave and free states regarding the status of territories acquired during the Mexican-American War (1846-1848). The compromise, drafted by Whig Senator Henry Clay of Kentucky and brokered by Clay and Democratic Senator Stephen Douglas of Illinois, reduced sectional conflict. Controversy arose over the Fugitive Slave provision. The Compromise was greeted with relief, although each side disliked specific provisions.
Texas surrendered its claim to New Mexico, as well as its claims north of the Missouri Compromise Line. It retained the Texas Panhandle and the federal government took over the state's public debt.
California was admitted as a free state with its current boundaries.
The South prevented adoption of the Wilmot Proviso that would have outlawed slavery in the new territories, and the new Utah Territory and New Mexico Territory were allowed, under the principle of popular sovereignty, to decide whether to allow slavery within their borders. In practice, these lands were generally unsuited to plantation agriculture and their settlers were uninterested in slavery.
The slave trade (but not slavery altogether) was banned in the District of Columbia.
A more stringent Fugitive Slave Law was enacted.
The Compromise became possible after the sudden death of President Zachary Taylor, who, although a slave owner, had favored excluding slavery from the Southwest. Whig leader Henry Clay designed a compromise, which failed to pass in early 1850, due to opposition by both pro-slavery southern Democrats, led by John C. Calhoun, and anti-slavery northern Whigs. Upon Clay's instruction, Douglas then divided Clay's bill into several smaller pieces and narrowly won their passage over the opposition of those with stronger views on both sides.
The Missouri Compromise was attained through legislation passed by the 16th Congress of the United States on April 2, 1820. The measures provided for the admission of the District of Maine as a free state and the Missouri territory without restriction on slavery. In addition, it outlawed slavery north of the 36°30′ parallel within the Louisiana Purchase lands, thereby committing the largest remaining portion of the territory to free-soil. South of the parallel no slavery restrictions were imposed. President James Monroe signed the legislation on April 6, 1820.[
When the free-soil District of Maine offered its petition for statehood, the Senate quickly linked the Maine and Missouri bills, making Maine admission a condition for Missouri entering the Union with slavery unrestricted. Senator Jesse B. Thomas of Illinois added a compromise proviso, excluding slavery from all remaining lands of the Louisiana Purchase north of the 36 30' parallel. The combined measures passed the Senate, only to be voted down in the House by those Northern representatives who held out for a free Missouri. Speaker of the House of Representatives Henry Clay of Kentucky, in a desperate bid to break the deadlock, divided the Senate bills. Clay and his pro-compromise allies succeeded in pressuring half the anti-restrictionist House Southerners to submit to the passage of the Thomas proviso, while maneuvering a number of restrictionist House northerners to acquiesce in supporting Missouri as a slave state. This was the Missouri Compromise
The Missouri crisis would spur the formation of two powerful political organizations - the Democratic and Whig Parties - both committed to preserving the federal Union by means of sectional compromise and the suppression of the explosive proslavery and antislavery arguments the had surfaced over Missouri statehood. The repeal of the Missouri Compromise in the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 would hasten the growth of a mass antislavery coalition - the Republican Party -whose precepts of which were first formulated by Jeffersonian Republican restrictionists during the Missouri crisis.
Andrew Jackson (March 15, 1767 - June 8, 1845) was an American soldier and statesman who served as the seventh President of the United States from 1829 to 1837 and is considered the founder of the Democratic Party. He was born near the end of the colonial era, somewhere near the then-unmarked border between North and South Carolina, into a recently immigrated Scots-Irish farming family of relatively modest means. During the American Revolutionary War, Jackson, whose family supported the revolutionary cause, acted as a courier. At age 13, he was captured and mistreated by the British army. He later became a lawyer. He was also elected to Congressional office, first to the U.S. House of Representatives and twice to the U.S. Senate.
In 1801, Jackson was appointed colonel in the Tennessee militia, which became his political as well as military base. He owned hundreds of slaves who worked on the Hermitage plantation. In 1806, he killed a man in a duel over a matter of honor regarding his wife Rachel. He gained national fame through his role in the War of 1812, most famously where he won a decisive victory over the main British invasion army at the Battle of New Orleans. In response to conflict with the Seminole in Spanish Florida, he invaded the territory in 1818. This led directly to the First Seminole War and the Adams-Onís Treaty of 1819, which formally transferred Florida from Spain to the United States.
After winning election to the Senate, Jackson ran for president in 1824. Although he got a plurality in both electoral and popular vote against three major candidates, Jackson failed to get a majority and lost in the House of Representatives to John Quincy Adams. Jackson claimed that he lost by a "corrupt bargain" between Adams and Speaker of the House Henry Clay, who was also a candidate, to give Clay the office of Secretary of State in exchange for Adams winning the presidency. Jackson's supporters then founded what became the Democratic Party. He ran again for president in 1828 against Adams. Building on his base in the West and with new support from Virginia and New York, he won by a landslide. He blamed the death of his wife, Rachel, which occurred just after the election, on the Adams campaigners, who called her a "bigamist".
As president, Jackson faced a threat of secession by South Carolina over the "Tariff of Abominations", which Congress had enacted under Adams. In contrast to several of his immediate successors, he denied the right of a state to secede from the union or to nullify federal law. The Nullification Crisis was defused when the tariff was amended and Jackson threatened the use of military force if South Carolina attempted to secede.
In anticipation of the 1832 election, Congress, led by Clay, attempted to reauthorize the Second Bank of the United States four years before the expiration of its charter. In keeping with his platform of economic decentralization, Jackson vetoed the renewal of its charter, thereby seemingly putting his chances for reelection in jeopardy. However, by portraying himself as the defender of the common person against wealthy bankers, he was able to defeat Clay in the election that year. He thoroughly dismantled the bank by the time its charter expired in 1836. His struggles with Congress were personified in his personal rivalry with Clay, whom Jackson deeply disliked and who led the opposition of the emerging Whig Party. Jackson's presidency marked the beginning of the ascendancy of the "spoils system" in American politics. He is also known for having signed the Indian Removal Act in 1830, which forcibly relocated a number of native tribes in the South to Indian Territory (now Oklahoma).
Jackson supported his vice president Martin Van Buren's successful presidential campaign in 1836. He worked to bolster the Democratic Party and helped his friend James K. Polk win the 1844 presidential election.
Henry Clay, Sr. (April 12, 1777 - June 29, 1852) was an American lawyer and planter, statesman, and skilled orator who represented Kentucky in both the United States Senate and House of Representatives. He served three non-consecutive terms as Speaker of the House of Representatives and served as Secretary of State under President John Quincy Adams from 1825 to 1829. Clay ran for the presidency in 1824, 1832 and 1844, while also seeking his party's nomination in 1840 and 1848. However, he was unsuccessful in all of his attempts to reach his nation's highest office. Despite his presidential losses, Clay remained a dominant figure in the Whig Party, which he helped found in the 1830s.
Clay was a dominant figure in both the First and Second Party systems. After serving two brief stints in the Senate, Clay won election to the House of Representatives in 1810 and was elected Speaker of the House in 1811. Clay would remain a prominent public figure until his death 41 years later in 1852. A leading war hawk, Speaker Clay favored war with Britain and played a significant role in leading the nation into the War of 1812. In 1814, Clay's tenure as Speaker was interrupted when Clay traveled to Europe, where he helped to negotiate the Treaty of Ghent with the British. After the war, Clay developed his American System, which called for an increase in tariffs to foster industry in the United States, the use of federal funding to build and maintain infrastructure, and a strong national bank. Clay ran for president in 1824 and lost, finishing fourth in a four-man contest. No candidate received an electoral majority, and so the election was decided in the House of Representatives. Clay maneuvered House voting in favor of John Quincy Adams, who appointed him as Secretary of State. Opposing candidate Andrew Jackson denounced the actions of Clay and Adams as part of a "corrupt bargain", and defeated Adams in the 1828 election, ending Clay's term as Secretary of State.
Clay returned to the Senate in 1831. He continued to advocate his American System, and become a leader of the opposition to President Andrew Jackson and his Democratic Party. President Jackson opposed federally-subsidized internal improvements and a national bank as a threat to states' rights, and the president used his veto power to defeat many of Clay's proposals. In 1832, Clay ran for president as a candidate of the National Republican Party, losing to Jackson. Following the election, the National Republicans united with other opponents of Jackson to form the Whig Party, which remained one of the two major American political parties until after Clay's death. In 1844, Clay won the Whig Party's presidential nomination. Clay's opposition to the annexation of Texas, partly over fears that such an annexation would inflame the slavery issue, hurt his campaign, and Democrat James K. Polk won the election. Clay later opposed the Mexican-American War, which resulted in part from the Texas annexation. Clay returned to the Senate for a final term, where he helped broker a compromise over the status of slavery in the Mexican Cession.
Known as "The Great Compromiser", Clay brokered important agreements during the Nullification Crisis and on the slavery issue. As part of the "Great Triumvirate" or "Immortal Trio," along with his colleagues Daniel Webster and John C. Calhoun, he was instrumental in formulating the Missouri Compromise of 1820, the Compromise Tariff of 1833, and the Compromise of 1850 to ease sectional tensions. He was viewed as the primary representative of Western interests in this group, and was given the names "Henry of the West" and "The Western Star." As a plantation owner, Clay held slaves during his lifetime, but freed them in his will.
Prior to the introduction of the mechanical cotton gin, cotton had required considerable labor to clean and separate the fibers from the seeds. With Eli Whitney's introduction of "teeth" in his cotton gin to comb out the cotton and separate the seeds, cotton became a tremendously profitable business, creating many fortunes in the Antebellum South. Cities such as New Orleans, Louisiana; Mobile, Alabama; Charleston, South Carolina; and Galveston, Texas became major shipping ports, deriving substantial economic benefit from cotton raised throughout the South. Additionally, the greatly expanded supply of cotton created strong demand for textile machinery and improved machine designs that replaced wooden parts with metal. This led to the invention of many machine tools in the early 19th century.
The invention of the cotton gin caused massive growth in the production of cotton in the United States, concentrated mostly in the South. Cotton production expanded from 750,000 bales in 1830 to 2.85 million bales in 1850. As a result, the region became even more dependent on plantations and slavery, with plantation agriculture becoming the largest sector of its economy. While it took a single slave about ten hours to separate a single pound of fiber from the seeds, a team of two or three slaves using a cotton gin could produce around fifty pounds of cotton in just one day. The number of slaves rose in concert with the increase in cotton production, increasing from around 700,000 in 1790 to around 3.2 million in 1850. By 1860, black slave labor from the American South was providing two-thirds of the world's supply of cotton, and up to 80% of the crucial British market. The cotton gin thus "transformed cotton as a crop and the American South into the globe's first agricultural powerhouse, and - according to many historians - was the start of the Industrial Revolution".
Whitney (who died in 1825) could not have foreseen the ways in which his invention would change society for the worse. The most significant of these was the growth of slavery. While it was true that the cotton gin reduced the labor of removing seeds, it did not reduce the need for slaves to grow and pick the cotton. In fact, the opposite occurred. Cotton growing became so profitable for the planters that it greatly increased their demand for both land and slave labor. In 1790 there were six slave states; in 1860 there were 15. From 1790 until Congress banned the importation of slaves from Africa in 1808, Southerners imported 80,000 Africans. By 1860 approximately one in three Southerners was a slave.
Because of its inadvertent effect on American slavery, and on its ensuring that the South's economy developed in the direction of plantation-based agriculture (while encouraging the growth of the textile industry elsewhere, such as in the North), the invention of the cotton gin is frequently cited as one of the indirect causes of the American Civil War
The Second Great Awakening was a Protestant religious revival movement during the early 19th century in the United States. The movement began around 1790, gained momentum by 1800 and, after 1820, membership rose rapidly among Baptist and Methodist congregations whose preachers led the movement. It was past its peak by the late 1850s. The Second Great Awakening reflected Romanticism characterized by enthusiasm, emotion, and an appeal to the super-natural. It rejected the skeptical rationalism and deism of the Enlightenment.
The revivals enrolled millions of new members in existing evangelical denominations and led to the formation of new denominations. Many converts believed that the Awakening heralded a new millennial age. The Second Great Awakening stimulated the establishment of many reform movements designed to remedy the evils of society before the anticipated Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
People at the time talked about the Awakening; historians named the Second Great Awakening in the context of the First Great Awakening of the 1730s and 1740s and of the Third Great Awakening of the late 1850s to early 1900s. These revivals were part of a much larger Romantic religious movement that was sweeping across Europe at the time, mainly throughout England, Scotland, and Germany.
On the American Frontier, evangelical denominations sent missionary preachers and exhorters out to the people in the backcountry, which supported the growth of membership among Methodists and Baptists. Revivalists' techniques were based on the camp meeting, with its Scottish Presbyterian roots. Most of the Scots-Irish immigrants before the American Revolutionary War settled in the backcountry of Pennsylvania and down the spine of the Appalachian Mountains.
These denominations were based on an interpretation of man's spiritual equality before God, which led them to recruit members and preachers from a wide range of classes and all races. Baptists and Methodist revivals were successful in some parts of the Tidewater in the South, where an increasing number of common planters, plain folk, and slaves were converted.
Main article: Revival of 1800
In the newly settled frontier regions, the revival was implemented through camp meetings. These often provided the first encounter for some settlers with organized religion, and they were important as social venues. The camp meeting was a religious service of several days' length with preachers. Settlers in thinly populated areas gathered at the camp meeting for fellowship as well as worship. The sheer exhilaration of participating in a religious revival with crowds of hundreds and perhaps thousands of people inspired the dancing, shouting, and singing associated with these events. The revivals followed an arc of great emotional power, with an emphasis of the individual's sins and need to turn to Christ, restored by a sense of personal salvation. Upon their return home, most converts joined or created small local churches, which grew rapidly. The Second Great Awakening marked a religious transition in society in America. Many Americans from the Calvinist sect emphasized man's inability to save themselves and that their only way to be saved was from grace from God.
The Revival of 1800 in Logan County, Kentucky, began as a traditional Presbyterian sacramental occasion. The first informal camp meeting began there in June, when people began camping on the grounds of the Red River Meeting House. Subsequent meetings followed at the nearby Gasper River and Muddy River congregations, all three under the ministry of James McGready. One year later, an even larger sacrament occasion was held at Cane Ridge, Kentucky under Barton Stone, attracting perhaps as many as 20,000 people. Numerous Presbyterian, Baptist and Methodist ministers participated in the services. Thanks to such leaders as Barton W. Stone (1772-1844) and Alexander Campbell (1788-1866), the camp meeting revival became a major mode of church expansion for the Methodists and Baptists.
The Cumberland Presbyterian Church emerged in Kentucky. Cane Ridge was also instrumental in fostering what became known as the Restoration Movement. This was made up of non-denominational churches committed to what they saw as the original, fundamental Christianity of the New Testament. They were committed to individuals' achieving a personal relationship with Christ. Churches with roots in this movement include the Churches of Christ, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and the Evangelical Christian Church in Canada
The Indian Removal Act was passed by Congress on May 28, 1830, during the presidency of Andrew Jackson, who signed it into law two days later. The law authorized the president to negotiate with southern Indian tribes for their removal to federal territory west of the Mississippi River in exchange for their ancestral homelands.
The act enjoyed strong support from the non-Indian peoples of the South, who were eager to gain access to lands inhabited by the southeastern tribes. Christian missionaries protested against the law's passage.
This term was used to discuss the forced relocation of Native Americans from America-claimed states to lands west of the Mississippi River. There was a large amount of resistance from those indigenous people. Cherokee tribes came together as an independent nation to try to stop this relocation however, they were unsuccessful.
While Native American removal was in theory voluntary, in practice great pressure was put on Native American leaders to sign removal treaties. Most observers, whether they were in favor of the Indian removal policy or not, realized that the passage of the act meant the inevitable removal of most Indians from the states. Some Native American leaders who had previously resisted removal now began to reconsider their positions, especially after Jackson's landslide re-election in 1832.
The Removal Act paved the way for the forced expulsion of tens of thousands of American Indians from their traditional homelands to the West, an event widely known as the "Trail of Tears," a forced resettlement of the native population. The first removal treaty signed was the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek on September 27, 1830, in which Choctaws in Mississippi ceded land east of the river in exchange for payment and land in the West. The Treaty of New Echota, signed in 1835, resulted in the removal of the Cherokee on the Trail of Tears.
The Seminoles and other tribes did not leave peacefully. Along with fugitive slaves they resisted the removal. The Second Seminole War lasted from 1835 to 1842 and resulted in the government allowing the Seminoles to remain in the south Florida swamplands. Only a small number remained, and around 3,000 were killed in the war between U.S. soldiers and Seminoles.
The Removal Act was strongly supported in the South in order to gain access to lands inhabited by the Five Civilized Tribes. In particular, Georgia, which, in 1802 was the largest state (with claimed territory from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi), was involved in a contentious jurisdictional dispute with the Cherokee. President Jackson hoped removal would resolve the Georgia crisis. Besides the Five Civilized Tribes, additional peoples affected included the Wyandot, the Kickapoo, the Potowatomi, the Shawnee, and the Lenape.
The Indian Removal Act was controversial. While many European Americans during this time favored its passage, there was significant opposition. Many Christian missionaries, most notably missionary organizer Jeremiah Evarts, protested against passage of the Act. In Congress, New Jersey Senator Theodore Frelinghuysen and Tennessee Congressman Davy Crockett spoke out against the legislation. The Removal Act passed only after bitter debate in Congress.
Dred Scott (c. 1799 - September 17, 1858) was an enslaved African American man in the United States who unsuccessfully sued for his freedom and that of his wife and their two daughters in the Dred Scott v. Sandford case of 1857, popularly known as the "Dred Scott Decision." Scott claimed that he and his wife should be granted their freedom because they had lived in Illinois and the Wisconsin Territory for four years, where slavery was illegal. The United States Supreme Court decided 7-2 against Scott, finding that neither he nor any other person of African ancestry could claim citizenship in the United States, and therefore Scott could not bring suit in federal court under diversity of citizenship rules. Moreover, Scott's temporary residence outside Missouri did not bring about his emancipation under the Missouri Compromise, which the court ruled unconstitutional as it would "improperly deprive Scott's owner of his legal property."
While Chief Justice Roger B. Taney had hoped to settle issues related to slavery and Congressional authority by this decision, it aroused public outrage, deepened sectional tensions between the northern and southern U.S. states, and hastened the eventual explosion of their differences into the American Civil War. President Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, and the post-Civil War Thirteenth, Fourteenth and Fifteenth amendments nullified the decision.
Having failed to purchase his freedom, in 1846 Scott filed legal suit in St. Louis Circuit Court. Scott stood on solid legal ground, as Missouri precedent dating back to 1824 had held that slaves freed through prolonged residence in a free state would remain free when taken back to Missouri. The doctrine was known as "Once free, always free". Scott and his wife had resided for two years in free states and free territories, and his eldest daughter had been born on the Mississippi River, between a free state and a free territory.
The Scott v. Emerson case was tried in 1847 in the federal-state courthouse in St. Louis. Dred Scott's lawyer was originally Francis B. Murdoch and later Charles D. Drake. Because over a year elapsed from the time of the initial petition filing until the trial, Drake moved away from St. Louis during that time. Samuel M. Bay tried the case in court. The verdict went against Scott, as testimony that established his ownership by Mrs. Emerson was ruled to be hearsay. However, the judge called for a retrial, which was finally held in January 1850. This time, direct evidence was introduced that Emerson owned Scott, and the jury ruled in favor of Scott's freedom.
Irene Emerson appealed. In 1852, the Missouri Supreme Court struck down the lower court ruling, arguing that growing antislavery sentiment in the free states made it no longer necessary for Missouri to defer to the laws of free states. In doing so, the court overturned 28 years of precedent in Missouri. Justice Hamilton R. Gamble, who was later appointed governor of the state, sharply disagreed with the majority decision and wrote a dissenting opinion.
In 1853, Scott again sued, this time under federal law. Irene Emerson had moved to Massachusetts, and Scott had been transferred to Irene Emerson's brother, John F. A. Sanford. Because Sanford was a citizen of New York, while Scott would be a citizen of Missouri if he were free, the Federal courts had diversity jurisdiction over the case. After losing again in federal district court, they appealed to the United States Supreme Court in Dred Scott v. Sandford. (The name is spelled "Sandford" in the court decision due to a clerical error.)
On March 6, 1857, Chief Justice Roger B. Taney delivered the majority opinion. Taney ruled that:
Any person descended from Africans, whether slave or free, is not a citizen of the United States, according to the Constitution.
The Ordinance of 1787 could not confer either freedom or citizenship within the Northwest Territory to non-white individuals.
The provisions of the Act of 1820, known as the Missouri Compromise, were voided as a legislative act, since the act exceeded the powers of Congress, insofar as it attempted to exclude slavery and impart freedom and citizenship to non-white persons in the northern part of the Louisiana Purchase.
The Court had ruled that African Americans had no claim to freedom or citizenship. Since they were not citizens, they did not possess the legal standing to bring suit in a federal court. As slaves were private property, Congress did not have the power to regulate slavery in the territories and could not revoke a slave owner's rights based on where he lived. This decision nullified the essence of the Missouri Compromise, which divided territories into jurisdictions either free or slave. Speaking for the majority, Taney ruled that because Scott was simply considered the private property of his owners, that he was subject to the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, prohibiting the taking of property from its owner "without due process".
The Scott decision increased tensions between pro-slavery and anti-slavery factions in both North and South, further pushing the country towards the brink of civil war. Ultimately, the 14th Amendment to the Constitution settled the issue of Black citizenship via Section 1 of that Amendment: "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside ..."
Dred Scott's grave in Calvary Cemetery, St. Louis
Abolitionist aid to Scott's case
Scott's freedom suit before the state courts was backed financially by Peter Blow's children, who had turned against slavery in the decade since they sold Dred Scott. Henry Taylor Blow became a Republican Congressman after the Civil War, Charlotte Taylor Blow married the son of an abolitionist newspaper editor, and Martha Ella Blow married Charles D. Drake, who became a Republican Senator. Members of the Blow family signed as security for Scott's legal fees and secured the services of local lawyers. While the case was pending, Scott was leased out by the St. Louis County sheriff, who held the payments in escrow. In 1851, Scott was leased by Charles Edmund LaBeaume, whose sister had married into the Blow family. Scott worked as a janitor at LaBeaume's law office, which was shared with Roswell Field.
After the Missouri Supreme Court decision, the Blow family concluded that the case was hopeless and decided that they could no longer pay Scott's legal fees. Roswell Field agreed to represent Scott pro bono before the federal courts. Scott was represented before the U.S. Supreme Court by Montgomery Blair, an abolitionist who later joined Abraham Lincoln's cabinet as Postmaster General, and George Curtis, whose brother Benjamin sat on the Supreme Court and wrote one of the two dissents in Dred Scott v. Sandford.
In 1850, Irene Emerson remarried and moved to Springfield, Massachusetts. Her new husband, Calvin C. Chaffee, was an abolitionist who was elected to the U.S. Congress in 1854. Chaffee was fiercely attacked by pro-slavery newspapers for his apparent hypocrisy in owning slaves. In response, Chaffee claimed that neither he nor Mrs. Chaffee even knew about the case until it was "noticed for trial" and wrote to Montgomery Blair, "my wife ... desires to know whether she has the legal power and right to emancipate the Dred Scott family."
The strange circumstances of the Dred Scott case raised suspicions at the time of collusion to create a test case. Abolitionist newspapers charged that slaveholders colluded to name a New Yorker as defendant, while pro-slavery newspapers charged collusion on the abolitionist side. It was shown a century later that John Sanford never owned Dred Scott, nor did he serve as executor of Dr. Emerson's will. It was unnecessary to find a New Yorker to secure diversity jurisdiction of the federal courts, as Irene Emerson Chaffee had become a resident of Massachusetts. After the U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Roswell Field advised Dr. Chaffee that Mrs. Chaffee had full powers over Scott. However, Sanford had been involved in the case since the beginning, as he'd secured a lawyer to defend Mrs. Emerson in the original state lawsuit, before she married Chaffee.
The term "Five Civilized Tribes" derives from the colonial and early federal period. It refers to five Native American nations—the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek (Muscogee), and Seminole. These are the first five tribes that Anglo-European settlers generally considered to be "civilized" according to their own world view, because these five tribes adopted attributes of the colonists' culture, for example, Christianity, centralized governments, literacy, market participation, written constitutions, intermarriage with white Americans, and plantation slavery practices. The Five Civilized Tribes tended to maintain stable political relations with the Europeans.
George Washington and Henry Knox pursued an agenda of cultural transformation in relation to Native Americans. The Cherokee and Choctaw tended, in turn, to adopt and appropriate certain cultural aspects of the federation of colonies. At the time of the Declaration of Independence, the culture of the United States as a nation was, itself, emergent. Many of the cultural practices appropriated by The Five Tribes were ones that they found useful.
In the early part of the 19th Century, the US Government initiated a displacement of the existing societies living east of the Mississippi River, including The Five Tribes, to lands west of the river. This displacement initiative was dubbed the Indian Removal. The Indian Removal forced a significant number of the Five Tribes to Indian Territory in other parts of the North American continent. A significant number were displaced to the area that would, in future, become the state of Oklahoma. At the time of their removal, the tribes were suzerain nations.
Routes of southern removals to the first Indian Territory of the Five Civilized Tribes.
The federally legislated displacement of the tribes from their homes east of the Mississippi River took place over several decades during the series of removals, which is also known as the Trail of Tears. The territory to which they were displaced was, at the time, called Indian Territory, currently eastern Oklahoma. The most infamous removal was the Cherokee Trail of Tears of 1838, when President Martin Van Buren enforced the contentious Treaty of New Echota with the Cherokee Nation. One point of contention regarding the treaty is whether it is an instrument of mass displacement in violation of the human rights on which the new republic had been established, or a legal exchange of territory for land further west.
During the American Civil War, the politics of the Five Tribes were divergent. The Choctaw and Chickasaw fought predominantly alongside the Confederates while the Creek and Seminole fought alongside the Union. The Cherokee fought a civil war within their own nation between the majority Confederates and the minority, pro-Union camps. As an element in Reconstruction after the Civil War, new Reconstruction Treaties were signed with the indigenous nations that had entered into treaties with the Confederate States of America. The Civil War was not good to the tribes. The first three battles of the Civil War were fought in Indian territory, with some tribes joining treaties with the Confederates, and others with the Union.
Once the tribes had been relocated to Indian Territory, the United States government promised that their lands would be free of white settlement. Some settlers violated that with impunity, even before 1893, when the government opened the "Cherokee Strip" to outside settlement in the Oklahoma Land Run. In 1907, the Oklahoma Territory and the Indian Territory were merged to form the state of Oklahoma. Relative to other states, all Five Tribes are represented in significant numbers in the population of Oklahoma today.
The Free Soil Party was a short-lived political party in the United States active in the 1848 and 1852 presidential elections, and in some state elections. Founded in Buffalo, New York, it was a third party and a single-issue party that largely appealed to and drew its greatest strength from New York State. The party leadership consisted of anti-slavery former members of the Whig Party and the Democratic Party. Its main purpose was to oppose the expansion of slavery into the western territories, arguing that free men on free soil comprised a morally and economically superior system to slavery. It opposed slavery in the new territories (agreeing with the Wilmot Proviso) and sometimes worked to remove existing laws that discriminated against freed African Americans in states such as Ohio. It nominated Martin Van Buren for the presidency in 1848 and John P. Hale for the presidency in 1852.
The party membership was largely absorbed by the Republican Party between 1854 and 1856, by way of the Anti-Nebraska movement.
The Free Soil Party sent two Senators and fourteen Representatives to the thirty-first Congress, which convened from March 4, 1849 to March 3, 1851. Since there were party members on the floor of Congress, they could carry far more weight in the government and in the debates that took place. The Free Soil Party presidential nominee in 1848, Martin Van Buren, received 291,616 votes against Zachary Taylor of the Whigs and Lewis Cass of the Democrats, but Van Buren received no electoral votes. The party's "spoiler effect" in 1848 may have helped Taylor into office in a narrowly contested election.
The strength of the party, however, was its representation in Congress. The sixteen elected officials had influence far beyond their numerical strength. The party's most important legacy was as a route for anti-slavery Democrats to join the new Republican coalition.
In August 1854 an alliance was brokered at Ottawa, Illinois between the Free Soil Party and the Whigs (in part based on the efforts of local newspaper publisher Jonathan F. Linton) that gave rise to the Republican Party
The Northwest Indian War (1785-1795) also, known as the Ohio War, Little Turtle's War, and by other names, was a war between the United States and a confederation of numerous Indian tribes, with support from the British, for control of the Northwest Territory. It followed centuries of conflict over this territory, first among Native American tribes, and then with the added shifting alliances among the tribes and the European powers of France and Great Britain, and their colonials.
Under the Treaty of Paris (1783), which ended the American Revolutionary War, Great Britain ceded to the U.S. "control" of the Northwest Territory, which was occupied by numerous Native American peoples. Despite the treaty, the British kept forts and policies there that supported the natives in the Northwest Territories. In 1787, there were 45,000 Native Americans in the territory, and 2,000 French. President George Washington directed the United States Army to halt the hostilities between the Indians and settlers and enforce U.S. sovereignty over the territory. The U.S. Army, consisting of mostly untrained recruits supported by equally untrained militiamen, suffered a series of major defeats, including the Harmar Campaign (1790) and St. Clair's Defeat (1791), which were resounding Native American victories. About 1,000 soldiers and militiamen were killed and the United States forces suffered many more casualties than their opponents.
After St. Clair's disaster, Washington ordered Revolutionary War hero, General "Mad" Anthony Wayne, to organize and train a proper fighting force. Wayne took command of the new Legion of the United States late in 1793. He led his men to a decisive victory at the Battle of Fallen Timbers in 1794. The defeated tribes were forced to cede extensive territory, including much of present-day Ohio, in the Treaty of Greenville in 1795.
Little Turtle, or Michikinikwa (in Miami-Illinois) (c. 1747 - July 14, 1812), was a chief of the Miami people, and one of the most famous Native American military leaders of his time. Historian Wiley Sword calls him "perhaps the most capable Indian leader then in the Old Northwest." Michikinikwa led his followers in several major victories against United States forces in the 1790s during the Northwest Indian Wars, also called Little Turtle's War. In 1791, they defeated General St. Clair, who lost 900 men, the most decisive loss by the US against Native American forces ever.
In historic records, his name was spelled in a variety of ways, including Michikinikwa, Meshekunnoghquoh, Michikinakoua, Michikiniqua, Me-She-Kin-No-Quah, Meshecunnaquan and Mischecanocquah.
In the Treaty of Paris (1783) which ended the American Revolutionary War, the British abandoned their native allies and ceded the land between the Appalachian Mountains and the Mississippi River to the United States. The Americans considered the region to be theirs by right of conquest. Through the creation of the Northwest Territory in 1787, they began to divide the land north of the Ohio River for settlement. Native Americans living in the territory resisted and violence escalated; Native Americans formed the Western Confederacy with the goal of keeping the Ohio River as a boundary between Indian lands and the United States. Little Turtle emerged as one of the leaders of this confederacy, which included the Shawnee under Blue Jacket and the Delaware under Buckongahelas. The war which followed has become known by historians as the Northwest Indian War, once known as "Little Turtle's War".
In 1790, the United States sent an expedition under the command of General Josiah Harmar to end the border war. Because the United States had mostly disbanded its military after the Revolution, it had few professional soldiers to send into battle, a weakness which Little Turtle and other native leaders fully exploited. In October 1790, Little Turtle and Blue Jacket won two victories against Harmar's men. These successes encouraged previously reluctant leaders among the Ottawa and Wyandot to join the confederacy.
The Republican party began as a coalition of anti-slavery "Conscience Whigs" and Free Soil Democrats opposed to the Kansas-Nebraska Act, submitted to Congress by Stephen Douglas in January 1854. The Act opened Kansas Territory and Nebraska Territory to slavery and future admission as slave states, thus implicitly repealing the prohibition on slavery in territory north of 36° 30′ latitude, which had been part of the Missouri Compromise. This change was viewed by Free Soil and Abolitionist Northerners as an aggressive, expansionist maneuver by the slave-owning South.
The Act was supported by all Southerners, by Northern "Doughface" (pro-Southern) Democrats and by other Northern Democrats persuaded by Douglas' doctrine of "popular sovereignty". In the North the old Whig Party was almost defunct. The opponents were intensely motivated and began forming a new party.
The new party went well beyond the issue of slavery in the territories. It envisioned modernizing the United States—emphasizing giving free western land to farmers ("free soil") as opposed to letting slave owners buy up the best lands, expanded banking, more railroads, and factories. They vigorously argued that free market labor was superior to slavery and the very foundation of civic virtue and true republicanism—this was the "Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men" ideology.
The Republicans absorbed the previous traditions of its members, most of whom had been Whigs; others had been Democrats or members of third parties (especially the Free Soil Party and the American Party, also known as the Know Nothings). Many Democrats who joined were rewarded with governorships,[Note 1] or seats in the U.S. Senate,[Note 2] or House of Representatives.[Note 3] Since its inception, its chief opposition has been the Democratic Party, but the amount of flow back and forth of prominent politicians between the two parties was quite high from 1854 to 1896.
Historians have explored the ethnocultural foundations of the party, along the line that ethnic and religious groups set the moral standards for their members, who then carried those standards into politics. The churches also provided social networks that politicians used to sign up voters. The pietistic churches emphasized the duty of the Christian to purge sin from society. Sin took many forms—alcoholism, polygamy and slavery became special targets for the Republicans.
The Yankees, who dominated New England, much of upstate New York, and much of the upper Midwest were the strongest supporters of the new party. This was especially true for the pietistic Congregationalists and Presbyterians among them and (during the war), the Methodists, along with Scandinavian Lutherans. The Quakers were a small tight-knit group that was heavily Republican. The liturgical churches (Roman Catholic, Episcopal, German Lutheran), by contrast, largely rejected the moralism of the Republican Party; most of their adherents voted Democratic.
The early standard bearers of the Party expressed views of government that marked the first years of its existence. For instance, William H. Seward, New York governor who ran vied with Lincoln for the nomination in 1860, had called for welcoming immigrants with "all the sympathy that their misfortunes at home, their condition as strangers here, and their devotion to liberty, ought to excite." And Lincoln, in his 1861 message to Congress, argued that the essential reason for preserving the central government was to maintain "in the world, that form, and substance of government, whose leading object is to elevate the condition of men - to lift artificial weights from all shoulders - to clear the paths of laudable pursuit for all - to afford all, an unfettered start, and a fair chance, in the race of life.
The Trail of Tears was a series of forced removals of Native American nations from their ancestral homelands in the Southeastern United States to an area west of the Mississippi River that had been designated as Native Territory. The forced relocations were carried out by various government authorities following the passage of the Indian Removal Act in 1830. The relocated people suffered from exposure, disease, and starvation while en route, and more than four thousand died before reaching their various destinations. The removal included members of the Cherokee, Muscogee, Seminole, Chickasaw, and Choctaw nations. The phrase "Trail of Tears" originated from a description of the removal of the Cherokee Nation in 1838.
Between 1830 and 1850, the Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, Seminole, and Cherokee people (including Native Americans, and the African freedmen and slaves who lived among them) were forcibly removed from their traditional lands in the Southeastern United States, and relocated farther west. Those Native Americans that were relocated were forced to march to their destinations by state and local militias.
The Cherokee removal in 1838 (the last forced removal east of the Mississippi) was brought on by the discovery of gold near Dahlonega, Georgia in 1828, resulting in the Georgia Gold Rush. Approximately 2,000-6,000 of the 16,543 relocated Cherokee perished along the way.
The Seminole Wars, also known as the Florida Wars, were three conflicts in Florida between the Seminole—the collective name given to the amalgamation of various groups of Native Americans and African Americans who settled in Florida in the early 18th century—and the United States Army. Taken together, the Seminole Wars were the longest and most expensive (both in human and monetary terms) Indian Wars in United States history.
The First Seminole War (circa 1816-1819) began with General Andrew Jackson's excursions into West Florida and Spanish Florida against the Seminoles after the conclusion of the War of 1812. The governments of Britain and Spain both expressed outrage over the "invasion". However, Spain was unable to defend its territory, and the Spanish Crown agreed to cede Florida to the United States in the Adams-Onís Treaty of 1819. According to the Treaty of Moultrie Creek of 1823, the Seminoles were required to leave northern Florida and were confined to a large reservation in the center of the Florida peninsula. The U.S. government enforced the treaty by building a series of forts and trading posts in the territory, mainly along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts.
The Second Seminole War (1835-1842) was the result of the United States government attempting to force the Seminoles to leave Florida altogether as described in the Treaty of Payne's Landing of 1832, which Seminole leaders claimed that they signed under duress. Raids and skirmishes and a handful of larger battles raged throughout the Florida peninsula, with the outgunned and outnumbered Seminoles effectively using guerrilla warfare to frustrate the ever more numerous American forces. After several years spent chasing bands of Seminole warriors through the wilderness, the US Army changed tactics and began seeking out and destroying Seminole farms and villages, a strategy which eventually changed the course of the war. The war resulted in most of the Seminole population in Florida being killed in battle, ravaged by starvation and disease, or relocated to Indian Territory in modern Oklahoma. A few hundred Seminoles were allowed to remain in an unofficial reservation in southwest Florida.
The Third Seminole War (1855-1858) was again the result of Seminoles responding to settlers and US Army scouting parties encroaching on their lands, perhaps deliberately to provoke a violent response that would result in the removal of the last of the Seminoles from Florida. After an army surveying crew found and destroyed a Seminole plantation west of the Everglades in December 1855, Chief Billy Bowlegs led a raid near Fort Myers, setting off a conflict which consisted mainly of raids and reprisals with no large battles fought. American forces again focused on destroying the Seminoles' food supply, and in 1858, most of the remaining Seminoles, weary of war and facing starvation, agreed to be shipped to Oklahoma in exchange for promises of safe passage and cash payments to their chiefs. An estimated 100 Seminoles still refused to leave and retreated deep into the Everglades to live on land that was unwanted by white settlers.
Stephen Arnold Douglas (April 23, 1813 - June 3, 1861) was an American politician from Illinois and the designer of the Kansas-Nebraska Act. He was a U.S. representative, a U.S. senator, and the Democratic Party nominee for president in the 1860 election, losing to Republican Abraham Lincoln. Douglas had previously defeated Lincoln in a Senate contest, noted for the famous Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858. He was nicknamed the "Little Giant" because he was short in physical stature, but a forceful and dominant figure in politics. (His height is given in various sources as being in the range of 5 feet (1.5 m) to 5 feet 4 inches (1.63 m); five feet four is reported most often.)
Douglas was well known as a resourceful party leader, and an adroit, ready, skillful tactician in debate and passage of legislation. He was a champion of the Young America movement which sought to modernize politics and replace the agrarian and strict constructionist orthodoxies of the past. Douglas was a leading proponent of democracy, and believed in the principle of popular sovereignty: that the majority of citizens should decide contentious issues such as slavery and territorial expansion. As chairman of the Committee on Territories, Douglas dominated the Senate in the 1850s. He was largely responsible for the Compromise of 1850 that apparently settled slavery issues; however, in 1854 he reopened the slavery question with the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which opened some previously prohibited territories to slavery under popular sovereignty. Opposition to this led to the formation of the Republican Party.
Douglas initially endorsed the Dred Scott decision of 1857. But during the 1858 Senate campaign, he argued its effect could be negated by popular sovereignty. He also opposed the efforts of President James Buchanan and his Southern allies to enact a Federal slave code and impose the Lecompton Constitution on Kansas.
In 1860, the conflict over slavery led to the split in the Democratic Party in the 1860 Convention. Hardline pro-slavery Southerners rejected Douglas, and nominated their own candidate, Vice President John C. Breckinridge, while the Northern Democrats nominated Douglas. Douglas deeply believed in democracy, arguing the will of the people should always be decisive. When civil war came in April 1861, he rallied his supporters to the Union cause with all his energies, but he died of typhoid fever a few weeks later.
The Anglo-Saxons are a people who have inhabited Great Britain from the 5th century. They comprise people from Germanic tribes who migrated to the island from continental Europe, their descendants, and indigenous British groups who adopted some aspects of Anglo-Saxon culture and language. Historically, the Anglo-Saxon period denotes the period in Britain between about 450 and 1066, after their initial settlement and up until the Norman conquest.
The early Anglo-Saxon period includes the creation of an English nation, with many of the aspects that survive today, including regional government of shires and hundreds. During this period, Christianity was re-established and there was a flowering of literature and language. Charters and law were also established. The term Anglo-Saxon is popularly used for the language that was spoken and written by the Anglo-Saxons in England and eastern Scotland between at least the mid-5th century and the mid-12th century. In scholarly use, it is more commonly called Old English.
The history of the Anglo-Saxons is the history of a cultural identity. It developed from divergent groups in association with the people's adoption of Christianity, and was integral to the establishment of various kingdoms. Threatened by extended Danish invasions and occupation of eastern England, this identity was re-established; it dominated until after the Norman Conquest. The visible Anglo-Saxon culture can be seen in the material culture of buildings, dress styles, illuminated texts and grave goods. Behind the symbolic nature of these cultural emblems, there are strong elements of tribal and lordship ties. The elite declared themselves as kings who developed burhs, and identified their roles and peoples in Biblical terms. Above all, as Helena Hamerow has observed, "local and extended kin groups remained...the essential unit of production throughout the Anglo-Saxon period." The effects persist in the 21st century as, according to a study published in March 2015, the genetic make up of British populations today shows divisions of the tribal political units of the early Anglo-Saxon period.
Use of the term Anglo-Saxon assumes that the words Angles, Saxons or Anglo-Saxon have the same meaning in all the sources. Assigning ethnic labels such as "Anglo-Saxon" is fraught with difficulties. This term began to be used only in the 8th century to distinguish the "Germanic" groups in Britain from those on the continent.[a] Catherine Hills summarised the views of many modern scholars in her observation that attitudes towards Anglo-Saxons, and hence the interpretation of their culture and history, have been "more contingent on contemporary political and religious theology as on any kind of evidence."
James Monroe (/mənˈroʊ/; April 28, 1758 - July 4, 1831) was an American statesman who served as the fifth President of the United States from 1817 to 1825. Monroe was the last president who was a Founding Father of the United States and the last president from the Virginian dynasty and the Republican Generation. Born in Westmoreland County, Virginia, Monroe was of the planter class and fought in the American Revolutionary War. He was wounded in the Battle of Trenton with a musket ball to his shoulder. After studying law under Thomas Jefferson from 1780 to 1783, he served as a delegate in the Continental Congress. As an anti-federalist delegate to the Virginia convention that considered ratification of the United States Constitution, Monroe opposed ratification, claiming it gave too much power to the central government. He took an active part in the new government, and in 1790 he was elected to the Senate of the first United States Congress, where he joined the Democratic-Republicans. He gained experience as an executive as the Governor of Virginia and rose to national prominence as a diplomat in France, when he helped negotiate the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. During the War of 1812, Monroe held the critical roles of Secretary of State and the Secretary of War under President James Madisonon*.
Facing little opposition from the fractured Federalist Party, Monroe was easily elected president in 1816, winning over 80 percent of the electoral vote and becoming the last president during the First Party System era of American politics. As president, he bought Florida from Spain and sought to ease partisan tensions, embarking on a tour of the country that was generally well received. With the ratification of the Treaty of 1818, under the successful diplomacy of his Secretary of State John Quincy Adams, the United States extended from the Atlantic to the Pacific, giving America harbor and fishing rights in the Pacific Northwest. The United States and Britain jointly occupied the Oregon Country. In addition to the acquisition of Florida, the landmark Treaty of 1819 secured the border of the United States along the 42nd Parallel to the Pacific Ocean and represented America's first determined attempt at creating an "American global empire". As nationalism surged, partisan fury subsided and the "Era of Good Feelings" ensued until the Panic of 1819 struck and dispute over the admission of Missouri embroiled the country in 1820. Nonetheless, Monroe won near-unanimous reelection.
Monroe supported the founding of colonies in Africa for freed slaves that would eventually form the nation of Liberia, whose capital, Monrovia, is named in his honor. In 1823, he announced the United States' opposition to any European intervention in the recently independent countries of the Americas with the Monroe Doctrine, which became a landmark in American foreign policy. His presidency concluded the first period of American presidential history before the beginning of Jacksonian democracy and the Second Party System era. Following his retirement in 1825, Monroe was plagued by financial difficulties. He died in New York City on July 4, 1831.
The Democratic Party evolved from the Jeffersonian Republican or Democratic-Republican Party organized by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison in opposition to the Federalist party of Alexander Hamilton and John Adams. The party favored republicanism, a weak federal government, states' rights, agrarian interests (especially Southern planters) and strict adherence to the Constitution; it opposed a national bank, close ties to Great Britain, and business and banking interests. That party, the Democratic-Republican Party, came to power in the election of 1800.
After the War of 1812 the Federalists virtually disappeared and the only national political party left was the Democratic-Republicans. The era of one-party rule in the United States, known as the Era of Good Feelings, lasted from 1816 until the early 1830s, when the Whig Party became a national political group to rival the Democratic-Republicans. The Democratic-Republican party still had its own internal factions, however. They split over the choice of a successor to President James Monroe, and the party faction that supported many of the old Jeffersonian principles, led by Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren, became the modern Democratic Party. As Norton explains the transformation in 1828:
Jacksonians believed the people's will had finally prevailed. Through a lavishly financed coalition of state parties, political leaders, and newspaper editors, a popular movement had elected the president. The Democrats became the nation's first well-organized national party ... and tight party organization became the hallmark of nineteenth-century American politics.
Opposing factions led by Henry Clay helped form the Whig Party. The Democratic Party had a small but decisive advantage over the Whigs until the 1850s, when the Whigs fell apart over the issue of slavery. In 1854, angry with the Kansas-Nebraska Act, anti-slavery Democrats left the party and joined Northern Whigs to form the Republican Party.
Behind the platforms issued by state and national parties stood a widely shared political outlook that characterized the Democrats:
The Democrats represented a wide range of views but shared a fundamental commitment to the Jeffersonian concept of an agrarian society. They viewed the central government as the enemy of individual liberty. The 1824 "corrupt bargain" had strengthened their suspicion of Washington politics. ... Jacksonians feared the concentration of economic and political power. They believed that government intervention in the economy benefited special-interest groups and created corporate monopolies that favored the rich. They sought to restore the independence of the individual—the artisan and the ordinary farmer—by ending federal support of banks and corporations and restricting the use of paper currency, which they distrusted. Their definition of the proper role of government tended to be negative, and Jackson's political power was largely expressed in negative acts. He exercised the veto more than all previous presidents combined. Jackson and his supporters also opposed reform as a movement. Reformers eager to turn their programs into legislation called for a more active government. But Democrats tended to oppose programs like educational reform mid the establishment of a public education system. They believed, for instance, that public schools restricted individual liberty by interfering with parental responsibility and undermined freedom of religion by replacing church schools. Nor did Jackson share reformers' humanitarian concerns. He had no sympathy for American Indians, initiating the removal of the Cherokees along the Trail of Tears.
The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (Tratado de Guadalupe Hidalgo in Spanish), officially entitled the Treaty of Peace, Friendship, Limits and Settlement between the United States of America and the Mexican Republic, is the peace treaty signed on February 2, 1848, in the Villa de Guadalupe Hidalgo (now a neighborhood of Mexico City) between the United States and Mexico that ended the Mexican-American War (1846-48).
With the defeat of its army and the fall of its capital, Mexico entered into negotiations to end the war. The treaty called for the U.S. to pay $15 million to Mexico and to pay off the claims of American citizens against Mexico up to $3.25 million. It gave the United States the Rio Grande as a boundary for Texas, and gave the U.S. ownership of California and a large area comprising roughly half of New Mexico, most of Arizona, Nevada, and Utah, and parts of Wyoming and Colorado. Mexicans in those annexed areas had the choice of relocating to within Mexico's new boundaries or receiving American citizenship with full civil rights. Over 90% chose to become U.S. citizens.
The U.S. Senate ratified the treaty by a vote of 38-14. The opponents of this treaty were led by the Whigs, who had opposed the war and rejected Manifest Destiny in general, and rejected this expansion in particular
The Whig Party was a political party active in the middle of the 19th century in the United States. Four Presidents belonged to the Party while in office. It emerged in the 1830s as the immediate successor to the National Republican and Anti-Masonic Partie, and was also rooted in the traditional of the Federalist Party. Along with the rival Democratic Party, it was central to the Second Party System from the early 1830s to the mid-1850s. It originally formed in opposition to the policies of President Andrew Jackson (in office 1829-37) and his Democratic Party. In particular, the Whigs supported the supremacy of Congress over the Presidency and favored a program of modernization, banking and economic protectionism to stimulate manufacturing. It appealed to entrepreneurs, planters, reformers and the emerging urban middle class, but had little appeal to farmers or unskilled workers. It included many active Protestants, and voiced a moralistic opposition to the Jacksonian Indian removal policies*. Party founders chose the "Whig" name to echo the American Whigs of 1776, who fought for independence. "Whig" meant opposing tyranny. The underlying political philosophy of the American Whig Party was not directly related to the Whig party in England. Historian Frank Towers has specified a deep ideological divide:
Democrats stood for the 'sovereignty of the people' as expressed in popular demonstrations, constitutional conventions, and majority rule as a general principle of governing, whereas Whigs advocated the rule of law, written and unchanging constitutions, and protections for minority interests against majority tyranny.
The Whig Party nominated several presidential candidates in 1836. General William Henry Harrison of Ohio was nominated in the 1840, Congressman Henry Clay of Kentucky in 1844, and General Zachary Taylor of Virginia in 1848. Another war-hero, General Winfield Scott of Virginia was the Whig Party's last presidential nominee in the 1852. In its two decades of existence, the Whig Party had two of its candidates, Harrison and Taylor, elected President. Both died in office. John Tyler succeeded to the Presidency after Harrison's death in 1841, but was expelled from the party. Millard Fillmore, who became President after Taylor's death in 1850, was the last Whig president.
The party fell apart because of the internal tension over the expansion of slavery to the territories. With deep fissures in the party on this question, the anti-slavery faction prevented the nomination for a full-term of its own incumbent, President Fillmore, in the 1852 presidential election; instead, the party nominated General Scott. Most Whig Party leaders eventually quit politics (as Abraham Lincoln did temporarily) or changed parties. The northern voter-base mostly gravitated to the new Republican Party. In the South, most joined the Know Nothing Party, which unsuccessfully ran Fillmore in the 1856 presidential election, by which time the Whig Party had become virtually defunct. Some former Whigs became Democrats. The Constitutional Union Party experienced significant success from conservative former Whigs in the Upper South during the 1860 presidential election. Whig ideology as a policy orientation persisted for decades and played a major role in shaping the modernizing policies of the state governments during Reconstruction.
Thomas Jefferson (April 13 [O.S. April 2] 1743 - July 4, 1826) was an American Founding Father who was the principal author of the Declaration of Independence and later served as the third President of the United States from 1801 to 1809. Prior thereto, he was elected the second Vice President of the United States (1797-1801), serving under John Adams from 1797 to 1801. A proponent of democracy, republicanism, and individual rights motivating American colonists to break from Great Britain and form a new nation, he produced formative documents and decisions at both the state and national level.
Jefferson was primarily of English ancestry, born and educated in Virginia. He graduated from the College of William & Mary and briefly practiced law, at times defending slaves seeking their freedom. During the American Revolution, he represented Virginia in the Continental Congress that adopted the Declaration, drafted the law for religious freedom as a Virginia legislator, and served as a wartime governor (1779-1781). He became the United States Minister to France in May 1785, and subsequently the nation's first Secretary of State in 1790-1793 under President George Washington. Jefferson and James Madison organized the Democratic-Republican Party to oppose the Federalist Party during the formation of the First Party System. With Madison, he anonymously wrote the controversial Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions in 1798-1799, which sought to embolden states' rights in opposition to the national government by nullifying the Alien and Sedition Acts.
As President, Jefferson pursued the nation's shipping and trade interests against Barbary pirates and aggressive British trade policies. He also organized the Louisiana Purchase, almost doubling the country's territory. As a result of peace negotiations with France, his administration reduced military forces. He was reelected in 1804. Jefferson's second term was beset with difficulties at home, including the trial of former Vice President Aaron Burr. American foreign trade was diminished when Jefferson implemented the Embargo Act of 1807, responding to British threats to U.S. shipping. In 1803, Jefferson began a controversial process of Indian tribe removal to the newly organized Louisiana Territory, and he signed the Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves in 1807.
Jefferson mastered many disciplines, which ranged from surveying and mathematics to horticulture and mechanics. He was a proven architect in the classical tradition. Jefferson's keen interest in religion and philosophy earned him the presidency of the American Philosophical Society. He shunned organized religion, but was influenced by both Christianity and deism. He was well versed in linguistics and spoke several languages. He founded the University of Virginia after retiring from public office. He was a prolific letter writer and corresponded with many prominent and important people throughout his adult life. His only full-length book is Notes on the State of Virginia (1785), considered the most important American book published before 1800.
Jefferson owned several plantations which were worked by hundreds of slaves. Most historians now believe that, after the death of his wife in 1782, he had a relationship with his slave Sally Hemings and fathered at least one of her children. Historians have lauded Jefferson's public life, noting his primary authorship of the Declaration of Independence during the Revolutionary War, his advocacy of religious freedom and tolerance in Virginia, and the Louisiana Purchase while he was president. Various modern scholars are more critical of Jefferson's private life, pointing out the discrepancy between his ownership of slaves and his liberal political principles, for example. Presidential scholars consistently rank Jefferson among the greatest presidents.
The Texas Revolution (October 2, 1835 - April 21, 1836) began when colonists (primarily from the United States) in the Mexican province of Texas rebelled against the increasingly centralist Mexican government. After a decade of political and cultural clashes between the Mexican government and the increasingly large population of American settlers in Texas, hostilities erupted in October 1835. Texians (English-speaking settlers) disagreed on whether the ultimate goal was independence or a return to the Mexican Constitution of 1824. While delegates at the Consultation (provisional government) debated the war's motives, Texians and a flood of volunteers from the United States defeated the small garrisons of Mexican soldiers by mid-December 1835.
The Consultation declined to declare independence and installed an interim government, whose infighting led to political paralysis and a dearth of effective governance in Texas. An ill-conceived proposal to invade Matamoros siphoned much-needed volunteers and provisions from the fledgling Texas army. In March 1836, a second political convention declared independence and appointed leadership for the new Republic of Texas.
Determined to avenge Mexico's honor, President Antonio López de Santa Anna vowed to personally retake Texas. His Army of Operations entered Texas in mid-February 1836 and found the Texians completely unprepared. Mexican General José de Urrea led a contingent of troops on the Goliad Campaign up the Texas coast, defeating all Texian troops in his path and executing most of those who surrendered. Santa Anna led a larger force to San Antonio de Béxar (or Béxar), where his troops defeated the Texian garrison in the Battle of the Alamo, killing almost all of the defenders.
For the next month, a newly created Texian army under the command of Sam Houston steadily retreated towards the border with Louisiana; terrified civilians fled with the army, in a melee known as the Runaway Scrape. On March 31, Houston paused his men at Groce's Landing on the Brazos River, and for the next two weeks, the Texians received rigorous military training. Becoming complacent and underestimating the strength of his foes, Santa Anna further subdivided his troops. On April 21, Houston's army staged a surprise assault on Santa Anna and his vanguard force at the Battle of San Jacinto. The Mexican troops were quickly routed, and vengeful Texians executed many who tried to surrender. Santa Anna was taken hostage; in exchange for his life, he ordered the Mexican army to retreat south of the Rio Grande. Mexico refused to recognize the Republic of Texas, and intermittent conflicts between the two countries continued into the 1840s. The annexation of Texas as the 28th state of the United States, in 1845, led directly to the Mexican-American War.
Stephen Fuller Austin (November 3, 1793 - December 27, 1836) was an American empresario born in Virginia and raised in southeastern Missouri. Known as the "Father of Texas", and the founder of Texas, he led the second, and ultimately successful, colonization of the region by bringing 300 families from the United States to the region in 1825. In addition, he worked with the Mexican government to support emigration from the United States. He was also granted Mexican nationality when settling Texas.
Numerous places and institutions are named in his honor, including the capital of Texas, Austin in Travis County, Austin County, Austin Bayou, Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Austin College in Sherman, and a number of K-12 schools.
In 1821 the Mexican War of Independence gave Mexico (including California) independence from Spain; for the next 25 years, Alta California remained a remote northern province of the nation of Mexico.
Cattle ranches, or ranchos, emerged as the dominant institutions of Mexican California. After Mexican independence from Spain, the chain of missions became the property of the Mexican government and were secularized by 1834. The ranchos developed under ownership by Californios (Spanish-speaking Californians) who had received land grants, and traded cowhides and tallow with Boston merchants.
From the 1820s, trappers and settlers from the United States and Canada arrived in Northern California. These new arrivals used the Siskiyou Trail, California Trail, Oregon Trail and Old Spanish Trail to cross the rugged mountains and harsh deserts in and surrounding California.
Between 1831 and 1836, California experienced a series of revolts against Mexico; this culminated in the 1836 California revolt led by Juan Bautista Alvarado, which ended after Mexico appointed him governor of the department. The revolt, which had momentarily declared California an independent state, was successful with the assistance of American and British residents of California, including Isaac Graham; after 1840, 100 of those residents who did not have passports were arrested, leading to the Graham affair in 1840.
One of the largest ranchers in California was John Marsh. After failing to obtain justice against squatters on his land from the Mexican courts, he determined that California should become part of the United States. Marsh conducted a letter-writing campaign espousing the California climate, soil and other reasons to settle there, as well as the best route to follow, which became known as "Marsh's route." His letters were read, reread, passed around, and printed in newspapers throughout the country, and started the first wagon trains rolling to California. He invited immigrants to stay on his ranch until they could get settled, and assisted in their obtaining passports.
After ushering in the period of organized emigration to California, Marsh helped end the rule of the last Mexican governor of California, thereby paving the way to California's ultimate acquisition by the United States.
In 1846 settlers rebelled against Mexican rule during the Bear Flag Revolt. Afterwards, rebels raised the Bear Flag (featuring a bear, a star, a red stripe and the words "California Republic") at Sonoma. The Republic's only president was William B. Ide, who played a pivotal role during the Bear Flag Revolt.
The California Republic was short lived; the same year marked the outbreak of the Mexican-American War (1846-48). When Commodore John D. Sloat of the United States Navy sailed into Monterey Bay and began the military occupation of California by the United States, Northern California capitulated in less than a month to the United States forces. After a series of defensive battles in Southern California, the Treaty of Cahuenga was signed by the Californios on January 13, 1847, securing American control in California.
Following the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo that ended the war, the western territory of Alta California, became the United States state of California, and Arizona, Nevada, Colorado and Utah became United States Territories. The lightly populated lower region of California, the Baja Peninsula, remained in the possession of Mexico.
In 1846 the non-native population of California was estimated to be no more than 8,000, plus about 100,000 Native Americans down from about 300,000 before Hispanic settlement in 1769. After gold was discovered in 1848, the population burgeoned with United States citizens, Europeans, Chinese and other immigrants during the great California Gold Rush. By 1854 over 300,000 settlers had come. Between 1847 and 1870, the population of San Francisco increased from 500 to 150,000. On September 9, 1850, as part of the Compromise of 1850, California was admitted to the United States undivided as a free state, denying the expansion of slavery to the Pacific Coast.
California's native population precipitously declined, above all, from Eurasian diseases to which they had no natural immunity. As in other states, the native inhabitants were forcibly removed from their lands by incoming miners, ranchers, and farmers. And although California entered the union as a free state, the "loitering or orphaned Indians" were de facto enslaved by Mexican and Anglo-American masters under the 1853 Act for the Government and Protection of Indians. There were massacres in which hundreds of indigenous people were killed. Between 1850 and 1860, California paid around 1.5 million dollars (some 250,000 of which was reimbursed by the federal government) to hire militias whose purpose was to protect settlers from the indigenous populations. In later decades, the native population was placed in reservations and rancherias, which were often small and isolated and without enough natural resources or funding from the government to sustain the populations living on them. As a result, the rise of California was a calamity for the native inhabitants. Several scholars and Native American activists, including Benjamin Madley and Ed Castillo, have described the actions of the California government as a genocide.
The seat of government for California under Spanish and later Mexican rule was located at Monterey from 1777 until 1845. Pio Pico, last Mexican governor of Alta California, moved the capital to Los Angeles in 1845. The United States consulate was also located in Monterey, under consul Thomas O. Larkin.
In 1849, the Constitutional Convention was first held in Monterey. Among the tasks was a decision on a location for the new state capital. The first legislative sessions were held in San Jose (1850-1851). Subsequent locations included Vallejo (1852-1853), and nearby Benicia (1853-1854); these locations eventually proved to be inadequate as well. The capital has been located in Sacramento since 1854 with only a short break in 1861 when legislative sessions were held in San Francisco due to flooding in Sacramento.
Initially, travel between California and the rest of the continental United States was time consuming and dangerous. A more direct connection came in 1869 with the completion of the First Transcontinental Railroad through Donner Pass in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Once completed, hundreds of thousands of United States citizens came west, where new Californians were discovering that land in the state, if irrigated during the dry summer months, was extremely well suited to fruit cultivation and agriculture in general. Vast expanses of wheat, other cereal crops, vegetable crops, cotton, and nut and fruit trees were grown (including oranges in Southern California), and the foundation was laid for the state's prodigious agricultural production in the Central Valley and elsewhere.
The Army of the Tennessee was a Union army in the Western Theater of the American Civil War, named for the Tennessee River. It should not be confused with the similarly named Army of Tennessee, a Confederate army named after the State of Tennessee.
It appears that the term "Army of the Tennessee" was first used within the Union Army in March 1862, to describe Union forces perhaps more properly described as the "Army of West Tennessee"; these were the troops under the command of Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant in the Union's District of West Tennessee. In April 1862, Grant's troops survived a severe test in the bloody Battle of Shiloh. Then, during six months marked by discouragement and anxiety for Grant, his army first joined with two other Union armies to prosecute the relatively bloodless Siege of Corinth and then strained to hold Union positions in Tennessee and Mississippi. In October 1862, Grant's command was reconfigured and elevated to departmental status, as the Department of the Tennessee; the title of his command was thus officially aligned with that of his army. Grant commanded these forces until after his critically important victory at Vicksburg in July 1863. Under other generals, starting with William Tecumseh Sherman, the army marched and fought from the Chattanooga Campaign, through the Relief of Knoxville, the Meridian Campaign, the Atlanta Campaign, the March to the Sea, the Carolinas Campaign, and to the end of the war and disbandment. This article also discusses Grant's 1861-1862 commands — the District of Southeast Missouri and the District of Cairo — because the troops Grant led in the Battle of Belmont and the Henry-Donelson campaign during that period became the nucleus of the Army of the Tennessee.
A 2005 study of the army states that it "was present at most of the great battles that became turning points of the war—Fort Donelson, Vicksburg, and Atlanta" and "won the decisive battles in the decisive theater of the war." More poetically, in 1867, apparently speaking of the Atlanta campaign, General Sherman said that the Army of the Tennessee was "never checked—always victorious; so rapid in motion—so eager to strike; it deserved its name of the 'Whip-lash,' swung from one flank to the other, as danger called, night or day, sunshine or storm."
The Army of Northern Virginia was the primary military force of the Confederate States of America in the Eastern Theater of the American Civil War, as well as the primary command structure of the Department of Northern Virginia. It was most often arrayed against the Union Army of the Potomac.
The name Army of Northern Virginia referred to its primary area of operation, as did most Confederate States Army names at the time. The Army originated as the (Confederate) Army of the Potomac, which was organized on June 20, 1861, from all operational forces in northern Virginia. On July 20 and July 21, the Army of the Shenandoah and forces from the District of Harpers Ferry were added. Units from the Army of the Northwest were merged into the Army of the Potomac between March 14 and May 17, 1862. The Army of the Potomac was renamed Army of Northern Virginia on March 14. The Army of the Peninsula was merged into it on April 12, 1862.
Robert E. Lee's biographer, Douglas S. Freeman, asserts that the army received its final name from Lee when he issued orders assuming command on June 1, 1862. However, Freeman does admit that Lee corresponded with Joseph E. Johnston, his predecessor in army command, prior to that date and referred to Johnston's command as the Army of Northern Virginia. Part of the confusion results from the fact that Johnston commanded the Department of Northern Virginia (as of October 22, 1861) and the name Army of Northern Virginia can be seen as an informal consequence of its parent department's name. Jefferson Davis and Johnston did not adopt the name, but it is clear that the organization of units as of March 14 was the same organization that Lee received on June 1, and thus it is generally referred to today as the Army of Northern Virginia, even if that is correct only in retrospect.
In addition to Virginians, it included regiments from all over the Confederacy, some from as far away as Georgia, Texas and Arkansas. One of the most well known was the Texas Brigade, made up of the 1st, 4th, and 5th Texas, and the 3rd Arkansas, which distinguished themselves in numerous battles, such as during their fight for the Devil's Den at the Battle of Gettysburg.
The Battle of Gettysburg (local Listeni/ˈɡɛtᵻsbɜːrɡ/, with an /s/ sound) was fought July 1-3, 1863, in and around the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, by Union and Confederate forces during the American Civil War. The battle involved the largest number of casualties of the entire war and is often described as the war's turning point. Union Maj. Gen. George Meade's Army of the Potomac defeated attacks by Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, ending Lee's attempt to invade the North.
After his success at Chancellorsville in Virginia in May 1863, Lee led his army through the Shenandoah Valley to begin his second invasion of the North—the Gettysburg Campaign. With his army in high spirits, Lee intended to shift the focus of the summer campaign from war-ravaged northern Virginia and hoped to influence Northern politicians to give up their prosecution of the war by penetrating as far as Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, or even Philadelphia. Prodded by President Abraham Lincoln, Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker moved his army in pursuit, but was relieved of command just three days before the battle and replaced by Meade.
Elements of the two armies initially collided at Gettysburg on July 1, 1863, as Lee urgently concentrated his forces there, his objective being to engage the Union army and destroy it. Low ridges to the northwest of town were defended initially by a Union cavalry division under Brig. Gen. John Buford, and soon reinforced with two corps of Union infantry. However, two large Confederate corps assaulted them from the northwest and north, collapsing the hastily developed Union lines, sending the defenders retreating through the streets of the town to the hills just to the south.
On the second day of battle, most of both armies had assembled. The Union line was laid out in a defensive formation resembling a fishhook. In the late afternoon of July 2, Lee launched a heavy assault on the Union left flank, and fierce fighting raged at Little Round Top, the Wheatfield, Devil's Den, and the Peach Orchard. On the Union right, Confederate demonstrations escalated into full-scale assaults on Culp's Hill and Cemetery Hill. All across the battlefield, despite significant losses, the Union defenders held their lines.
On the third day of battle, fighting resumed on Culp's Hill, and cavalry battles raged to the east and south, but the main event was a dramatic infantry assault by 12,500 Confederates against the center of the Union line on Cemetery Ridge, known as Pickett's Charge. The charge was repulsed by Union rifle and artillery fire, at great loss to the Confederate army.
Lee led his army on a torturous retreat back to Virginia. Between 46,000 and 51,000 soldiers from both armies were casualties in the three-day battle, the most costly in US history.
On November 19, President Lincoln used the dedication ceremony for the Gettysburg National Cemetery to honor the fallen Union soldiers and redefine the purpose of the war in his historic Gettysburg Address.
The Battle of Shiloh, also known as the Battle of Pittsburg Landing, was a major battle in the Western Theater of the American Civil War, fought April 6-7, 1862, in southwestern Tennessee. A Union army under Major General Ulysses S. Grant had moved via the Tennessee River deep into Tennessee and was encamped principally at Pittsburg Landing, Tennessee on the west bank of the river, where Confederate forces under Generals Albert Sidney Johnston and Pierre G. T. Beauregard launched a surprise attack on Grant's army. Johnston was killed in action during the fighting; Beauregard, who thus succeeded to command of the army, decided against pressing the attack late in the evening. Overnight Grant was reinforced by one of his own divisions stationed further north and was joined by three divisions from another Union army under Maj. Gen. Don Carlos Buell. This allowed them to launch an unexpected counterattack the next morning which completely reversed the Confederate gains of the previous day..
On April 6, the first day of the battle, the Confederates struck with the intention of driving the Union defenders away from the river and into the swamps of Owl Creek to the west. Johnston hoped to defeat Grant's Army of the Tennessee before the anticipated arrival of General Buell's Army of the Ohio. The Confederate battle lines became confused during the fierce fighting, and Grant's men instead fell back to the northeast, in the direction of Pittsburg Landing. A Union position on a slightly sunken road, nicknamed the "Hornet's Nest," defended by the men of Brig. Gens. Benjamin M. Prentiss's and William H. L. Wallace's divisions, provided critical time for the remainder of the Union line to stabilize under the protection of numerous artillery batteries. Wallace was mortally wounded when the position collapsed, while several regiments from the two divisions were eventually surrounded and surrendered. General Johnston was shot in the leg and bled to death while personally leading an attack. Beauregard, his second in command, acknowledged how tired the army was from the day's exertions and decided against assaulting the final Union position that night.
Tired but unfought and well-organized men from Buell's army and a division of Grant's army arrived in the evening of April 6 and helped turn the tide the next morning, when the Union commanders launched a counterattack along the entire line. Confederate forces were forced to retreat from the area, ending their hopes of blocking the Union advance into northern Mississippi. The Battle of Shiloh was the bloodiest battle in American history up to that time, although it was superseded the next year by the Battle of Chancellorsville and, soon after, the three-day Battle of Gettysburg, which would prove to be the bloodiest of the war.
Ulysses S. Grant (born Hiram Ulysses Grant; April 27, 1822 - July 23, 1885) was the 18th President of the United States (1869-77). As Commanding General of the United States Army (1864-69), Grant worked closely with President Abraham Lincoln to lead the Union Army to victory over the Confederacy in the American Civil War. He implemented Congressional Reconstruction, often at odds with Lincoln's successor, Andrew Johnson. Twice elected president, Grant led the Republicans in their effort to remove the vestiges of Confederate nationalism and slavery, protect African-American citizenship, and supported unbridled nationwide industrial expansionism during the Gilded Age.
Grant graduated in 1843 from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, served in the Mexican-American War and initially retired in 1854. He struggled financially in civilian life. When the Civil War began in 1861, he rejoined the U.S. Army. In 1862, Grant took control of Kentucky and most of Tennessee, and led Union forces to victory in the Battle of Shiloh, earning a reputation as an aggressive commander. He incorporated displaced African American slaves into the Union war effort. In July 1863, after a series of coordinated battles, Grant defeated Confederate armies and seized Vicksburg, giving the Union control of the Mississippi River and dividing the Confederacy in two. After his victories in the Chattanooga Campaign, Lincoln promoted him to lieutenant-general and Commanding General of the United States Army in March 1864. Grant confronted Robert E. Lee in a series of bloody battles, trapping Lee's army in their defense of Richmond. Grant coordinated a series of devastating campaigns in other theaters. In April 1865, Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox, effectively ending the war. Historians have hailed Grant's military genius, and his strategies are featured in military history textbooks, but a minority contend that he won by brute force rather than superior strategy.
After the Civil War, Grant led the army's supervision of Reconstruction in the former Confederate states. Elected president in 1868 and reelected in 1872, Grant stabilized the nation during the turbulent Reconstruction period, prosecuted the Ku Klux Klan, and enforced civil and voting rights laws using the army and the Department of Justice. He used the army to build the Republican Party in the South, based on black voters, Northern newcomers ("carpetbaggers"), and native Southern white supporters ("scalawags"). After the disenfranchisement of some former Confederates, Republicans gained majorities and African Americans were elected to Congress and high state offices. In his second term, the Republican coalitions in the South splintered and were defeated one by one as redeemers (conservative whites) regained control using coercion and violence. Grant's Indian peace policy initially reduced frontier violence, but is best known for the Great Sioux War of 1876, where George Custer and his regiment were killed at the Battle of the Little Bighorn.
Robert Edward Lee (January 19, 1807 - October 12, 1870) was an American general known for commanding the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia in the American Civil War from 1862 until his surrender in 1865. The son of Revolutionary War officer Henry "Light Horse Harry" Lee III, Lee was a top graduate of the United States Military Academy and an exceptional officer and military engineer in the United States Army for 32 years. During this time, he served throughout the United States, distinguished himself during the Mexican-American War, and served as Superintendent of the United States Military Academy.
When Virginia declared its secession from the Union in April 1861, Lee chose to follow his home state, despite his personal desire for the country to remain intact and despite an offer of a senior Union command. During the first year of the Civil War, Lee served as a senior military adviser to President Jefferson Davis. Once he took command of the main field army in 1862 he soon emerged as a shrewd tactician and battlefield commander, winning most of his battles, all against far superior Union armies. Lee's strategic foresight was more questionable, and both of his major offensives into Union territory ended in defeat. Lee's aggressive tactics, which resulted in high casualties at a time when the Confederacy had a shortage of manpower, have come under criticism in recent years. Lee surrendered his entire army to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865. By this time, Lee had assumed supreme command of the remaining Southern armies; other Confederate forces swiftly capitulated after his surrender. Lee rejected the proposal of a sustained insurgency against the Union and called for reconciliation between the two sides.
After the war, as President of what is now Washington and Lee University, Lee supported President Andrew Johnson's program of Reconstruction and intersectional friendship, while opposing the Radical Republican proposals to give freed slaves the vote and take the vote away from ex-Confederates. He urged them to rethink their position between the North and the South, and the reintegration of former Confederates into the nation's political life. Lee became the great Southern hero of the War, a postwar icon of the "Lost Cause of the Confederacy" to some. But his popularity grew even in the North, especially after his death in 1870. Barracks at West Point built in 1962 are named after him.
The Emancipation Proclamation was a presidential proclamation and executive order issued by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863. It purported to change the federal legal status of more than 3 million enslaved people in the designated areas of the South from "slave" to "free", although its immediate effect was less. It had the practical effect that as soon as a slave escaped the control of the Confederate government, by running away or through advances of federal troops, the slave became legally free. Eventually it reached and liberated all of the designated slaves. It was issued as a war measure during the American Civil War, directed to all of the areas in rebellion and all segments of the executive branch (including the Army and Navy) of the United States.
It proclaimed the freedom of slaves in ten states. Because it was issued under the President's authority to suppress rebellion (war powers), it necessarily excluded areas not in rebellion - it applied to more than 3 million of the 4 million slaves at the time. The Proclamation was based on the president's constitutional authority as commander in chief of the armed forces; it was not a law passed by Congress. The Proclamation also ordered that suitable persons among those freed could be enrolled into the paid service of United States' forces, and ordered the Union Army (and all segments of the Executive branch) to "recognize and maintain the freedom of" the ex-slaves. The Proclamation did not compensate the owners, did not outlaw slavery, and did not grant citizenship to the ex-slaves (called freedmen). It made the eradication of slavery an explicit war goal, in addition to the goal of reuniting the Union.
Around 20,000 to 50,000 slaves in regions where rebellion had already been subdued were immediately emancipated. It could not be enforced in areas still under rebellion, but as the Union army took control of Confederate regions, the Proclamation provided the legal framework for freeing more than 3 million slaves in those regions. Prior to the Proclamation, in accordance with the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, escaped slaves were either returned to their masters or held in camps as contraband for later return. The Proclamation applied only to slaves in Confederate-held lands; it did not apply to those in the four slave states that were not in rebellion (Kentucky, Maryland, Delaware, and Missouri, which were unnamed), nor to Tennessee (unnamed but occupied by Union troops since 1862) and lower Louisiana (also under occupation), and specifically excluded those counties of Virginia soon to form the state of West Virginia. Also specifically excluded (by name) were some regions already controlled by the Union army. Emancipation in those places would come after separate state actions and/or the December 1865 ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment, which made slavery and indentured servitude, except for those duly convicted of a crime, illegal everywhere subject to United States jurisdiction.
On September 22, 1862, Lincoln issued a preliminary warning that he would order the emancipation of all slaves in any state that did not end its rebellion against the Union by January 1, 1863. None of the Confederate states restored themselves to the Union, and Lincoln's order was signed and took effect on January 1, 1863. The Emancipation Proclamation outraged white Southerners (and their sympathizers) who envisioned a race war. It angered some Northern Democrats, energized anti-slavery forces, and undermined elements in Europe that wanted to intervene to help the Confederacy. The Proclamation lifted the spirits of African Americans both free and slave. It led many slaves to escape from their masters and get to Union lines to obtain their freedom, and to join the Union Army.
The Emancipation Proclamation broadened the goals of the Civil War. While slavery had been a major issue that led to the war, Lincoln's only mission at the start of the war was to maintain the Union. The Proclamation made freeing the slaves an explicit goal of the Union war effort. Establishing the abolition of slavery as one of the two primary war goals served to deter intervention by Britain and France. The Emancipation Proclamation was never challenged in court. To ensure the abolition of slavery in all of the U.S., Lincoln pushed for passage of the Thirteenth Amendment. Congress passed it by the necessary two-thirds vote on January 31, 1865, and it was ratified by the states on December 6, 1865.
Andrew Johnson (December 29, 1808 - July 31, 1875) was the 17th President of the United States, serving from 1865 to 1869. Johnson became president as he was vice president at the time of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. A Democrat who ran with Lincoln on the National Union ticket, Johnson came to office as the Civil War concluded. The new president favored quick restoration of the seceded states to the Union. His plans did not give protection to the former slaves, and he came into conflict with the Republican-dominated Congress, culminating in his impeachment by the House of Representatives. The first American president to be impeached, he was acquitted in the Senate by one vote.
Johnson was born in poverty in Raleigh, North Carolina. Apprenticed as a tailor, he worked in several frontier towns before settling in Greeneville, Tennessee. He served as alderman and mayor there before being elected to the Tennessee House of Representatives in 1835. After brief service in the Tennessee Senate, Johnson was elected to the federal House of Representatives in 1843, where he served five two-year terms. He became Governor of Tennessee for four years, and was elected by the legislature to the Senate in 1857. In his congressional service, he sought passage of the Homestead Bill, which was enacted soon after he left his Senate seat in 1862.
As Southern slave states, including Tennessee, seceded to form the Confederate States of America, Johnson remained firmly with the Union. He was the only sitting senator from a Confederate state who did not resign his seat upon learning of his state's secession. In 1862, Lincoln appointed him as military governor of Tennessee after most of it had been retaken. In 1864, Johnson, as a War Democrat and Southern Unionist, was a logical choice as running mate for Lincoln, who wished to send a message of national unity in his re-election campaign; their ticket easily won. When Johnson was sworn in as vice president in March 1865, he gave a rambling speech. He later secluded himself to avoid public ridicule. Six weeks later, the assassination of Lincoln made him president.
Johnson implemented his own form of Presidential Reconstruction - a series of proclamations directing the seceded states to hold conventions and elections to re-form their civil governments. When Southern states returned many of their old leaders, and passed Black Codes to deprive the freedmen of many civil liberties, Congressional Republicans refused to seat legislators from those states and advanced legislation to overrule the Southern actions. Johnson vetoed their bills, and Congressional Republicans overrode him, setting a pattern for the remainder of his presidency. Johnson opposed the Fourteenth Amendment, which gave citizenship to former slaves. In 1866, Johnson went on an unprecedented national tour promoting his executive policies, seeking to destroy his Republican opponents. As the conflict between the branches of government grew, Congress passed the Tenure of Office Act, restricting Johnson's ability to fire Cabinet officials. When he persisted in trying to dismiss Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, he was impeached by the House of Representatives, and narrowly avoided conviction in the Senate and removal from office. Returning to Tennessee after his presidency, Johnson sought political vindication, and gained it in his eyes when he was elected to the Senate again in 1875 (the only former president to serve there), just months before his death. Many historians rank Johnson among the worst American presidents for his strong opposition to federally guaranteed rights for African-Americans, while some historians admire Johnson for his strict constitutionalism.
The Ku Klux Klan (KKK), or simply "the Klan", is the name of three distinct past and present movements in the United States that have advocated extremist reactionary currents such as white supremacy, white nationalism, anti-immigration, and, especially in later iterations, Nordicism, anti-Catholicism, and antisemitism, historically expressed through terrorism aimed at groups or individuals whom they opposed. All three movements have called for the "purification" of American society, and all are considered right wing extremist organizations.
The first Klan flourished in the Southern United States in the late 1860s, then died out by the early 1870s. It sought to overthrow the Republican state governments in the South during the Reconstruction Era, especially by using violence against African American leaders. With numerous chapters across the South, it was suppressed around 1871, through federal law enforcement. Members made their own, often colorful, costumes: robes, masks, and conical hats, designed to be terrifying, and to hide their identities.
The second group was founded in 1915, and flourished nationwide in the early and mid-1920s, particularly in urban areas of the Midwest and West. It was rooted in local Protestant communities and opposed Catholics and Jews, and stressed its opposition to the Catholic Church. This second organization adopted a standard white costume and used code words which were similar to those used by the first Klan, while adding cross burnings and mass parades.
The third and current manifestation of the KKK emerged after 1950, in the form of small, local, unconnected groups that use the KKK name. They focused on opposition to the Civil Rights Movement, often using violence and murder to suppress activists. It is classified as a hate group by the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center. As of 2016, the Anti-Defamation League puts total Klan membership nationwide at around 3,000, while the Southern Poverty Law Center puts it at 6,000 members total.
The second and third incarnations of the Ku Klux Klan made frequent references to America's "Anglo-Saxon" blood, hearkening back to 19th-century nativism. Although members of the KKK swear to uphold Christian morality, virtually every Christian denomination has officially denounced the KKK.
John Wilkes Booth (May 10, 1838 - April 26, 1865) was an American stage actor who assassinated President Abraham Lincoln at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C. on April 14, 1865. Booth was a member of the prominent 19th-century Booth theatrical family from Maryland and, by the 1860s, was a well-known actor. He was also a Confederate sympathizer, vehement in his denunciation of Lincoln, and strongly opposed to the abolition of slavery in the United States.
Booth and a group of co-conspirators originally plotted to kidnap Lincoln but later planned to kill him, Vice President Andrew Johnson, and Secretary of State William H. Seward in a bid to help the Confederacy's cause. Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia had surrendered four days earlier, but Booth believed that the American Civil War was not yet over because Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston's army was still fighting the Union Army.
Of the conspirators, only Booth was completely successful in carrying out his part of the plot. He shot Lincoln once in the back of the head, and the President died the next morning. Seward was severely wounded but recovered, and Vice-President Johnson was never attacked at all.
Following the assassination, Booth fled on horseback to southern Maryland, eventually making his way to a farm in rural northern Virginia 12 days later, where he was tracked down. Booth's companion gave himself up, but Booth refused and was shot by Boston Corbett, a Union soldier, after the barn in which he was hiding was set ablaze. Eight other conspirators or suspects were tried and convicted, and four were hanged shortly thereafter.