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The view that old-stock values and social patterns were preferable to those of immigrants. Favored native-born citizens over the immigrants. In this time period, they were mostly against Irish and German immigrants. Led to the creation of the Know-Nothing Party. Wasn't a major concern of the time - slavery and sectionalism was.
Also known as the American Republican Party. Were anti-Catholic, anti-immigrant organization who eventually formed themselves into a national political party in the 1850s. Daniel Webster and Millard Fillmore ran on their ticket for a presidential election - both lost. Declined when the issue of slavery split the party vote.
Free Soil Party
Political party that opposed the extension of slavery into any of the territories acquired from Mexico. Drew most of its strength from New York. Nominated Martin Van Buren in 1848. Was short-lived due to its status as the third party in a two party system and only focused on one issue. Its members were absorbed by the Republican Party.
Compromise of 1850
Plan intended to reconcile the North and the South on the issue of slavery - in fact, it just pulled the two sides further apart. Drafted by Clay and brokered by Clay and Douglas - who managed to get it passed by breaking it apart. Called for California to enter the Union as a free state, banned the slave trade in Washington D.C., established popular sovereignty as the way to decide if slavery would be allowed in the Arizona and New Mexico territories, Texas gave up claims to New Mexico and turns over public debt to the federal government, and created a stronger Fugitive Slave Act requiring all citizens to assist in capturing escaped slaves and made it illegal not to.
Fugitive Slave Law
Law providing for the return of escaped slaves to their owner and made it illegal to even hide knowledge of an escaped slave. A stronger version was included as part of the Compromise of 1850. Strongly disliked by the North.
New Hampshire lawyer and Democratic politician nominated as a compromise candidate and elected the 14th president in 1852 - won due to his status as a Northerner with Southern sympathizers. His support for the Kansas-Nebraska Act angered Northerners. Credibly was damaged when his diplomats wrote the Ostend Manifesto. Is regarded as one of the worst presidents.
Pennsylvania senator who was elected the 15th president in 1856 after gaining the Democratic nomination as a compromise candidate. Had served in Russia for many previous years and therefore had no enemies and few knew his stance on slavery. His attempts to maintain peace alienated both the North and the South. The Southern states succeeded which he declared illegal but he also said it was illegal to go to war with them. Is regarded as one of the worst presidents.
Uncle Tom's Cabin
Anti-slavery novel written by Harriet Beecher Stowe just before the outbreak of the Civil War. It was full of stereotypes and was not a great work of literature, but it helped increase abolitionist support.
John C. Fremont
Explorer, soldier, and politician who explored and mapped much of the American West and Northwest. He was often called the "Great Pathfinder". He ran unsuccessfully for president in 1856 as the first Republican to do so - mainly due to the fact that Democrats claimed his election would led to civil war. He was given control of Union armies in the West during the Civil War but was fired when he tried to abolish slavery without the federal government's consent.
llinois senator who tried to reconcile northern and southern differences over slavery through the Compromise of 1850 and the Kansas-Nebraska Act. The champion for popular sovereignty. Was the northern Democratic nominee in the presidential election of 1860. Rallied his supporters for the Union but died just weeks after the outbreak of the Civil War.
Stephen Douglas's belief, stated at Freeport, Illinois at the second Lincoln-Douglas debate in 1858, that a territory could exclude slavery by writing local laws or regulations that made slavery impossible to enforce. Basically stated that states could get around the Dred Scott decision if they didn't want slavery to be present. Defended his idea of popular sovereignty.
Law passed by Congress in 1854 that allowed residents of the Kansas and Nebraska territories to decide whether to allow slavery within their borders by popular sovereignty - which, repealed the Missouri Compromise. Championed by Stephen Douglas. First purpose was to open up the Midwest for a transcontinental railroad route. Led to "Bleeding Kansas" as both pro and anti-slavery forces tried to gain control of the vote and the creation of the Republican party.
Declaration by American foreign ministers in 1854 that if Spain refused to sell Cuba, the US might be justified in taking it by force. Pierre Soule, the minister to Spain, was the driving force behind the idea. Denounced in both Europe and the Northern States - because it would be a slave state if added - and was a serious setback for President Pierce's administration. Became a rallying cry for the North in the events leading up to "Bleeding Kansas".
State constitution written for Kansas in 1857 at a convention dominated by pro-slavery forces. Was written in response to the Topeka Constitution written earlier by anti-slavery forces. It would have allowed slavery but Kansas voters rejected it. President Buchanan's support of it split apart the Democratic Party.
The doctrine that the people of a territory had the right to determine whether slavery would exist within the territory. Championed by Stephen Douglas and used unsuccessfully in the Kansas-Nebraska Act because it led to "Bleeding Kansas". Lincoln targeted this idea which caused pro-slavery Southerners to break their support from Douglas and field their own candidate in 1860.
A series of violent confrontations between anti and pro-slavery forces in Kansas territory as each side tried to gain control of the vote to allow slavery. Resulted from the repeal of the Missouri Compromise and the adopted of the Kansas-Nebraska Act that called for popular sovereignty. Term was coined by Horace Greeley.
Massachusetts senator who was brutally beaten by a southern congressman in 1856 after delivering a speech attacking the South. He gained fame as a Republican and became one of the leaders of the Radical Republican's along side Thaddeus Stevens.
Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857)
Decision by Chief Justice Taney that the federal government had no power to regulate slavery in the territories and all people of African descent were not protected by the Constitution and were not citizens. Taney thought his decision would finally settle the slavery question, but it didn't - it strengthen Northern opposition to slavery, divided the Democratic Party, emboldened Southerners, and strengthened the Republican Party.
Abolitionist who fought pro-slavery forces in Kansas. He led the Pottawatomie Massacre in response to the Sack of Lawrence. He was hanged for treason after seizing the US arsenal at Harper's Ferry in 1859 as part of an effort to liberate southern slaves. Many Southerners feared it was just one of many plans to start a slave rebellion and helped to divide the nation even more. He kind of became a martyr in the North.
John J. Crittenden
Kentucky senator who made an unsuccessful attempt to prevent the Civil War by proposing a series of constitutional amendments protecting slavery south of the Missouri Compromise line. He sought out moderates from all parties to form the Constitutional Union Party.
Political party formed in 1854 that exposed the extension of slavery into the western territories; was created in response to the Kansas-Nebraska Act. Dominated all Northern states by 1858. Came into power with the election of President Lincoln in 1860 and oversaw the preservation of the Union, end of slavery, and Reconstruction.
Illinois lawyer and politician who argued against popular sovereignty in debates with Stephen Douglas in 1858. He lost the senatorial elections but was elected the 16th president in 1860 on the Republican ticket. Succeed in preserving the Union when 7 southern states seceded following his election, suspended heabus corpus in the South, managed to avoid British recognition of the Confederacy, issued the Proclamation Emancipation and helped push the Thirteenth Amendment through Congress, and supported a moderate Reconstruction plan before his assassination right after the end of the war.
Election of 1860
Lincoln of the Republican Party ran against Breckinridge of the Southern Democrats, John Bell of the Constitutional Union, and Stephen Douglas of the Northern Democrats. Lincoln succeed in sweeping the North and gaining a majority of electoral votes to win the election - which cause the session of South Carolina and 10 more states.
Fort at the mouth of the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina. It was the scene of the opening engagement in April 1861. Major Anderson refused to surrender but after a day of constant fire, he was forced to surrender.
Secretary of war under Franklin Pierce, he later became the president of the Confederacy. He failed to gain any diplomatic recognition for the Confederacy and failed to rally public support like Lincoln could do.
Winfield's Scott plan to blockade southern ports, take control of the Mississippi River and capture Richmond. It would split the Confederacy into two, cut off Southern trade and cause an economic collapse.
Confederate States of America
Political entity formed by the seceding states of South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana in February 1861 and Texas, Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina joined later. Was never recognized as an independent country and the Supreme Court ruled they never existed. Were defeated in the Civil War .
The slave states of Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky, and Missouri - which shared a border with states in which slavery was illegal. The border states did not declare secession until after April of 1861 and Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, and Missouri never seceded. West Virginia is also included since it broke away from Virginia. The Emancipation Proclamation and Reconstruction did not apply to them because they never seceded.
First Bull Run (Manassas)
First major land battle of the Civil War. Union army under command of McDowell attempt to march onto Richmond to quickly end the war but run into the Confederate Army who poise a counterattack and force the Union army to frantically retreat back to Washington. Colonel Jackson earns the name "Stonewall Jackson". Makes both sides realize the war will be longer and bloodier than they forsaw.
First large scale offense in the Eastern Theater. McClellan's attempt in the spring and summer of 1862 to capture Richmond by advancing up the peninsula between the James and York Rivers. Confederate forces under Robert E. Lee drove his troops back.
Robert E. Lee
Commanded the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia during the Civil War. Followed his home state in seceding though he wished for the Union to stay together and had been offered a job by President Lincoln. Tactical genius who experience great success in everything but his Northern invasions and was eventually promoted to commanding officer of all forces. Surrendered to Grant at Appomattox. Denied guerrilla warfare and called for reconciliation between the North and South.
US General who replaced Winfield Scott as general in chief of Union forces, a skillful organizer, but slower and indecisive as a field contender. After his performance at the Battle of Antietam, Lincoln removed him from command. Challenged Lincoln in the presidential election of 1864 as the Democratic nominee.
Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson
Confederate general who was one of their tactical geniuses. He gained his nickname at the First Battle of Bull Run. His handling of the Confederate Army at Chancellorsville - where he was shoot and killed by his own side- is still considered one of the best examples of military leadership. His death hurt the military prospects but also the army and public morale.
Ulysess S. Grant
US general who became general in chief of the Union army in 1864 after the Vicksburg campaign. Earned a reputation early on at the Battle of Shiloh. In his bloody Overland Campaign, he wore out Lee's Army. He succeed in defeating Lee's Confederate Army. He later became the 18th president. As president, he led the Radical Republicans in ending all traces Confederate nationalism and slavery and effectively destroyed the Klu Klux Klan. His 2 terms were marred by corrupt officials and the Panic of 1873.
Battle in September of 1862 in which Lee's forces invaded Maryland. Both sites suffered heavy losses, and Lee was forced to retreat into Virginia. Bloodiest day of the entire war. Lincoln fires McClellan for his indecisiveness, but the victory gives Lincoln enough confidence to issue his Emancipation Proclamation.
A draft that would force certain people into the army. Both the North and South were forced to create such laws due to the high causality and desertion levels.
Lincoln's order abolishing slavery as of January 1, 1863 in the states "in rebellion" but not in the border territories still loyal to the US. Outraged white southerners, angered some Northern Democrats, energized the Union, and weakened any chance of countries in Europe recognizing the Confederacy.
Also called the Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction. Lincoln's very lenient plan for Reconstruction that stated a state could reenter the Union with a modified state constitution once 10% of the voters from the 1860 swore allegiance to the US. It pardoned all Southerners except high ranking military and government officials. Opposed by the Radical Republicans who believed the South should be punished.
William T. Sherman
US general who captured Atlanta in 1864 and led a destructive march to the Atlantic Coast known as the "March to the Sea". Used total war to break Southern morale. Succeed Grant as the Commanding Genera of the Armies and commanded it through various Indian wars.
Union troops under General Hooker were defeated by Lee's much smaller force. Described as Lee's perfect battle. General Jackson was killed by friendly fire. The Union loses mainly to do bad tactics and miscommunication; Hooker is removed from commander a few months later. Lee's confidence led him to attack the North at Gettysburg.
One of the most celebrated photographers from the 19th century. He he best known for his Civil War pictures. Is known as the father of photojournalism.
The first ironclad warship commissioned by the US Navy during the Civil War. Fought against the CSS Virginia in the Battle of Hampton Roads in the first battle between two ironclads. Marked the end of wooden ships.
The hull was used to create the CSS Virginia which would fight against the USS Monitor at Hampton Roads as the first ever battle between two ironclads.
Union forces under General Mead defeated Lee's Confederate forces and turning back Lee's invasion of the North. Was the bloodiest battle of the war. Served as a turning point in the war for Lee would never again have enough manpower to attack the North.
Confederate-held city on the Mississippi River that surrendered on July 4, 1863 after a lengthy siege by Grant's forces. It's capture helped to accomplish one aspect of the Anaconda plan. This victory along with Lee's retreat at Gettysburg is often said to be the turning point.
Election of 1864
No ballots were counted from the 11 Southern states though Union-occupied Louisiana and Tennessee did vote. McClellan ran on the Democratic ticket as the "peace candidate". War Democrats in the border states joined with the Republicans to form the National Union party to back Lincoln. Lincoln became the first president reelected since President Jackson. He gained many soldier votes after Sherman's victory at Atlanta.
March to the Sea
Sherman's march through Georgia from Atlanta to Savannah from November 15 to December 21, 1864 during which Union soldiers, practicing "total war", carried out orders to destroy everything in their path. He destroyed much of the South physical and physiological capacity to wage war.
War waged with little regard for the welfare of troops on either side or for the enemy civilians. The objective is to destroy both the human and economic resources of the enemy. Used by Sherman in his March to the Sea and in Grant's Overland Campaign.
Derogatory name applied to Northerners opposed the Civil War and advocated for immediate peace with the South. It's popularity fluctuated depending on the armies battles and disappeared after the victory at Atlanta in 1864.
Tennessee senator who became Lincoln's running mate in 1864 and who succeeded to the presidency after Lincoln's assassination, becoming the 17th president. Presided over the beginning of Reconstruction and failed to protect the rights of Freedmen, came under the attack of the Republicans, and was then impeached. As a Senator, he was the only Southerner who did not resign his seat and successfully implemented Reconstruction policies in Tennessee. He supported Presidential Reconstruction and in his rush to get the Confederate States back in the Union, he often allowed them in without falling all the requirements and securing Freedmen's rights. After his veto's of several civil rights bills, Radical Republican impeached him under the Tenure of Office Act. Is often regarded as one of the worst presidents.
Site of Lee's last battle. After loosing Richmond and St. Petersburg, Lee made his last stand only to discover he misjudged the number of Union troops. Surrender papers were signed later that day on April 9, 1865, and Lee surrendered his Army of Northern Virginia to Grant - effectively ending the Civil War.
John Wilkes Booth
Actor and southern sympathizer who on April 14, 1865, five days after Lee's surrender, fatally shot President Lincoln at Ford's Theater in Washington. He was the only man successful in the plot to also kill Secretary of State Seward and Vice President Johnson.
Constitutional amendment, ratified in 1865, that abolished slavery in the United States and its territories. One of the Reconstruction Amendments.
Constitutional amendment, ratified in 1868, defining American citizenship and placing restrictions on former Confederates. Overruled the Dred Scott Decision and said blacks were and could be citizens, prohibited state and local governments from depriving persons of life, liberty, or property without certain steps being taken to ensure fairness - meant to make most of the Bill of Rights applicable on the state level, and required states to provide equal protection to all people within its jurisdiction. One of the Reconstruction Amendments.
Constitutional amendment, ratified in 1870, that prohibited states from denying the right to vote because of a person's race of because a person had been a slave. One of the Reconstruction Amendments.
The moderate position taken by both Lincoln and Johnson in which they attempted to bring the Confederate States back and return the Union to normal as soon as possible. Doing this, they angered the Radical Republicans who wanted more rights for Freedmen and harsher terms for the Former Confederates. With the impeachment of Johnson and Grant's inauguration, the Radical's took over.
Pennsylvania congressman who was a leader of the Radical Republicans during the Civil War and Reconstruction period. Controlled the house from 1861 until his death. Worked for racial equality and to guarantee the rights of Freedmen. Defended public education while in the Pennsylvania House. Supported equal rights for everyone, but the abolitionism of slavery became his main cause. Helped to draft both the 14th Amendment and the Reconstruction Act of 1867. Largely controlled the direction of Reconstruction.
Like Congressional Reconstruction because the Radical Republicans controlled Congress. Wanted harsher punishment for the former Confederates and to guarantee rights for Freedmen. They took over the Reconstruction process in the congressional election of 1866 were they gained the majority needed to override Johnson's vetoes. Were able to pass the 14th and 15th Amendments. President Grant supported Radical Reconstruction. Ended with the Compromise of 1877 and the removal of federal troops from the South.
Derogatory term for white southerners who aligned themselves with the Republican party during Reconstruction. Included whites how generally wanted more rights for Freedmen but also included whites who wanted to be a part of the ruling political party because it provided more opportunities.
Derogatory term for the northerners who came to the South after the Civil War to participate in Reconstruction. Southerners believed they moved to buy that land that was selling at super cheap prices and to politically manipulate the local Southern governments.
Bill proposed by two Radical Republicans to counter Lincoln's lenient 10% Plan. Called for a majority of citizens of each Confederate state to take the Ironclad oath- stating they had never supported the Confederacy - to be readmitted into the Union. Lincoln used his pocket veto because he believed it would be to difficult to repair ties and in doing so, angered the Radical Republicans.
Morrill Land Grant Acts
Series of Acts that allowed for the creation of land-grant colleges. States were given federal in which to create colleges focusing on teaching agricultural engineering.
Pacific Railroad Act
Law passed by Congress in 1862 that gave loans and land to the Central Pacific and Union Pacific Railroad companies to subsidize construction of a rail line between Omaha and the Pacific Coast. Promoted the creation of a transcontinental railroad. Began the federal grants of land directly to companies.
Ex Parte Milligan (1866)
Supreme Court case under Chief Justice Chase that ruled that the application of military tribunes to citizens while civilian courts are still operating is illegal. It said that the suspension of heabus corpus was legal but people only only be held without charge, not tried and sentenced. Also clarifies the scope of military jurisdiction. Was controversial as one of the first court cases after the end of the Civil War.
Agency established in 1865 to aid former slaves in their transition to freedom, especially by administrating relief and sponsoring education. Oliver Otis Howard served as its first Commissioner. Initiated by President Lincoln and disbanded by President Grant. Urged former plantation owners to restart their plantations and for African-Americans to gain employment and for the races to work together as employee and employer. Agents also served as advocates in court.
A system for renting farmland in which tenant farmers give landlords a share of their crops, rather than cash, as rent. Became widespread after the end of slavery during Reconstruction - the most efficient way to harvest cotton and often the only option for newly free, penniless African- Americans. Often couldn't make a profit because they had to buy their own supplies and give away most of their crops. Came to an end when mechanization became widespread.
Laws passed by the southern states after the Civil War to define the status of freed people as subordinate to whites. Limited blacks civil rights and controlled their labor, migration, and other activities. Denied them the right to testify against whites, serve in juries, or vote.
Company created to build the Union Pacific Railroad. In a scandalous deal uncovered in 1872-1873, it sold shares cheaply to congressmen who approved subsidies for railroad construction. "The Sun" tried to use the story to prevent President Grant's reelection - the Republican's just removed Vice President Colfax - who had been one of the bribed congressmen - from the ticket and Grant one. Garfield has also been accused but that didn't prevent his election in 1880.
Ku Klux Klan
A secret society organized in the South after the Civil War to resurrect white supremacy by means of violence and intimidation. They attacked blacks, and white Republicans. Activities were suppressed for a couple years after the passage of the Force Acts in 1870 which were used to persecute Klan acts. In 1874, the revival of groups such as the White League helped to restore white Democrats to power by 1877.
Compromise of 1877
Name applied to the resolution of the disputed presidential election of 1876, It gave the presidency to the Republicans and made concessions to southern Democrats. Hayes - a Republican- would become the president over Tilden who had won the popular vote. In exchange, federal troops would be removed from former Confederate states, a conservative Southerner would be appointed to Hayes' cabinet, and help the South industrialize. Helped return the South to the Democrats and "home rule" and effectively ended Reconstruction.
National Banking Act of 1863
Established a system of national banks and created the United States National Banking System. Encouraged the creation of a national currency backed by bank holdings. Created the (federal-state) dual system that is now the defining characteristic of US banking and economy.
Reconstruction Act of 1867
The former Confederate states were required to fulfill the requirements of the Acts in order to be readmitted into the Union ( except Tennessee who had passed the 14th amendment and been readmitted). Divided the South into five military districts lead by Union generals who would act as the standing government. All the states were required to draft a Constitution and have it approved by Congress. They also had to ratify the 14th amendment and guarantee blacks the right to vote. President Johnson vetoes it, but Congress overrides his veto.
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