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Chapter 18 & 19

Cotton Gin

a machine for cleaning the seeds from cotton fibers, invented by Eli Whitney in 1793


wealthy farmers with large plantations

"Necessary Evil"

A common view of slavery in the South that while morally wrong, slavery was a necessity of the southern agricultural economy.

"Positive Good"

Slavery is a good thing because it educates and cares for African Americans

"Peculiar Institution"


Wilmot Proviso

Bill that would ban slavery in the territories acquired after the War with Mexico

Popular Sovereignty

the idea that political authority belongs to the people

Free-Soil Party

party that supported wilmot proviso

Compromise of 1850

Includes California admitted as a free state, the Fugitive Slave Act, Made popular sovereignty in most other states from Mexican- American War

Fugitive Slave Law

law that said you had to return runaway slaves to their owners; tension between North & South; north opposed slavery and they refused to enforce the law, especially abolitionists

Personal Liberty Law

forbade the imprisonment or runaway slaves and guaranteed that they would have jury trials.

Underground Railroad

a system of secret routes used by escaping slaves to reach freedom in the North or in Canada

Uncle Tom's Cabin

written by harriet beecher stowe in 1853 that highly influenced england's view on the American Deep South and slavery. a novel promoting abolition. intensified sectional conflict.

Stephen A. Douglas

Senator from Illinois who ran for president against Abraham Lincoln. Wrote the Kansas-Nebreaska Act and the Freeport Doctrine

Bleeding Kansas

A sequence of violent events involving abolitionists and pro-Slavery elements that took place in Kansas-Nebraska Territory. The dispute further strained the relations of the North and South, making civil war imminent.

John Brown

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

Know-Nothing Party

It was an anti-immigrant party that got its nickname by their supposed response of, "I know nothing," when asked if they were in the party.

Republican Party

Political party that believed in the non-expansion of slavery and comprised of Whigs, Northern Democrats, and Free-Soilers, in defiance to the Slave Powers

Dred Scott v Sanford

Supreme Court case that decided US Congress did not have the power to prohibit slavery in federal territories and slaves, as private property, could not be taken away without due process - basically slaves would remain slaves in non-slave states and slaves could not sue because they were not citizens

Roger Taney

chief justice of the supreme court who wrote an opinion in the 1857 Dred Scott case that declared the Missouri compromise unconstitutional

Freeport Doctrine

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

Harper's Ferry

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

John C. Breckinridge

o Southern Democrat from KT in the presidential election of 1860 Buchanan's VP. Pro-slavery. Supported extension of salvery into the territories

John Bell

Tennessee politician and Plantation owner, nominated for president in 1860 by the United States Constitutional Union Party (Whig's) but lost to Lincoln and the Republicans.


the withdrawal of eleven Southern states from the Union in 1860 which precipitated the American Civil War

Confederate States of America

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

Jefferson Davis

President of the Confederate States of America

Crittenden Compromise

a plan proposed in December 1860 attempting to save the Union; it would divide the western territories by using the old Missouri Compromise line

Fort Sumter

Federal fort in the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina; the confederate attack on the fort marked the start of the Civil War

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