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Terms in this set (11)

March 3, 1820: Missouri Compromise

The Missouri Compromise was the first major legislative compromise passed to settle the slavery issue by drawing a line between slave and free territory. Speaker of the House Henry Clay promoted the deal, which admitted Maine to the Union as a free state and Missouri as a slave state. The act prohibited slavery in territories and new states above the 36º 30´ latitude line, with the exception of Missouri, and maintained a balance in the Senate between slave and free states.

-September 9, 1850: Compromise of 1850

After war with Mexico added new territories to the Southwest, the issue of slavery's expansion gained renewed urgency. Senator Henry Clay of Kentucky championed a series of compromise measures in an effort to heal the growing rift between the northern and southern states. Senator Daniel Webster of Massachusetts spoke eloquently in defense of the compromise, while Senator John Calhoun of South Carolina opposed the plan. With the guidance of Stephen Douglas of Illinois, Congress eventually passed revised versions of Clay's proposed bills, known collectively as the Compromise of 1850. The Compromise admitted California to the Union as a free state, allowed the territories of New Mexico and Utah to decide the slavery issue for themselves, and settled a Texas boundary and debt issue. While it abolished slave trade in the District of Columbia, it strengthened the existing Fugitive Slave Law by requiring free states to return escaped slaves to their owners.

-May 30, 1854: Kansas-Nebraska Act

Introduced by Illinois Senator Stephen Douglas, the Kansas-Nebraska Act granted the residents of these territories "popular sovereignty," or the power to decide whether to allow slavery. The act repealed part of the Missouri Compromise that prohibited slavery above the 36° 30´ latitude. It sparked violence in Kansas when pro-slavery and anti-slavery settlers fought for control of the territory. Much to Douglas's dismay, the conflict fueled tensions between the North and South and brought the nation closer to civil war.

-The Crittenden Compromise was an unsuccessful proposal introduced by Kentucky Senator John J. Crittenden on December 18, 1860. It aimed to resolve the U.S. secession crisis of 1860-1861 by addressing the grievances that led the slave states of the United States to contemplate secession from the United States.

In a nutshell, neither side was truly willing to compromise; neither side was totally satisfied with the Compromise of 1850 or the Kansas Nebraska Act.

The Kansas-Nebraska Act repealed the Missouri Compromise, allowing slavery in the territory north of the 36° 30´ latitude. Introduced by Senator Stephen Douglas of Illinois, the Kansas-Nebraska Act stipulated that the issue of slavery would be decided by the residents of each territory, a concept known as popular sovereignty. After the bill passed on May 30, 1854, violence erupted in Kansas between pro-slavery and anti-slavery settlers, a prelude to the Civil War.

There were a series of significant events which greatly affected States' Rights, the Union, African Americans and accelerated the American Civil War. These historical events are commonly referred to as the "Causes of the American Civil War" and are listed without significant order: *States' Rights (Bill of Rights and the 10th Amendment), High Tariffs, Nullification Crisis, Missouri Compromise, Kansas-Nebraska Act, Manifest Destiny, Dred Scott Case, Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, Bleeding Kansas, Crittenden Compromise, John Brown, and President Abraham Lincoln's election (Lincoln didn't receive a single Southern electoral vote).
Nat Turner - In August of 1831, a slave named Nat Turner incited an uprising that spread through several plantations in southern Virginia. Turner and approximately seventy cohorts killed around sixty white people. The deployment of militia infantry and artillery suppressed the rebellion after two days of terror. Fifty-five slaves, including Turner, were tried and executed for their role in the insurrection. Nearly two hundred more were lynched by frenzied mobs. Although small-scale slave uprisings were fairly common in the American South, Nat Turner's rebellion was the bloodiest.Virginia lawmakers reacted to the crisis by rolling back what few civil rights slaves and free black people possessed at the time. Education was prohibited and the right to assemble was severely limited.

1852 | Uncle Tom's Cabin

Harriet Beecher Stowe's fictional exploration of slave life was a cultural sensation. Northerners felt as if their eyes had been opened to the horrors of slavery, while Southerners protested that Stowe's work was slanderous. Uncle Tom's Cabin was the second-best-selling book in America in the 19th century, second only to the Bible. Its popularity brought the issue of slavery to life for those few who remained unmoved after decades of legislative conflict and widened the division between North and South.

With secession, several federal forts, including Fort Sumter in South Carolina, suddenly became outposts in a foreign land. Abraham Lincoln made the decision to send fresh supplies to the beleaguered garrisons.

Battle of Fort Sumter

On April 12, 1861, Confederate warships turned back the supply convoy to Fort Sumter and opened a 34-hour bombardment on the stronghold. The garrison surrendered on April 14.

The Civil War was now underway. On April 15, Lincoln called for 75,000 volunteers to join the Northern army. Unwilling to contribute troops, Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina, and Tennessee dissolved their ties to the federal government.