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Caning of Charles Sumner
May 22, 1856: Preston Brooks came into the Senate with his cane and started beating Charles Sumner until he was unconscience. This was the first type of violence shown about sectionalism
Problem of SLavery in Mexican Session
Union between States was based upon slavery. Congress could abolishe slave trade but could not stop slavery. The constitution did not predetermine future states, so new one's could accept or decline slavery. William Garrison burned the Constitution saying it was mark of death. Movements were made in Congress to abolish slavery in states because it was hard to develope programs that would not defy the constitution.
Wilmot Proviso launches Free Soil Movement
Aug 1846:Free-Soil movement started by David Wilmot's plan to abolish slavery in land acquired from Mexico; the Wilmot Provis. Many were convinced South ran the administration due to the twist in Manifest Destiny. WIlmot was appealed by Northeners by linking racism and opposition. The Proviso, even though denied in Senate, showed stae and local territorial issues.
Squatter Soverignty and Election of 1848
Lewis Cass proposed a new way to extend Missouri Compromise to Pacific. He proposed that poeple determined status of states; this would latter be called popular soverignty. Lewis Cass entered politics with his plan as a democrat, Zachary Taylor as a Whig, and Van Buren as a Free-Soiler. Free-Soil party was first effort to create party for voter's concern about slavery extension. Taylor ended up winning the election.
Taylor Takes Charge
Taylor tried to get New Mexico and California into Union as quick as possible to stop crisis over slavery. This angered Southeners because they thought Taylor put Wilmot Proviso in place with different effects. The Survival of Union would depend on North's response to Southern Rights Movement.
Forging a Compromise
Taylor would not defend or oppose plan for South, so Congress made on Compromise. Henry Clay proposed that California come in as free state and that there would be no prohibition of slavery in Mexicon Territory. This "omnibus bill' took long to pass congress until Taylor died, the bill was split, and Millard Fillmore passed the bill and it was modified to be liked by South and Democrats. Abolition of slave auctions, depots in District of Columbia, and Fugitive Slave Law put into place. This was seen as a cease fire and sectional peace formed for a while.
Party System in Crisis
1852 presidential campaign was devoid of major issues. Helping the bank was hard to endorse in a time of sustained prosperity. Buisness was throving under laissez-faire. Immigration was another issue; the Whigs wanted to stop immigrants from voting because they voted for Democrats. Whigs got Winfield Scott to endorse nativism, but crushed by not getting any southern votes. Pierce the Democrat came out on top, but Democrats were worried about the loyalty. They only won because they were seen as the only party supporting Compromise of 1850.
Kansas-Nebraska Act Raises a Storm
1854: Stephen A. Douglass wanted to form territory west of the Missouri and Iowa. He put popular soverignty into effect and wanted the land settled quickly because he believed in expansionism. However, he would have to get rid of the Missouri Compromise to get southern votes. Democrats split and their unified national force was damaged. 2 party system destroyed when Whigs disentegrated. Kansas-Nebraska doomed efforts of Pierce to revive expansionism. Ostend Manifesto bcame controversy for Kansas-Nebraska Act.
a document drawn up in 1854 that instructed the buying of Cuba from Spain, then suggested the taking of Cuba by force It caused outrage among Northerners who felt it was a Southern attempt to extend slavery as states in Cuba would be southern states.
The collapse of WHigs opened new party. It was thought that a nativism party would come instead of an antislavery one. The Know-Nothings came from the Order of the Star-Spangled Banner for anti-immigrant influence. If asked about order they would say "I know nothing". Thjey wanted naturelization. They were major political force between 1854-55 and they won control of Massachusettes, most seats in legislature, and entire congressional delegation. 1856: Know Nothings fell when there was a split in question of slavery. Know-nothings were very inexperienced which made them lack power and people wanted a more experienced leader.
Kansas and Rise of Republicans
Republican party was an outgrowth of anti-Nebraska coalition. The Slave power Conspiracy was a great threat to American liberty and equality. They were able to build up a effective party in a short time and were ready to run for office. Slavery however stopped them but the Kansas-Nebraska Act issue helped them stay alive. Legislation passed laws legalize slavery but made crime to speak out against it.Small-scale civil war's broke out when proslavery raiders attacked Lawrence. Republicans used propaganda to show Federal government was proslavery. Used Bleeding Kansas and Bleeding Sumner for 1856 slogan to show evils of Slave power.
Sectional Division in Election of 1856
John C Fremont was nominee for Republicans, who were showing some sectional nature when calling for prohibiton of slavery and Kansas to be a free state. Democrats got Buchanan with popular soverignty, and Know Nothings got Millard Fillmore. Election was 2 seperate races in North and South with Buchanan fighting in Both. Democratic party was last hope for Sectional balance and Southern Rights and sectional party insulted Southern way of life.
There was more sectionalism outside of politics. Churches were homes for sectional discard instead of unification. Henry Beecher, George Cheever, and Theodore Parker in North and James Thornwell, Leonidus Polk, and Stephan Elliot in South were religious leaders of sectional mobilization. Literature also split North and South when they banished each other books because of the image it gave. Starting in the 1850's, Southeners railed behind the idea of becoming own nation.
Dred Scott Case
In a controversial case, the Supreme Court ruled that Dred Scott was a slave and that African Americans (whether slave or free) had no rights as citizens. Further, the Court declared the Missouri Compromise unconstitutional, denying that Congress had any power to prohibit slavery in the territories. Rather than resolve disputes over the slavery question, the decision intensified sectional discord. With five of the six judges voting in the majority decision pro-slavery Southerners, Northerners and Republicans saw the verdict as the latest act of the slave-power conspiracy.
Proslavery forces in Kansas resorted to electoral fraud to secure a convention to draft a slave state constitution. At Buchanan's urging, the Senate voted to admit Kansas as a slave state. The House, however, defeated the LeCompton Constitution and sent it back to Kansas. When finally submitted to a fair vote by the residents of Kansas in 1858, the Lecompton Constitution was overwhelmingly rejected. The LeCompton controversy aggravated the growing sectional divide, implicating Buchanan in the slave-power conspiracy and dividing the Democrats along regional lines based on the slavery issue.
Debating Morality of Slavery-Lincoln Douglass debates
In the 1858 Illinois Senate race, Republican Abraham Lincoln asked Democrat Stephen Douglas how he could reconcile the idea of popular sovereignty with the Dred Scott decision. Douglas offered the "Freeport Doctrine," a suggestion that territories could dissuade slaveholders from moving in by providing no supportive legislation for slavery. Douglas's Freeport Doctrine guaranteed the loss of southern support for his presidential bid. Though he lost the Senate seat, Lincoln's performance in the debates won him national recognition among the Republicans. By stressing the immorality of slavery, Lincoln sharpened the Republican stance against slavery, ensuring a showdown in the election of 1860
The South's Crisis for Fear
Two events of 1859-1860 intensified southern fears of Republican intention: northern expressions of sympathy at the execution of crazed abolitionist John Brown and public endorsement by a prominent Republican politician and potential Speaker of the House of Hinton Rowan Helper's Impending Crisis of the South. The objective of John Brown's raid on the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia, had been to equip a slave army and Helper's book condemned slavery on economic grounds, urging lower-class Whites of the South to unite against planter domination and abolish slavery.
Election of 1860
Unable to agree on a platform or candidate in 1860, the Democrats split: a northern wing nominated Stephen Douglas and endorsed popular sovereignty while a southern wing nominated John C. Breckinridge and demanded federal protection of slavery in the territories. Border state conservatives formed the Constitutional Union party and nominated John Bell of Tennessee. Republicans nominated Abraham Lincoln on a Free-Soil position and a broad economic platform. Although he won only 40 percent of the popular vote, Lincoln swept the North for a majority of the electoral votes and election as president. Political leaders of the lower South immediately launched a movement for secession.
Explaining the Crisis
Rather than arising out of the mistakes of irresponsible politicians or of irreconcilable economic views, southern secession was prompted by profound ideological differences between the North and South over the morality and utility of slavery. Neither the other political conflicts over protective tariffs or states' rights nor the growing social and cultural differences between the regions can stand alone as the reason for the country's division. Such conflicts and differences emerge from the debate over slavery. Slavery was the only truly polarizing issue of the day.
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