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Road to Secession . Events leading to Civil War. Study Guide Identifications. Sectionalism Compromise of 1850 Fugitive Slave Act 1850 Ostend Manifesto, 1854 Kansas Nebraska Act, 1854 Bleeding Kansas, 1855-1856 Know Nothings Dred Scott v Sanford, 1857 John Brown, 1859 Election of 1860 .

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Road to Secession

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Road to secession l.jpg

Road to Secession

Events leading to Civil War


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Study Guide Identifications

  • Sectionalism

  • Compromise of 1850

  • Fugitive Slave Act 1850

  • Ostend Manifesto, 1854

  • Kansas Nebraska Act, 1854

  • Bleeding Kansas, 1855-1856

  • Know Nothings

  • Dred Scott v Sanford, 1857

  • John Brown, 1859

  • Election of 1860


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Study Guide Questions

  • What are the major events that led to civil war?

  • What debate was renewed with the acquisition of California Territory and its application for statehood?

  • What major divisions existed in American Society?

  • What is Zinn’s argument concerning the events that led the United States to wage a civil war?


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Politics of Sectionalism

  • To exclude slavery from the western territories was exclude white southerners from pursuing their vision of American dream

  • North politicians argued that exclusion preserved equality of all white men and women to live and work with out competition from slavery labor or rule by despotic slaveholders.


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Fugitive Slave Act, 1850

  • Reinforced their right to seize and return to bondage slaves who had fled to free territory


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Fugitive Slave Act, 1850

  • Response to the fugitive slave act

    • Slave catches and planters enslaved free blacks, polarized north and south further

    • Galvanized popular opinion against slavery further


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OsteOstend Manifesto

American minister to England James Buchanan, minister to Spain Pierre Soule, and John Y. Mason, minister to France. 1854


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This 1854 map shows slave states (grey), free states (red), and US territories (green) with Kansas in center (white).

Kansas Nebraska Act, 1854


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“Bleeding Kansas” 1855 - 1856

  • Competition of anti and pro slavery immigration –Beginning of civil war

    • Further polarized north and south

Titus and pro-slavery forces on their way to attack Lawrence


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Know Nothings

  • Political Realignment

    • Know Nothings:

      • Mostly former Whigs

      • Anti –immigrant

        • Extend naturalization from 1 to 21 years

      • Anti- Catholic

        • Legislation barring them from public office

      • Nativist

    • New Republican Party

      • Anti-slavery conscious Whigs & Democrats

      • Most Important political force

    • Democrats

      • Pro-slavery, southern sectional party


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Dred Scott V Sanford, 1857

  • Taney & 9 justices - 2 days

    • black people, not citizens, could not sue

    • framers of the constitution never intended citizenship for slaves

    • slaves being of an inferior order….so far inferior that they had not rights which the white man was bound to respect


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John Brown, 1859

  • Raid against federal arsenal

  • Harper’s Ferry, Virginia.

    • Trained his rebels & took the arsenal

    • Hoped to spark a slave revolt

    • Captures and Hung for treason


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Election of 1860

  • Democratic Party Split

    • Nominated Stephen Douglas

  • Former Whigs – Constitutional Union Party

    • Nominated John Bell

  • Republicans

    • nominated Lincoln


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