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The Collapse of the Second Party System. Jeremy Butts, Cady Gresham, Ben Kelly, Kyle Tinkham. Introduction. William Perce was last president to hold office during the second party system Second Party System- Wigs against democracy. The Kansas-Nebraska Act.

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The Collapse of the Second Party System

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The collapse of the second party system l.jpg

The Collapse of the Second Party System

Jeremy Butts, Cady Gresham, Ben Kelly, Kyle Tinkham

Introduction l.jpg


  • William Perce was last president to hold office during the second party system

  • Second Party System- Wigs against democracy

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The Kansas-Nebraska Act

  • Pierce signed this act at the end of May 1854

  • It was advance of Midwestern settlement

  • Nebraska becomes a territory

  • Stephen A Douglas had ideas of a Pacific railroad and organization of Nebraska as ways to promote a continuous line of settlement between the Midwest and the Pacific.

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The Kansas-Nebraska Act (con.)

  • The Nebraska bill “superseded” the Missouri Compromise and rendered it “void.”

  • Nebraska was split into two territories-Kansas and Nebraska

  • The act gave no restrictions on slavery.

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The Surge of Free Soil

  • Free soilers opposed slavery on moral grounds and rejected racist legislation

  • Others were racist who opposed allowing any African-Americans, Slave or free, into the west.

  • Free soilers believed the Kansas-Nebraska Act was a move to spread slavery to entire north

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The Ebbing of Manifest Destiny

  • The uproar over the Kansas-Nebraska Act embarrassed the Pierce administration and doomed manifest destiny, the one issue that the democrats were held together.

  • 1853- emissary James Gadsen, negotiated the purchase of a strip of land in Mexico.

  • Fierce opposition to the purchase showed suspicion of expansion.

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The Ebbing of Manifest Destiny (con.)

  • The senate only approved the treaty after taking 9 thousand square miles out of the purchase

  • 1854- John A. Quitman planned a filibuster to seize Cuba from Spain.

  • Pierce forced Quitman to abandon such filibusters as a conspiracy to Manifest Destiny

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The Ebbing of Manifest Destiny (con.)

  • October 1854 American Ambassadors to Great Britain, France, and Spain issued the unofficial Ostend Manifesto, calling on the U.S. to acquire Cuba by any means including force.

  • Upset over the Kansas-Nebraska Act, Pierce rejected the mandate.

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The Ebbing of Manifest Destiny (con.)

  • Tennessee born adventurer William Walker led a succession of filibustering expeditions into Central America

  • Made himself chief political there

  • Reinstituted slavery

  • Talked of making Nicaragua a U.S. colony

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The Whigs Disintegrate

  • Kansas-Nebraska Act wrecked the Whig party

  • Northern Whigs want to blame democrats (sounds like Tinkham) for the act to entice free-soil democrats to their side

  • In state and congressional elections of 1854, democrats were defeated

  • The Whigs failed to benefit

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The Whigs Disintegrate (con.)

  • Northern Whigs deeply divided between antislavery (Conscience) Whigs and conservations that were convinced that they must obey to the Compromise of 1850 to maintain itself as a national party

  • Anti-Slavery Whigs wanted to look for a different party

  • By 1856 the new Republican party would become the home for most of these northern refuges from the traditional parties

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The Rise and Fall of the Know-Nothings

  • evolved out of a secret nationalist organization, the Order of the Star-Spangled Banner

  • The Know-Nothings were a political party that lasted about 10 years

  • They advocated the abolition movement

  • They had many former Whigs in the party

  • Mainly in the North

  • They got their names from the response of the members, when asked about its party’s activities, they would respond “I know nothing”

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The Origins of the Republican Party

  • Created in the aftermath of the Kansas-Nebraska Act

  • Started in the Northern States

  • Won in every election from 1860-1880

  • Almost did not make it as a party

  • They lasted only because of the violence in Kansas

  • Republicans were anti-slavery

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Bleeding Kansas

  • Supporters and opponents of slavery converged in Kansas

  • Many pro-slavery advocates voted illegally in 1855 election

  • Eventually there was bloodshed

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Bleeding Kansas (con.)

  • Pottawatomi Creek Massacre (1856)

    • John Brown (abolitionist) and others abducted five pro-slavery supporters

    • The men were murdered

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The Presidential Election of 1860

  • Candidates

    • Stephen Douglas (Northern Democrat)

    • John Breckinridge (Southern Democrat)

    • Abraham Lincoln (Republican)

    • John Bell (Constitutional Union)

  • Lincoln won the election and Seven states seceded.

    • South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas

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