Slavery and the causes of the civil war
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Slavery and the Causes of the Civil War. Major Questions:. What were the major political and social events that led up to the Civil War? What caused the divide between North and South to grow? Why were they unable to work out compromise?. Group Work.

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Slavery and the causes of the civil war

Slavery and the Causes of the Civil War

Major questions

Major Questions:

  • What were the major political and social events that led up to the Civil War?

  • What caused the divide between North and South to grow?

  • Why were they unable to work out compromise?

Group work

Group Work

  • Split up into 7 small groups and briefly summarizethe importance of these incidents or issues as causes of the Civil War:

    • Group #1: Wilmot Proviso, 395

    • Group #2: Clay’s Compromise Efforts, 396

    • Group #3: Fugitive Slave Act, 398

    • Group #4: Kansas-Nebraska Act, 401

    • Group #5: Bleeding Kansas, 403

    • Group #6: Dred Scott Decision, 407

    • Group #7: John Brown’s Raid, 410

  • Your summary should fit on one PowerPoint slide

Wilmot proviso group 1 bernie diamond

Wilmot Proviso(Group #1: Bernie & Diamond)

  • Amendment attached to a bill banning slavery from territories gained in war with Mexico.

  • Cause: Preserve Western land for white settlement.

  • Whigs and Democrats supported

  • Paralyzed Congress for years in late 1840s

  • 4 Positions 

    • Ban

    • Calhoun - no right to interfere

    • Missouri Compromise with property.

    • Popular Sovereignty rights

  • Summary: Caused a threat of secession escalated/led to further debate. 

Clay s compromise efforts group 2 orla george and kyle

Clay’s Compromise Efforts(Group #2: Orla, George and Kyle)

  • Henry Clay proposed eight resolutions to balance the different interests in the North and the South, his “Omnibus Bill”:

    • California to be admitted as a free state

    • Mexican territories could not attach any conditions of slavery to their application of statehood.

    • In return for the govt assuming Texas debt, limitations were put on slave states that could be carved from it's territory.

    • Slave trade in Washington to be abolished but slavery itself protected from federal interference.

    • Formal promise not to interfere with inter-state slave trade and fugitive slave law.

  • The proposal failed because extremists on both sides believed solely in their own interests.

  • Antislavery supporters believed it supported slavery and Pro-slavery believed it restricted slavery.

Fugitive slave act group 3 kenneth bergretta and deanne

Fugitive Slave Act(Group #3: Kenneth, Bergretta, and Deanne)

  • The Fugitive Slave Act was implemented by the North to create lawful aid to accused black runaways

  • the 1850 statute gave jurisdiction for fugitive slave cases to federal commissioners and took it away from northern courts

  • Southerners supported the fugitive slave act

  • The problem with this is these same federal commissioners were paid by southerners to return blacks back to slavery regardless if they're were free or not

  • It was the bribery included in the South’s 1850 statute that ‘over ruled’ the Slave Act that caused such great tension between the two sides and made the Civil War inevitable.

Kansas nebraska act group 4 mary william

Kansas-Nebraska Act(Group 4: Mary & William)

  • In 1853 the House of Representative banned slavery in Nebraska, however the senate killed the bill.

  • Stephen Douglas reintroduced “the principle of popular sovereignty” so they (residents of state) were able to decide if it was going be a Free State or a Slave State.

  • Stephen Douglas’s idea became law – free states thought that it was pro- slavery, and the southerners start mistrusting the law.

  • In result, law backfired for Stephen Douglas and the northern Democrats in congress – number fell from 91 to 25.

  • A major result of this act: the emergence of Abraham Lincoln – tried to reestablish the “Missouri Compromise”

  • Lincoln was against slavery because he thought it was dehumanizing of slaves, showed greed and selfishness.

  • This act was a major cause of the Civil War because it reopened the controversy of slavery and led to battle in Kansas over whether it would be a free state or slave state.

Dred scott decision group 6 tom cheryl

Dred Scott Decision(Group #6: Tom, Cheryl, ?)

  • Essentially, the Dred Scott case addressed the issue of whether a slave was a citizen or property.

  • The Supreme Court’s Decision: In the Dred Scott case, the Supreme Court ruled that slaves were property and could not hold citizenship, regardless of where they resided.

  • As a result of the Supreme Court's decision, slave-states found the legal protection to oppose the abolishment of slavery on the grounds that it was a Federal infringement on a state's sovereignty and an individual's right to hold property.

  • This protection allowed them to draw the proverbial line in the sand, which only escalated tensions between the north and the south.

John brown s raid group 7 evodie kayembe d acia mcleod sam wilson tasia murray

John Brown’s Raid(Group #7: Evodie Kayembe, Dacia McLeod, Sam Wilson, Tasia Murray)

  • John Brown’s ideas and goals?

  • What happened in actual raid?

  • Because northerners regarded John Brown with extraordinary demonstrations of sympathy as a martyr and a Christian hero, rather than a murderer and a robber as southerners perceived him, Southerners could not live under a government where the majority of people supported such things. 

Civil war preview

Civil War Preview

  • Importance of Slave system: was basis of southern society, economy, and culture

  • Reasons for Civil War:

    • Growing divide between North and South, economically, culturally, and politically

    • Manifest Destiny: territorial expansion increased regional conflict b/c each new territory had to be determined free or slave

    • “States Rights” – the right of white southern elite planters to own and control black slaves, often supported by poor whites

    • Series of events and incidents that increased regional tensions

Slavery the civil war review of the data

Slavery & the Civil War: Review of the Data

  • Analyze the statistics on slavery in the U.S. leading up to the Civil War

  • What conclusions can you make?

  • Questions?

  • What statistics are most useful in understanding the onset of the Civil War?

Slavery and the causes of the civil war

Slaves in the Original Thirteen Colonies (1750-1860)

Slavery and the causes of the civil war

Slaves as Percentage of Southern Population (1750-1860)

Slavery and the causes of the civil war

Slaves as Percentage of Southern Population (1750-1860

Slavery and the causes of the civil war

Slaves in the South (1790-1860)

Why did southern whites fight in the civil war

Why Did Southern Whites Fight in the Civil War?

  • Non-slaveholding whites?

  • “way of life” threatened

  • Anti-northern/urban/


  • Something in common with slaveholders

  • Social connections between the classes of whites

  • Economic connections: renting slaves, foremen on plantations, debt

  • Fears of black people and slave rebellion

  • The vote & political participation

  • Ideas of white racial superiority

States rights

Why did poor southern whites fight in civil war

Why Did Poor Southern Whites Fight in Civil War?

  • Many lower-class whites bought into southern hierarchy – household

  • Control of land, household, labor, and political rights

Male Planter Elite


White Women & Children


White Laborers


Slaves & Free Blacks

Poor White Landowner

or Renter


Wife & Children


Slaves and Free Blacks

Why did northerners fight

Why Did Northerners Fight?

  • Abolitionist minority – fund. opposed to slavery – slavery was an evil, a stain on the nation – represented belief in full INCLUSION of blacks into nation

  • Free Labor majority – opposed to expansion of slavery

    • Slavery hurts free labor

    • Free labor = economic and political independence

    • Free people would not allow themselves to be enslaved

    • Republican and “republican”

    • Pro-Union – unification of nation [under free labor ideals]

    • Belief a pivot point to judge whether people are worthy of citizenship or rights

Video links

Video Links

  • PBS, Ken Burns‘ Civil War, part 1, “The Cause”: Link

  • PBS, Freedom, A History of US, part 5, “A Fatal Contradiction”: Link

  • PBS, Meet the Past: John Brown: Link

  • PBS, Harpers Ferry and John Brown: Link

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