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“How to Rip a Country Apart”. From Steve Sheinkin’s Two Miserable Presidents. Step 1: Plant Cotton. Eli Whitney, 1791 Cotton gin Cotton production rises—huge profits “Cotton is King” Good for Southern plantation owners and Northern factory owners Bad for slaves

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how to rip a country apart

“How to Rip a Country Apart”

From Steve Sheinkin’sTwo Miserable Presidents

step 1 plant cotton
Step 1: Plant Cotton
  • Eli Whitney, 1791 Cotton gin
  • Cotton production rises—huge profits
    • “Cotton is King”
  • Good for Southern plantation owners and Northern factory owners
  • Bad for slaves
    • Slaves jumped from 1 million to 4 million from 1820 to 1860
step 2 grow apart
Step 2: Grow Apart
  • Slavery rising in the South, dying in the North
  • Early 1800s, Market Revolution led to huge changes in North while South unchanged
    • Moving to cities
    • Working in factories
  • Tariffs=North loved, South hated
step 3 keep your balance
Step 3: Keep Your Balance
  • 1819: 22 states total; 11 slave, 11 free
    • What to do with land west of Mississippi? Slave states or free states?
  • Missouri Compromise: 1820
    • Missouri joined as slave state
    • Maine as free state
    • Line from southern Missouri border west
      • North=Free, South=Slave
step 4 fight slavery
Step 4: Fight Slavery
  • Frederick Douglass
    • Runaway slave
    • Stole “free papers”: ID proving African American was not a slave
    • Escaped to Maryland
    • Became active abolitionist: a movement to end slavery in the United States
step 5 build a railroad
Step 5: Build a Railroad
  • Underground Railroad: secret system of routes out of the South to help people escape slavery
    • Houses where slaves could hide called “stations”
    • “Conductors” helped people to Canada where slavery illegal
  • Harriet Tubman
    • Most famous conductor
    • Escaped slavery—wanted to go back for her family
    • Carried out at least 13 rescue missions
    • Led about 300 people to freedom
  • Angered South: slaves are property being stolen by Northerners
step 6 get more land
Step 6: Get More Land
  • Manifest Destiny/Waves of Expansion 1845-1853
  • Now15 free states; 15 slave states
  • 1848—Gold discovered in California; wanted to make it a state quick!
  • California wanted to be a free state—would upset balance permanently
  • Talk of Disunion began
step 7 try to compromise
Step 7: Try to Compromise
  • John C. Calhoun
    • Union saved only if North
      • Stopped helping escaped slaves
      • Stopped the abolitionist movement
      • Promise to keep balance between free and slave
  • William Seward
    • Slavery will end whether Calhoun likes it or not
  • Compromise of 1850
    • Henry Clay’s idea
    • California admitted as free state
    • Congress pass the Fugitive Slave Act
      • Make it easier for slave-owners to capture runaway slaves
    • Proposed by Daniel Webster, passed Congress
step 8 chase fugitives
Step 8: Chase Fugitives
  • Fugitive Slave Act
    • Any African American suspected of being a fugitive slave could be captured and brought before a judge
    • Accused had no right to testify; no right to trial by jury
    • Judge simply decided if he or she was a runaway
      • Got $5 for freeing the person; $10 for sending to slavery
    • Angered Northerners as a cruel and unjust law
step 9 write books
Step 9: Write Books
  • Uncle Tom’s Cabinby Harriet Beecher Stowe
    • Tried to show horrors of slavery
    • Forced parents to imagine the torment of losing their child to a slave trader.
    • Inspired new hatred of slavery in the North
  • Southern writers fired back
    • Slaves were well treated and happy
    • Much better off than factory workers in the North
step 10 divide nebraska
Step 10: Divide Nebraska
  • Stephen Douglas wanted to divide Nebraska Territory into smaller states
    • Problem: all land was north of Missouri Compromise line
  • Proposal: Replace Missouri Compromise with Kansas-Nebraska Act (1854)
    • Divide in two: Nebraska in North; Kansas in South
    • Popular sovereignty: let the people in the territories decide if slave or free state
    • Passed Congress
  • Abraham Lincoln (Douglas’ rival)
    • Does a white man have the right to vote on whether he can own a black man? Is that self-government?
step 11 race to kansas
Step 11: Race to Kansas
  • Supporters and opponents of slavery flood into Kansas
  • Beginning of 1856—two governments
    • Initial vote on slavery won, but due to thousands of Missouri residents voting illegally
    • “Free-Soilers” held their own election and chose their own government
  • By May, fighting broke out in Lawrence
    • 800 pro-slavery men chased out Free-Soilers
    • Northern papers talked of slaughter, though no one was killed
    • Infuriated Northerners
step 12 insult senators
Step 12: Insult Senators
  • Senator Charles Sumner
    • Gave “Crime Against Kansas” speech
    • Slammed the pro-slavery army, senators who supported Kansas-Nebraska Act, and personally attacked Andrew Butler
    • Accused Butler of loving slavery and making fun of the fact that he spit and stammered when he talked
      • Low blow: Butler had actually suffered from a stroke that left him partially paralyzed
step 13 hit him again
Step 13: Hit Him Again!
  • Preston Brooks, cousin of Senator Butler
    • Beat Sumner over the head with a cane for “libel” against Butler and South Carolina
    • Became a hero to Southerners
      • Sent him canes with sayings like, “Hit Him Again!”
    • Southern reaction stunned Northerners
  • Mirrored the growing conflict between the North and the South
    • Like the attack on Sumner, “the conflict between the North and the South was bitter, personal, and a little bit bloody.”
other items of note
Other items of note:
  • “Bleeding Kansas” May 24, 1856
    • John Brown led the attack
    • Began as a retaliation against attack on Free-Soilers
    • Led to fighting between both sides that killed 200 men
  • Dred Scott Decision
    • Dred Scott was a slave whose master lived with him on free soil for several years
    • Sued for his freedom
    • Chief Justice Roger B. Taney ruled that Scott was still a slave
      • Did not have rights of citizen so could not bring case before court
      • Ruled that slavery allowed in the territories because Congress cannot ban it—Southerners can take their property (slaves) anywhere