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The Union in Crisis. Division and Civil War. The Politics of Slavery. Slavery in America 1850: Existed for 200 years – mostly in the South Abolished in the North Shortly after Revolutionary War 1850 Societies: North – Wage Labor and Industrial Revolution

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The union in crisis

The Union in Crisis

Division and Civil War

The politics of slavery
The Politics of Slavery

Slavery in America 1850:

  • Existed for 200 years – mostly in the South

    • Abolished in the North Shortly after Revolutionary War

  • 1850 Societies:

    • North – Wage Labor and Industrial Revolution

    • South – Slave labor and little to no industrialization

The politics of slavery1
The Politics of Slavery

The Debate over Slavery

Property Rights vs. Human Rights

South – Slaves were property protected by Constitution

North – A Nation of Free men and equal rights for all and we still have slavery?

Early 1800’s – most Americans agreed with South – No connection to slavery = don’t care

The politics of slavery2
The Politics of Slavery

The Debate over Slavery:

  • Mexican Cession:

    • 500,000 Square Miles available

    • Free or slave?

  • Debate shift – Will Slavery expand Westward?

  • Political Debate:

    • Free soil states allowed into union could pass anti-slavery laws

  • 1850: California Applies for Statehood

    • Applied as a free soil state

    • Potential to upset the balance between slave/ free reps.

The politics of slavery3
The Politics of Slavery

Compromise of 1850:

Great debate took place

Wilmot Proviso would have banned slavery  in any territory acquired in the Mexican war

S.C. Rep John C. Calhoun stated that secession was on the table in slavery abolished

Leads to compromise of 1850 Proposed

The politics of slavery4
The Politics of Slavery

Compromise of 1850:

California Admitted

New Mexico becomes a territory using Pop. Sov.

Utah becomes a territory Pop. Sov.

Fugitive Slave Act – Huge Issue

Maintained the Balance! Compromise Successful

The politics of slavery5
The Politics of Slavery

Fugitive Slave Act

Allowed the arrest of runaway slaves in Free – states to be sent back to the South

Federal crime to help a slave escape

Blacks had to carry paperwork proving free status

“Selling Someone Down the River”

HATED BY NORTHERNERS – now FORCED to protect slavery

Active and passive resistance to FSA

The politics of slavery6
The Politics of Slavery

The Kansas-Nebraska Act

  • Stephen Douglas – Young Politician

  • Needed South Support for Transcontinental R.R.

    • Douglas new that South would give support to RR if Popular Sovereignty is allowed in Kansas/ Nebraska

      Popular Sovereignty: The idea that the people of a territory or state should decide the slavery issue themselves, not a imaginary line dividing the country

The politics of slavery7
The Politics of Slavery

Kansas-Nebraska Act:

Opened up Kansas & Nebraska to settlement

KS / NB would be decided by Popular Sov.

Repealed Missouri Compromise – Slavery can happen anywhere as long as the people want slavery

Northerners opposed

The struggle for kansas
The Struggle for Kansas

Popular Sovereignty: The People of Kansas Shall decide if Slavery shall be allowed in Kansas


Until a state constitution was drafted, territory could be settled by anyone

Settlers would elect representatives to write constitution

Constitution would determine if slavery is allowed or not

Pro-slavery and Free-Soil supporters will battle for the state and what it represents…open the flood gates, here they come!

The struggle for kansas1
The Struggle for Kansas

Pro-Slavery force:

  • Settlers from Missouri and Arkansas start bringing in slaves

  • Slave sentiment – Missouri Senator David Atchison:

    • “If we win we carry slavery to the Pacific Ocean, if we fail we lose…all the territory.”

  • If they won Kansas they could take all the territories

The struggle for kansas2
The Struggle for Kansas

Free-soil Forces:

  • Settlers from Iowa, Michigan, Wisconsin, and New York

  • Financed by Abolition groups –Provided Free transport and land to Free-soilers to move to KS

  • Free Soil Sentiment – William Seward,

    • “We will engage in competition for the virgin soil of Kansas…God give the victory to the side which is stronger in numbers as it is in right.”

The struggle for kansas3
The Struggle for Kansas

The Vote Came: Free or Slave?

  • Vote Day – 1,700 armed Missourians crossed into KS threatening violence if they were not allowed to vote

    • There were twice as many votes cast than there were voters registered

  • At the end of the elections 36/40 delegates were pro-slavery delegates to the writing of the KS Constitution

  • Free-Soilers were outraged!

    • Wrote their own constitution

    • Formed their Own Government

  • Two Governments exist in KS – Two Constitutions

The struggle for kansas4
The Struggle for Kansas

The Sack of Lawrence:

  • Lawrence is haven for Free-soilers and runaway slaves

  • 1855 – Pro-Slavery Government chargeded Free-Soiler government with Treason and ordered them arrested

  • May 21, 1855

    • Sheriff + 800 Pro-Slavery posse show up in Lawrence

    • Posse burned down most of Lawrence and looted everything

The struggle for kansas5
The Struggle for Kansas

Response to Sack of Lawrence

  • John Brown – lives in Kansas near KA-MO border

  • Took personal revenge for sack of Lawrence

  • Radical Abolitionist

    • John Brown + Small group of abolitionist dragged 5 pro-slavery settlers and brutally executed them

The struggle for kansas6
The Struggle for Kansas

Outcome of Kansas

  • Civil War erupted in Kansas between Pro-slavery/ Free-soil forces

  • Federal Government (President James Buchanan) took little interest

  • 4 months after it started Federal troops finally sent in and restore order

  • New Elections were held (under federal supervision)

    • Free-soilers gained majority easily

    • Wrote new constitution quickly – approved by the people

    • Approved by Congress

    • KS becomes a Free-soil state