Dred Scott vs. Sanford Case (1857) • Dred Scott’s owner took him to a free state, then back to slave state, Scott said he should be free. • Chief Justice Taney ruled that Scott could not sue for his freedom • Constitution and citizenship did not apply to blacks • Missouri Compromise was unconstitutional (Congress had no right to take away property) • Northerners feared that slave power might extend further, perhaps including German and Irish immigrants
Lecompton Constitution • Pro-Slavery gov. developed Constitution in Kansas • Problem, outnumbered by Free-Soilers 10-1 who rejected Constitution • President Buchanan supported constitution • Stephen Douglas stepped up and said popular sovereignty should rule • Made him look like a hero to Northerners
Illinois Senate Election of 1858 • Stephen Douglas and Abraham Lincoln debated throughout the state, focusing on slavery and its expansion • Douglas: • Popular Sovereignty Decides • Freeport Doctrine (Douglas): people could keep slavery out by refusing to enact black codes and other laws necessary for its survival • Lincoln: • Slavery should not be extended into territories, Immoral practice • Lincoln loses election, but gains national prominence for his arguments
John Brown's Raid--1859 • Brown and his followers planned a slave insurrection to begin in western Virginia. • Seized federal arsenal at Harper's Ferry, but was quickly captured, tried, and hanged. • Impact of Brown • Northern abolitionists (Emerson and Thoreau) viewed him as a martyr, taking action against the evil of slavery • Southerners generally viewed Brown as a madman, symbolizing the fanatical hatred of the North • Moderates (Lincoln) condemned Brown's action, while admiring his commitment to countering slavery
Election of 1860 • Democrats split into northern and southern factions and nominated two candidates (Douglas and Breckenridge) • Former Whigs nominated Bell in an attempt to preserve Union with Constitutional Union Party. Strong only in Virginia and upper South • Republicans nominated Lincoln as a moderate compromise candidate.