Republican Party Forms • The Republican Party grew out of problems with the Kansas-Nebraska Act (1854). • It formed from the Northern Whigs and other abolitionists. • It gained strength due to Bleeding Kansas. • They nominated John Fremont, the Pathfinder, (he was a famous explorer) for president.
Election of 1856 • Democrats nominated James Buchanan. • He had served since 1853 as minister to Great Britain so he had not gone on record about the Kansas-Nebraska Act. • He said his goal was to maintain the U.S. and he appealed to both the North and South. • The American (Know-Nothing Party) nominated Millard Filmore.
The presidential election broke down into two separate races: North was Buchanan/Fremont; South was Buchanan/Filmore. • Buchanan won all the slave states except Maryland and also several of the Northern states. • Fremont lost, but carried 11 of the Northern states. • Results: • 1. Republican Party was major force in the North • 2. nation was sharply split over slavery
Dred Scott Case • Scott had been a slave in Missouri and his owner took him to live in territories where slavery was illegal, and then they returned to Missouri. • His owner died and Scott argued that since he had lived in free states, he should actually be free. • Dred Scott v. Sanfordreached the Supreme Court in 1856. • Ruling: Scott and other slaves are not citizens and cannot sue in court; Congress could not ban slavery in the territories since slaves were property and protected as such by the Constitution.
Lincoln-Douglas Debate • Republicans charged that Democrats want slavery legal everywhere. • Republicans specifically went after Stephen Douglas because of the Kansas-Nebraska Act. • Republicans nominated Lincoln to run against Douglas for the Illinois senate seat (do not confuse this with his run for president).
Lincoln believed slavery was morally, socially, and politically wrong, but he did not suggest abolishing slavery where it already existed. • Douglas believed that popular sovereignty was the answer however, the Dred Scott case had made such a thing illegal. • Douglas won the election, but Lincoln's popularity grew.
John Brown at Harper's Ferry • In 1859 John Brown (remember him from Bleeding Kansas) tried to incite a slave rebellion. • He raided the arsenal at Harper's Ferry, Va. • On Oct. 16 he and his men captured the arsenal and killed 4 people. • No slaves joined the fight. • Brown was tried for murder, treason, and hanged. • Northerners mourned him (sort of like a martyr) and this enraged the South.