1850s a decade of crisis
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1850s: A Decade of Crisis. Chapter 18-19. Objective #1. Assess the extent to which the idea of Manifest Destiny affected politics within the United States as illustrated by the Compromise of 1850. Objective #2. Trace the increasing sectional hostility of the 1850s as a result of Slavery

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objective 1
Objective #1
  • Assess the extent to which the idea of Manifest Destiny affected politics within the United States as illustrated by the Compromise of 1850
objective 2
Objective #2
  • Trace the increasing sectional hostility of the 1850s as a result of
    • Slavery
    • The Fugitive Slave Act
    • Kansas-Nebraska Act
    • “Bleeding Kansas”
    • Dred Scott v. Sanford
    • John Brown’s Raid
objective 3
Objective #3
  • Trace the increasing sectional hostility of the 1850s, as a result of slavery, and the rise of the Republican Party and the election of 1860.
north south avoids compromises showdown on slavery
North-South Avoids/Compromises Showdown on Slavery
  • 1787: 3/5 and slave trade compromises
  • 1820: Missouri Compromise
  • 1833: Nullification
  • After war with Mexico: what do we do with the new territory?
wilmot proviso
Wilmot Proviso
  • “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude shall ever exist” in the new territories.
    • Attached to an appropriations bill for funding the war with Mexico
  • Passed House, Failed in Senate
  • Debate by section, not party line
did congress have the right to dictate slavery in states
Did Congress Have the Right to Dictate Slavery in States?
  • Precedent said yes
    • Northwest Ordinance
    • Missouri Compromise
john c calhoun s argument
John C. Calhoun’s Argument
  • Unconstitutional to prohibit slavery
  • Act of Congress cannot keep slaveholders from taking their property into territories (5th Amendment)
election of 1848
Election of 1848
  • Dems: Lewis Cass
    • Dems official stance on slavery: silence
    • Cass: Popular Sovereignty
  • Whigs: Zachary Taylor
    • Taylor had never voted in an election
    • But was popular war hero
    • Silent on slavery (owned slaves)
  • Free-Soil: Martin Van Buren
who were the free soilers
Who were the Free-Soilers?
  • Northerners
  • Did not trust Cass or Taylor
  • Supported Wilmot Proviso
  • Abolitionists
    • Keep western land free of blacks (slave and free) so that whites would not have to compete with them
    • “Free soil, free labor, and free men”
  • Nationalists who wanted federal money for internal improvements
  • Advocated free homesteads for farmers
  • Industrialists against Polk’s reduced tariff
  • A few Northern Whigs and Antislavery Democrats
issues taylor has to solve
Issues Taylor has to Solve
  • 1. California: Free or slave?
  • 2. Land from Mexico: Free or slave?
  • 3. Existence of slave trade in Washington D.C.
  • 4. Lack of enforcement of Fugitive Slave Act of 1793
    • Southern states meet in Oct., 1849 to discuss secession.
compromise of 1850
Compromise of 1850
  • Written by Henry Clay
  • 1. California admitted as free state.
  • 2. New Mexico and Utah territories: popular sovereignty
  • 3. Texas given $10 million to pay off debts to Mexico.
  • 4. Fugitive Slave Law of 1850
  • 5. Slave trade ended in D.C. (but not slavery)
taylor threatens veto
Taylor Threatens Veto
  • But, Taylor dies unexpectedly in 1850.
  • VP Millard Fillmore becomes President
  • Signed into law
  • Political parties continue to split sectionally
fugitive slave law of 1850
Fugitive Slave Law of 1850
  • Required federal marshals to help slaveholders seize runaway slaves
  • Abolitionists: it encouraged kidnapping
  • Blacks could not testify on own behalf
  • Federal commissioners in charge of cases were paid more if they ruled person was a slave.
  • Many Northern states passed laws forbidding local officials from aiding
HarrietBeecherStowe(1811 – 1896)

So this is the lady who started the Civil War. -- Abraham Lincoln

Uncle Tom’s Cabin


  • Sold 300,000 copies inthe first year.
  • 2 million in a decade!
1852 presidential election
1852 Presidential Election

Franklin Pierce Gen. Winfield Scott John Parker Hale Democrat Whig Free Soil

major party candidates
Major Party Candidates
  • Democrats (Pierce):
    • Pro-slavery Northerner (accepted by South)
    • Pro-territorial expansion (like Polk)
    • Endorsed the Compromise of 1850
  • Whigs (Scott):
    • War hero (of course)
    • Pro-Compromise of 1850
  • Problem for Whigs: More disorganized
    • Northerners did not like him for endorsing Fugitive Slave Act
    • Southerners did not like the Northerner.
federal government in 1853
Federal Government in 1853
  • Executive Branch:
      • Pro-slavery Northern President (Democrat)
      • Majority of cabinet was from South (Democrat)
      • Veto Power
  • Legislative Branch:
      • North controls House (Democratic controlled)
      • North controls Senate (Democratic controlled)
  • Judicial Branch:
      • Majority of the justices were Southerners
democrats in control
Democrats in Control
  • Mandate for Manifest Destiny
  • 1853: Gadsden Purchase for southern railroad link to west coast for $10 million
  • South also interested in extending further south into Latin American lands
ostend manifesto 1854
Ostend Manifesto (1854)
  • Pierce approved a secret meeting of American diplomats in Ostend, Belgium
    • Discussed buying Cuba for $120 million
    • South could potentially pass North in size and power
  • Northern free-soilers outraged
    • At same time Uncle Tom’s Cabin peaking
    • Pierce was forced to drop issue
Commodore Matthew Perry Opens Up Japan: 1853
  • Followed Cushing’s treaty with China in 1844
    • First formal agreement between US and China
  • Perry arrives in Japan with warships
    • Gives Japanese gifts and asks for free trade
    • Returned in 1854 and received positive response
stephen douglas
Stephen Douglas
  • Congressman from Illinois
  • Pro expansion
  • Pro popular sovereignty
  • Invested in railroads
  • Wanted to capture leadership of Democratic party
nebraska question
Nebraska Question
  • Had to keep southern Democrats happy over slavery
  • Nebraska territory requests statehood
  • It is totally above 36 30 line
  • South wants Nebraska to be a slave state
  • He risks alienating South and ruining his chance to one day be President.
kansas nebraska act 1854
Kansas-Nebraska Act (1854)
  • Split Nebraska into two territories (Kansas and Nebraska)
  • Both could decide by popular sovereignty
  • Assumption: One would be free, one would be slave
  • Endorsed by President Pierce
results of kansas nebraska act
Results of Kansas-Nebraska Act
  • Re-opened question of slavery in territories
  • Split parties further
    • Killed Whig Party (sectional differences within party)
  • Split the Union
    • Most Northerners were against the destruction of Missouri Compromise
    • Will resist all future southern demands for slave territory
    • Refused to enforce Fugitive Slave Law
  • Bleeding Kansas (and later contributed to Civil War)
growing cities
Growing Cities
  • Increased nativism: job competition, language differences, religion, lowering wages
  • Immigrants usually supported Democratic Party
  • Growing belief that immigrants were corrupting politics
  • American (Know-Nothing) saw little success as third party.
  • Birth of Republican Party
Birth of the Republican Party, 1854
  • Northern Whigs.
  • Northern Democrats.
  • Free-Soilers.
  • Know-Nothings.
  • Other miscellaneous opponents of the Kansas-Nebraska Act.
republican platform
Republican Platform
  • Would not interfere with slavery where it already existed
  • Did not support equal rights for blacks
  • Anti-Catholic
  • Pro-temperance
  • Pro-public school
  • End fugitive slave laws
  • Support middle class, small business, laborers, Northern farmers
  • Anti-Kansas Nebraska Act
problems with kansas
Problems with Kansas
  • New England Emigrant Aid Society sent free-soilers to Kansas to vote
  • Missouri sent citizens to Kansas to vote in the election (more of them)
  • Election results: twice as many people voted than number of registered voters
  • Pro-slavery government was elected (Shawnee Mission)
  • Free-Soilers set up government in Topeka
  • Federal government did nothing to solve problem.
“Bleeding Kansas”

Border “Ruffians”(pro-slavery Missourians)

violence in kansas 1856
Violence in Kansas (1856)
  • Pro-slavery supporters march on free-soil supported Lawrence (Sack of Lawrence)
  • John Brown and group of abolitionists hack five pro-slavery men in revenge two days later (Massacre of Pottawatomie Creek)
“The Crime Against Kansas”

Sen. Charles Sumner(R-MA)

Congr. Preston Brooks(D-SC)

1856 presidential election
1856 Presidential Election

√ James Buchanan John C. Frémont Millard Fillmore Democrat Republican Know-Nothing

1857 call for new election in kansas
1857: Call for New Election in Kansas
  • LeCompton Constitution offered by the pro-slavery government as a “compromise”
  • Only allowed people to vote on existing constitution with or without slavery
  • Constitution protected slavery where it already existed
1857 election results
1857 Election results
  • Only 2000 of 24,000 voters participated
  • Proslavery government elected
  • Free blacks barred from state
  • President James Buchanan endorsed it
  • Stephen Douglas opposed it: not true popular sovereignty
    • Persuaded Senate to reject constitution
    • Hurt his support in the South
  • Kept Kansas from becoming a state until 1861
    • Would become a free state when secessionists left Congress
dred scott case 1857
Dred Scott Case (1857)
  • Slaves are property and cannot be taken without due process (5th Amendment)
    • Compromise of 1820 had been unconstitutional all along
    • Congress did not have power to ban slavery in the territories
  • Could not sue because he is not a citizen
panic of 1857
Panic of 1857
  • Caused by:
    • Over-speculation of land
    • Flood of gold from California caused inflation
    • Problems in grain market
  • North hit worst
  • North favored higher tariff (industrialists) and cheaper land (farmers)
    • Homestead Act (1860): public land given to farmers for $.25 an acre (vetoed by Buchanan)
    • Republican party planks in 1860
  • King Cotton not impacted
    • South saw this as proof of economic superiority of cotton production
The Lincoln-Douglas (Illinois Senate) Debates, 1858

A House divided against itself, cannot stand.

lincoln douglas debates 1858
Lincoln-Douglas Debates (1858)
  • S. Douglas (D)
    • Dodged slavery issue
    • Popular sovereignty
  • Believed to be the front-runner for presidential nomination in 1860.
lincoln douglas debates
Lincoln-Douglas Debates
  • Abraham Lincoln (Re)
    • Anti-slavery but pro-Union first
    • Believed in political equality of blacks
  • Challenged Douglas to a series of debates
freeport doctrine
Freeport Doctrine
  • Douglas stated that people in a territory could vote slavery down despite the Dred Scott decision
  • Upset South
  • Further splits Democratic party
  • Douglas wins election but damages his chances for being President
john brown s raid 1859
John Brown’s Raid (1859)
  • Brown and 22 men raid the federal arsenal at Harper’s Ferry
  • Hoped to provoke slave uprising
  • Arrested and executed for treason
  • Madman or martyr?
  • Gap between North and South grows
1860 presidential election

√ Abraham LincolnRepublican

John BellConstitutional Union

Stephen A. DouglasNorthern Democrat

John C. BreckinridgeSouthern Democrat

election of 1860
Election of 1860
  • Democrats cannot decide on a candidate
    • North supports S. Douglas
    • South supports John Breckenridge (upset with Douglas over Freeport Doctrine)
  • Democrats split into Northern and Southern Democrats with two candidates
  • Constitutional Union Party: fourth party made up of some Democrats, Know-Northings and former Whigs
    • John Bell was their nominee
election of 18601
Election of 1860
  • Republicans want to take advantage of the split
  • Run “moderate” Abraham Lincoln
  • Reduced attacks on slavery (except to come out against extension of slavery), avoided expansion and equal rights
Republican Party Platform in 1860
  • Non-extension of slavery [for the Free-Soilers.
  • Protective tariff [for the No. Industrialists].
  • No abridgment of rights for immigrants [a disappointment for the “Know-Nothings”].
  • Government aid to build a Pacific RR [for the Northwest].
  • Internal improvements [for the West] at federal expense.
  • Free homesteads for the public domain [for farmers].



Note: Lincoln did not appear on the ballot in 10 southern states

crittenden compromise
Crittenden Compromise
  • Amendment to Constitution trying to save Union
    • Slavery prohibited North of 36 30 line
    • Future states could come into the Union with or without slavery
  • Not enough to save the Union
confederate states of america
Confederate States of America
  • Created in February, 1861
  • Jefferson Davis was elected President
    • President Buchanan did nothing
      • Needed his military (15,000 troops) to patrol Native Americans out west
      • Believed an attack would ruin any chance of reconciliation
  • Border states stay in the Union
ft sumter april 1861
Ft. Sumter: April, 1861
  • Symbol of Union power in CSA
  • U.S. Major Robert Anderson requested supplies
    • Lincoln wants to avoid war--that means no troops or weapons
    • Lincoln also afraid borders states would leave
  • Lincoln sends supplies
  • CSA, led by PGT Beauregard attacks
  • USA surrenders at battle of Ft. Sumter