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Civil War Timeline

Civil War Timeline

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Civil War Timeline

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  1. Civil War Timeline Causes and Events Leading to the Civil War

  2. Missouri Compromise • In 1819 the United States consisted of 22 states—11 were “free” and 11 were “slave” states • These numbers kept the sides balanced—no one side had more power than the other • Missouri’s desire to become a state had been denied since 1817 because they allowed slavery and this would throw off the balance • Then in 1820 Maine requested admission as a state—it would become a free state

  3. Missouri Compromise • 1820 Henry Clay proposed the Missouri Compromise • It admitted Missouri as a slave state and Maine as a free state • It also stated that land in the Louisiana Territory north of the southern border of Missouri would be free of slavery, and • It also ensured slaveholders’ right to pursue runaway slaves into “free” regions and return them to slavery

  4. Missouri Compromise • The Missouri Compromise settled the dispute over slavery temporarily • However, many southerners were unhappy that Congress interfered with the issue of slavery • Many northerners were unhappy that slavery was legalized in another state

  5. Nat Turner’s Slave Rebellion • Nat Turner led one of the most famous slave rebellions in American history in 1831 • He claimed he had a vision that told him to kill whites and he proceeded to kill more than 60 of them • Many innocent African Americans were killed as a consequence of the rebellion • Turner was eventually captured and executed

  6. William Lloyd Garrison’sThe Liberator • Garrison was one of the most respected and known abolitionists • He demanded full political rights for African Americans • In 1831 he began publishing The Liberator, which became the leading abolitionist publication for the next 34 years

  7. Frederick Douglass’s Autobiography: Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass • Frederick Douglass was an escaped slave who taught himself to read and became one of the most well spoken abolitionists in the nation • In 1845 he published his autobiography • This biography opened many citizens’ eyes to the horrors of slavery and won over many new advocates to the cause of abolition • He also published an abolitionist newspaper called the North Star

  8. 1846 Wilmot Proviso • By 1846 six additional states had joined the Union—3 free and 3 slave. The balance between the sides was maintained • Americans worried about this balance after the U.S. went the War with Mexico (1846-8) • 1846 David Wilmot of Pennsylvania proposed Congress ban slavery in all territories gained as a result of the War with Mexico • It passed in the House of Representatives, but failed in the Senate • Pro-slavery advocates viewed it as an attack on slavery and it made many Southerners fearful of continued government intervention on the issue

  9. Compromise of 1850 • A compromise bill based on some proposals introduced by Henry Clay passed in 1850 • Many thought it would settle the slavery dispute for a while, but it did little to tame tempers • It was actually a series of 5 bills

  10. Compromise of 1850 • California was admitted as a free state • Trading slaves in Washington D.C. was banned • Popular sovereignty would be used to decide the issue of slavery in states created from Mexican Cession—i.e. the people who lived in each state proposing admission would decide whether to be free or slave • A new, tougher, fugitive slave law was also passed

  11. Fugitive Slave Act • This act passed as part of the Compromise of 1850 • Special government officers could arrest anyone accused of being a runaway slave • Those suspected had no right to a trial to prove their innocence • Only the testimony of a single white witness was required to send them back to slavery • It also required northern citizens to help capture runaways if requested by authorities—this outraged northerners

  12. Harriet Beecher Stowe’sUncle Tom’s Cabin • Stowe was the daughter of an abolitionist minister and was outraged by the Fugitive Slave Act • In 1852 she published Uncle Tom’s Cabin, a novel that depicted the cruelties of slavery • It was a bestseller in the North and many new people took notice of the issue of slavery • Southerners hated the book, calling it propaganda and unfair

  13. Kansas-Nebraska Act • Senator Stephen Douglas was eager to develop lands west of his home state, Illinois, and encourage railroad building to the west • He suggested new territories called Kansas and Nebraska • Because they would be north of the Missouri Compromise line and would eventually come in as free states, southerners objected

  14. Kansas-Nebraska Act • Douglas introduced the idea of popular sovereignty to calm southerners’ fears • Popular sovereignty allowed the people living in these areas to decide for themselves whether they would be free or slave states • It effectively undid the Missouri Compromise’ • Southerners supported this believing many Missourians would eventually expand into Kansas and it would become a slave state • Northerners were outraged

  15. Dred Scott Decision • Dred Scott was a slave owned by a U.S. Army doctor • He had lived with his master in Illinois and the Wisconsin Territory (both free) before they settled in Missouri • Scott sued for his freedom arguing that he was free because he had lived in states and territories where slavery was illegal • Eventually the case made it all the way to the Supreme Court

  16. Dred Scott Decision • Chief Justice Roger Taney wrote in the court’s decision, saying that Dred Scott was not free because • Scott had no right to sue in federal court because African Americans were not citizens • Merely living in a free territory did not make an enslaved person free—Scott was property and property rights were guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution

  17. Dred Scott Decision • Taney went further by writing that Congress had no authority to prohibit slavery in any territory, thereby making the Missouri Compromise unconstitutional • Supporters of slavery were happy • Northerners were shocked because this opened up all the western lands to slavery

  18. John Brown’s Raid on Harper’s Ferry • In March 1855 John Brown, an antislavery setter in Kansas, led a group of men in the murder of 5 pro-slavery settlers in what was known as the Pottawatomie Massacre • In 1859 he acted on a plan to raise an army and free slaves in the South • He led a small group on a raid at Harper’s Ferry in Virginia hoping to take guns stored by the U.S. Army there • He planned on arming slaves as they marched through the South

  19. John Brown’s Raid on Harper’s Ferry • Brown’s men gained the weapons but were quickly surrounded by army troops led by Robert E. Lee • 10 of Brown’s men were killed, he was wounded, captured, convicted of murder and treason, and later hung. • Northerners mourned Brown in large numbers • Southerners detested the support he received from northerners and became more convinced the rest of the country was trying to destroy their way of life

  20. Confederacy Forms • Abraham Lincoln’s election in 1860 shocked the South. He won every free state. • He had gained national notoriety after a series of debates in which he expressed anti-slavery viewpoints • Southerners felt they no longer had a voice in government

  21. Confederacy Forms • South Carolina seceded from the United States shortly after the election • 6 more states joined it and they all met in February 1861 to create a constitution • They called themselves the Confederate States of America and elected former Mississippi Senator Jefferson Davis their president • Eventually 4 more states joined the Confederacy for a total of 11

  22. Confederates Take Fort Sumter • Island off of the coast of Charleston, South Carolina held by the Union, but in Confederate territory • Confederates opened artillery fire April 12, 1861 • After 34 hours the commander surrendered • Both North and South had come to the conclusion that war was inevitable, but neither side saw how long and bloody the struggle would become