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Challenges to Slavery. The Supreme Court’s decision in the Dred Scott case resulted in even more division in the country. After the Kansas/Nebraska Act, the Democratic Party began to divide among sectional lines Northern Democrats left
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Challenges to Slavery The Supreme Court’s decision in the Dred Scott case resulted in even more division in the country
After the Kansas/Nebraska Act, the Democratic Party began to divide among sectional lines • Northern Democrats left • The Whig party was divided over slavery as well and collapsed • In 1854 antislavery Whigs and Democrats joined with Free-Soilers to form the Republican Party • The Republicans won control of the House of Reps-No Support in the South • Democratic Party now is mainly in the South
The Election of 1856 Republicans choose John C. Fremont to run for President “Free Soil, Free Speech, and Fremont.” Democrats choose James Buchanan and endorsed the idea of popular sovereignty Buchanan won winning all southern states except Maryland
The Dred Scott Decision • Until 1857, slaves who had lived in free states or territories were successful when they sued for their freedom • Dred Scott was a slave who was brought into a free state and free territory; therefore, he sued for his freedom • Chief Justice, Roger B. Taney ruled that Dred Scott was a slave. As a slave he had no rights, and Scott was property of his owners. • The fifth amendment prohibits Government from taking away anyone’s property w/o due process of law. • Taney also stated that Congress had no power to prohibit slavery. No one could prohibit slavery because it would be taking a person’s property. • It meant that the Constitution protected slavery.
Reaction to the Dred Scott Decision Rather than settle the issue, the Supreme Court’s decision divided the country even further The South was elated (happy) Republicans and other antislavery groups were outraged They called the Dred Scott Decision “The greatest Crime” ever committed in the nation’s courts.
Lincoln and Douglas The Lincoln and Douglas debates helped Lincoln emerge as a leader Congressional election of 1858, was the center of national attention Stephen Douglas was called “the Little Giant”-said, “let the states decide”-Popular Sovereignty Abraham Lincoln was nearly unknown born poor in Kentucky House Divided Speech
The Lincoln Douglas Debates Not as well known as Douglas, Lincoln challenged Douglas to a series of debates 7 meetings in 3 months in Illinois Slavery was the main topic Douglas questioned Lincoln if African Americans are to be equal to whites? Lincoln says the real issue is if slavery is wrong-the republican party believes it is wrong. Lincoln lost the election, but the debates had won him a national reputation These debates are reenacted every year in Illinois-they are perhaps the most famous debates in US History
The Raid on Harpers Ferry As the Republican party begins to grow in power, Southerners began to feel threatened In late 1859, John Brown led 18 men, both white and Black, on a raid on Harper’s Ferry, Virginia-an arsenal, a storage place for weapons and ammunition. Brown hoped to lead a slave rebellion by arming slaves against their owners Financed by abolitionists Brown and his men were defeated and he was sentenced to death by hanging Transcendentalist, Ralph Waldo Emerson called Brown a Martyr-a person who dies for a cause he believes in. John Brown’s Death became a rallying point for abolitionists South see Brown’s ties to abolitionist as a great Northern conspiracy-nation is nearing disaster