Drifting Toward Disunion Chapter 19

Important People
Stowe and Helper: Literary Incendiares

- In 1852 Harriet Beecher Stowe published her heartrending novel Uncle Toms Cabin. She was determined to awaken the North to the wickedness of slavery.

- After reading Uncle Tom's cabin uncounted thousands of readers swore that henceforth they would have nothing to do with the enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Law.

-In 1857 another book was released titled The Impending Crisis of the South, by Hinton R. Helper.

-In The Impending Crisis of the South Helper attempted to prove by an array of statistics that indirectly the nonslaveholding whites were the ones who suffered the most from the milestone of slavery.

The North-South Contest for Kansas

- A small part of the inflow into Kansas was finance by groups of northern abolitionist. The most famous of these anti slavery organizations was the New England Emigrant Aid Company.

- They sent two thousand people to the troubled area to forestall the South.

-The census of 1860 found only two slaves among 107,000 souls in all Kansas Territory and 15 in Nebraska.

Kansas In Convulsion

-John Brown now stalked upon the Kansas battle field.

-Civil War erupted in Kansas in 1856. It continued until it merged with the large scale Civil War of 1861-1865.

"Bully" Brooks and His Bludgeon

-Bleeding Kansas also splattered blood on the floor of the Senate. Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts was a leading abolitionist, one of the few in political line.

-Hot-tempered Congressman Preston S. Brooks of South Carolina now took now took vengeance into his own hands. He chastised the senator as one would beat an unruly dog.

"Old Buck” Versus “The Pathfinder”

The Democrats met in Cincinnati to nominate their presidential standard-bearer of 1856

A dose of Antiforeignism was injected into the campaign, even though extension loomed

The Electoral Fruits of 1856

A bland Buchanan, although polling less than a majority of the popular vote, won handily; his tally in the Electoral College was 174 to 114 for Fremont and 8 for Fillmore

Why did the rousing Republicans go down in defeat—Fremont lost much ground because of grave doubts as to his honesty, capacity, and sound judgment

It was probably fortunate for the Union that secession and civil war did not come in 1856, following a Republican victory; Fremont was an ill-balanced and second-rate figure

The Dred Scott Bombshell
The Financial Crash of 1857

Bitterness caused by the Dred Scott decision was deepened by hard times, which dampened a period of feverish prosperity; late in 1857 a panic burst under Buchanan

The North, including the grain growers, was hardest hit; the South, enjoying favorable cotton prices abroad, rode out the storm—panic conditions seemed further proof that cotton was king and that its economic kingdom was stronger than that of the North

Financial distress in the North, especially in agriculture gave a new vigor to the demand for free farms of 160 acres from the public domain; for several decades interested groups had been urging the federal government to abandon its ancient policy of selling the land for revenue—instead, the argument was that acreage should be given outright to pioneers

An Illinois Rail-Splitter Emerges

Lincoln’s private and professional life was not especially noteworthy; he married “above himself” socially and the temperamental outbursts of his high-strung wife , helped to school him in patience and forbearance

The rise of Lincoln as a political figure was not rocketlike; after making his mark in the Illinois legislature as a Whig politician, he served one undistinguished term in Congress, 1847-1849; until 1854, he had done nothing to establish a claim to statesmanship

But the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act in that year lighted within him fires

The Great Debate: Lincoln Versus Douglas

-The famed the Lincoln-Douglas debates were arranged from August to October 1858.

-Douglas and some southerners had already publicly answered the Freeport question. The answer become known as the Freeport doctrine.

-No matter how to the Supreme Court ruled, Douglas argued slavery would stay down if the people voted it down.

John Brown: Murderer or Martyr?

-After studying the tactics of the black rebels Toussaint L'Ouverture and Nat Turner, Brown hatched a daring scheme to invade the South secretly with a handful of followers.

-At scenic Harpers Ferry, he seized the federal arsenal in October 1859.

-John Brown was convicted of murder and treason after a hasty but legal trial.

The Disruption of the Democrats

-Deeply divided, the Democrats met in Charleston, South Carolina, with Douglas the leading candidate of the northern wing of the party.

-After a bitter wrangle over the platform, the delegates from most of the cotton states walked out.

-A middle-of-the-road group, fearing for the Union, hastily organized the Constitutional Union Party, sneered at as the "Do Nothing" or "Old Gentleman's" party.

A Rail-Splitter Spilts the Union

-The Republican platform had a seductive appeal for just about every important non-southern group: for the free-soilers, nonextenion of slavery; and for the northern manufacturers.


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