The Road to the Civil War By: Katie Roccanti

The Missouri Compromise (1820)

Under th leadership of Henry Clay, however, Congress managed managed to temporarily resolve the crisis of agreements collectively called the Missouri Compromise. Admission of Missouri territory as a state would upset the balance of free slave states...it was 11 vs. 11. Maine was in the union as a free state. Missouri entered as a slave state. The Louisiana Territory spilt into two spheres...one for slave holders and one for free settlers.

The South Carolina Nullification Crisis (1832-1833)

The state of South Carolina moved to nullify, or declare void, a tariff set by congress. Jackson threatened to enforce the law with federal troops. Congress reduced the tariff to avoid confrontation, and Calhoun resigned the vice-presidency.

The Wilmot Proviso (1846)

The Wilmot Proviso meant that California, as well as the territories of Utah and New Mexico, would be closed to slavery forever. It divided Congesss along regional lines. If the Wilmot Proviso became law, the inevitable addition of new free states to the union would shift the balance of power permanently to the North.

The Compromise of 1850

Clay presented on the Senate a series of resolutions later called the Compromise of 1850, which he hoped would settle "all questions in controversy between the free and the slave states, growing out of the subject of slavery." As a part of the Compromise, the federal government would pay $10 million to surrender its claim to New Mexico.

The publication of Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin (1851-1852)

Uncle Tom's Cabin delivered the message that slavery was not just a political contest, but also a great moral struggle. In quick response, Northern abolitionists Increased their protests against the Fugitive Slave Act, while southern criticized the book as an attack on the south as a whole.

The Kansas-Nebraska Act (1854)

Douglas introduced a bill in Congress to divide the area into two territories, Nebraska in the North and Kansas in the south. If passed, it would repeal the Missouri Compromise and establish popular sovereignty for both territories. Some Northern congressmen saw the bill as a art of a plot to turn the territories into slave states.

The Dred Scott Supreme Court Case (1857)

The case concerned Dred Scott, a slave from Missouri. He claimed that he had become a free person by living in free territory for several years. Scott went up to the north where there was slavery.

The Lincoln-Douglas Debates (1858)

The 1858 race for the U.S. Senate between Democratic incumbent Douglas and Republican challenger Abraham Lincoln. A self-educated man with a dry wit, Lincoln was known locally as a successful lawyer and politician. Elected as a Whig to one term in Congess in 1846. He broke with his party after the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act in 1854 and became a Republican two years later.

John Brown's Raid on Harper's Ferry (1859)

On the night of October 16, 1859 John Brown led a. And of 21 men, black and white, into Harpers Ferry. His aim was to seize the federal arsenal there, distribute the captured arms to slaves in the area, and start a general slave uprising. Haroers Ferry terrified southern slaveholders, who were convinced the North was plotting slave uprisings everywhere.

The Election of Abraham Lincoln (1860)

Three major candidates vied for office in addition to Lincoln. The Democratic Party spilt over the issue of slavery. Former Know-Nothings and Whigs from the South, along with some moderate Northerns,organized the Constitutional Union Party, which ignored the issue of slavery.

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