Road to Civil War


Lyman Beecher

1775 - 1863

Paved the way for cultural revolutions, education reform, abolition and temperance. Reverend and President of Lane Theological Seminary. Cincinnati

Cotton Gin/Eli Whitney


Machine that produced a more efficient way to get the seeds out of cotton and expanded southern development. 3/4 of world's cotton came form US

Market Revolution

1793 - 1909

a drastic change in how manual labor was conducted in the United States. This development was marked by improvements in how goods were processed and fabricated as well as by a transformation of how labor was organized to process trade goods for consumption. Increased industrialization was a major component of the Market Revolution and it is closely connected with the Industrial Revolution as a result. Northern cities started to have a more powerful economy that challenged the economies of some mid-sized European cities at the time, while most southern cities (with the marked exception of free labor metropolises like St. Louis, Baltimore, and New Orleans) resisted the influence of market forces in favor of the region's "peculiar institution."

Haitian Revolution

1793 - 1805

2nd major revolution in western hemisphere

Richard Allen


created AME

Catherine Beecher

1800 - 1878

Catharine Esther Beecher was an American educator known for her forthright opinions on female education as well as her vehement support of the many benefits of the incorporation of kindergarten into children's education

Gabriel Prosser


Virginia Slave Gabriel (often referred to as Gabriel Prosser) made his mark in history, after attempting to lead a slave rebellion that was upended by betrayal within his camp. A literate blacksmith, Prosser was born in to slavery on a tobacco farm and learned how to read and write along with learning the trade of being a blacksmith with his two brothers. A tall man and generally well-liked, Prosser was not seen as a threat by slave owners and other Whites who encountered him.

Cane Ridge


Cane Ridge, Kentucky, United States was the site, in 1801, of a large camp meeting that drew thousands of people and had a lasting influence as one of the landmark events of the Second Great Awakening.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

1803 - 1882

Writer and Speaker. Told Americans not to rely on Europe, we can do things ourselves. Dean of Transcendentalists

Corps of Discovery

1804 - 1806

The Lewis and Clark Expedition, also known as the Corps of Discovery Expedition, was the first American expedition to cross what is now the western portion of the United States, departing in May, 1804 from St. Louis on the Mississippi River, making their way westward through the continental divide to the Pacific coast.

The expedition was commissioned by President Thomas Jefferson shortly after the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, consisting of a select group of U.S. Army volunteers under the command of Captain Meriwether Lewis and his close friend Second Lieutenant William Clark. Their perilous journey lasted from May 1804 to September 1806. The primary objective was to explore and map the newly acquired territory, find a practical route across the Western half of the continent, and establish an American presence in this territory before Britain and other European powers tried to claim it.

Ratification of 12th Amendment


Repealed and revised presidential election procedures. Catalyst was the 1800 Presidential election. The effect was to require separate votes for Pres and VP



Robert Fulton created vessel with a powerful steam engine installed hast sparked success in steamboating

Embargo Act

1807 - 1810

A legislative measure enacted by Congress in 1807 at the behest of President Thomas Jefferson that banned trade between U.S. ports and foreign nations.

The Embargo Act was intended to use economic pressure to compel England and France to remove restrictions on commercial trading with neutral nations that they imposed in their warfare with each other.

Jefferson Davis

1808 - 1889

Jefferson Davis was an American statesman and leader of the Confederacy during the American Civil War. Davis was born in Kentucky and grew up on plantations in Mississippi and Louisiana

Battle of Tippecanoe


The Battle of Tippecanoe was fought on November 7, 1811, between United States forces led by Governor William Henry Harrison of the Indiana Territory and forces of Tecumseh's growing American Indian confederation led by his younger brother Tenskwatawa. In response to rising tensions with the tribes and threats of war, a United States force of militia and regulars set out to launch a preemptive strike on the headquarters of the confederacy. While camping outside Prophetstown, at the confluence of the Tippecanoe and Wabash Rivers, awaiting a meeting with tribal leaders, Harrison's army was attacked in the early morning hours by forces from the town. Although the tribal forces took the army by surprise, their attack was ultimately repulsed as their ammunition ran low.

Although the tribes attacked with fewer men and sustained fewer casualties, the United States was victorious both tactically and strategically.
the Tippecanoe defeat dealt a devastating blow to Tecumseh's confederacy, which never fully regained its former strength. The battle was the culmination of rising tensions in a period sometimes called Tecumseh's War, which continued until collapse of tribal resistance with Tecumseh's death in 1813. Public opinion in the United States blamed the Native American uprising on British interference; it was later revealed that the British leaders in Canada had supplied Tecumseh's force with firearms and munitions. This suspicion led to further deterioration of American relations with Great Britain and served as a catalyst to the War of 1812, which began only six months later.

Hartford Convention

1814 - 1815

a secret meeting of Federalist delegates from Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont, at Hartford, Conn., inspired by Federalist opposition to President James Madison’s mercantile policies and the War of 1812. The convention adopted a strong states’ rights position and expressed its grievances in a series of resolutions against military conscription and commercial regulations. News of the signing of the Treaty of Ghent ending the War of 1812, along with the secrecy of the Hartford proceedings, discredited the convention and its work. Its unpopularity was a factor in the demise of the Federalist Party.

Henry David Thoreau

1817 - 1862

Henry David Thoreau was born on July 12, 1817, in Concord, Massachusetts. He began writing nature poetry in the 1840s, with poet Ralph Waldo Emerson as a mentor and friend. In 1845 he began his famous two-year stay on Walden Pond, which he wrote about in his master work, Walden. He also became known for his beliefs in Transcendentalism and civil disobedience, and was a dedicated abolitionist.

American Colonization Society


The American Colonization Society (ACS) was formed in 1817 to send free African-Americans to Africa as an alternative to emancipation in the United States. In 1822, the society established on the west coast of Africa a colony that in 1847 became the independent nation of Liberia. By 1867, the society had sent more than 13,000 emigrants. James Madison, James Monroe, John Marshall

Erie Canal

1817 - 1825

Linked Great Lakes region to NY and to European Shipping routes and helped the northeast become the center of commerce to Eastern Buyers

McCulloch v Maryland


In McCulloch v. Maryland (1819) the Supreme Court ruled that Congress had implied powers under the Necessary and Proper Clause of Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution to create the Second Bank of the United States and that the state of Maryland lacked the power to tax the Bank. Arguably Chief Justice John Marshall's finest opinion, McCulloch not only gave Congress broad discretionary power to implement the enumerated powers, but also repudiated, in ringing language, the radical states' rights arguments presented by counsel for Maryland

Missouri Compromise


In the years leading up to the Missouri Compromise of 1820, tensions began to rise between pro-slavery and anti-slavery factions within the U.S. Congress and across the country. They reached a boiling point after Missouri’s 1819 request for admission to the Union as a slave state, which threatened to upset the delicate balance between slave states and free states. To keep the peace, Congress orchestrated a two-part compromise, granting Missouri’s request but also admitting Maine as a free state. It also passed an amendment that drew an imaginary line across the former Louisiana Territory, establishing a boundary between free and slave regions that remained the law of the land until it was negated by the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854. Slavery confined to Southeastern Quarter of the U.S.

Harriet Tubman

1820 - 1913

African-American abolitionist, humanitarian, and Union spy during the American Civil War

Corrupt Bargain


The 1824 presidential election marked the final collapse of the Republican-Federalist political framework. For the first time no candidate ran as a Federalist, while five significant candidates competed as Democratic-Republicans. Clearly, no party system functioned in 1824

Henry Clay allegedly met with JQA before the House election to break a deadlock. Adams was elected president against the popular vote and Clay was named Sec of State.

This arrangement, however, hardly proved beneficial for either Adams or Clay. Denounced immediately as a "corrupt bargain" by supporters of Jackson, the antagonistic presidential race of 1828 began practically before Adams even took office. To Jacksonians the Adams-Clay alliance symbolized a corrupt system where elite insiders pursued their own interests without heeding the will of the people.

american system


the policy of promoting industry in the U.S. by adoption of a high protective tariff and of developing internal improvements by the federal government (as advocated by Henry Clay from 1816 to 1828)

Tariff of Abominations


passed the House of Representatives, 105 to 94. The tariff sought to protect New England manufacturing interests and western agricultural products from competition with foreign imports; however, the resulting tax on foreign goods severely devalued southern cotton exports. President John Quincy Adams approved the bill in a de facto endorsement of its sectional favoritism, essentially sealing his loss to Andrew Jackson in the 1828 presidential election. Vice President John C. Calhoun of South Carolina anonymously penned the South Carolina Exposition and Protest, articulating the doctrine of nullification. The doctrine emphasized a state’s right to reject federal laws within its borders and questioned the constitutionality of taxing imports without the explicit goal of raising revenue. Calhoun later took credit for the doctrine in 1832 to the detriment of his presidential ambitions. ONLY benefitted NE states, Prices went up in West and South

Walker's Appeal


David Walker's Appeal, arguably the most radical of all anti-slavery documents, caused a great stir when it was published in September of 1829 with its call for slaves to revolt against their masters. David Walker, a free black originally from the South wrote, ". . .they want us for their slaves, and think nothing of murdering us. . . therefore, if there is an attempt made by us, kill or be killed. . . and believe this, that it is no more harm for you to kill a man who is trying to kill you, than it is for you to take a drink of water when thirsty." Even the outspoken William Lloyd Garrison objected to Walker's approach in an editorial about the Appeal.

The goal of the Appeal was to instill pride in its black readers and give hope that change would someday come. It spoke out against colonization, a popular movement that sought to move free blacks to a colony in Africa. America, Walker believed, belonged to all who helped build it. He went even further, stating, "America is more our country than it is the whites -- we have enriched it with our blood and tears." He then asked, "will they drive us from our property and homes, which we have earned with our blood?"

Copies of the Appeal were discovered in Savannah, Georgia, within weeks of its publication. Within several months copies were found from Virginia to Louisiana. Walker revised his Appeal. He died in August of 1830, shortly after publishing the third edition.


1830 - 1845

In the 1830s and 1840s, New England transcendentalists such as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau emphasized self-reliance over external authority when it came to forming opinions and making decisions. In contrast to the rationalists of the Enlightenment, who valued reason, transcendentalists valued the beliefs of the individual, self-knowledge, and instinct.

Charles G. Finney

1830 - 1840

Presbyterian Preacher, Main person in 2nd Great Awakening. Believed society should and can be perfect tin God's eyes. Burnt over District named for his preaching influence



Joseph Smith founded when he found golden tablets sent by angels and translated the tablets into the the Book of Mormons. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Strong opposition in the east and Midwest. Smith was imprisoned in Illinois and died there. New York, Illinois, Trekked into Utah and Colorado after they got in trouble for polygamy. Influenced Republican platform against polygamy.

Nat Turner


Organized Nat Turner's rebellion where he rallied a gang of blacks and killed/mutilated the corpses of 2o whites. 200 slaves were killed in retaliation (some with no connection to the rebellion) and the black codes were passed out of fear of more rebellions. They prevented blacks from learning to read and congregating.

William Lloyd GArrison


Founded Antislavery Society. Abolitionist who favored northern succession and antislavery. Wrote The Liberator . Wanted emancipation. Some southern states banned newspaper.

Lowell Mills girls go on strike


A group of Boston capitalists built a major textile manufacturing center in Lowell, Massachusetts, in the second quarter of the 19th century. The first factories recruited women from rural New England as their labor force. These young women, far from home, lived in rows of boardinghouses adjacent to the growing number of mills. The industrial production of textiles was highly profitable,and the number of factories in Lowell and other mill towns increased. More mills led to overproduction, which led to a drop in prices and profits. Mill owners reduced wages and speeded up the pace of work. The young female operatives organized to protest these wage cuts in 1834 and 1836. Harriet Hanson Robinson was one of those factory operatives; she began work in Lowell at the age of ten, later becoming an author and advocate of women’s suffrage. In 1898 she published Loom and Spindle, a memoir of her Lowell experiences, where she recounted the strike of 1836.

Specie Circular


an executive order issued by President Andrew Jackson requiring that payment for the purchase of public lands be made exclusively in gold or silver. In an effort to curb excessive land speculation and to quash the enormous growth of paper money in circulation. The Specie Circular, by seriously curtailing the use of paper money, was highly deflationary and at least in part produced the ensuing credit crunch and the economic crisis called the Panic of 1837. On May 21, 1838, a joint resolution of Congress repealed the Specie Circular

"GAG" Rule

1836 - 1844

Congress could not talk about the issue or enact any new legislation pertaining to slavery and south had restrictions on free speech. Outraged many northerners and convinced them to join the abolitionist movement

"Positive Good"


The positive good theory, espoused by John C. Calhoun in a speech in 1837, is the idea that slavery was not, actually a "necessary evil," as Jefferson would describe it, but "a good-a positive good" institution for both blacks and whites in that whites get cheap manual labor and blacks benefit from the civilizing effect of being under the guidance of benevolent whites, and exposure to Christianity. The Positive good theory was John C. Calhoun's response during the Missouri crisis as to why slavery was continuing in the south. This theory became southern slaveholders justification from the 1820s through the Civil War.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton

1840 - 1850

Battled for women's rights. founded National Women's Suffrage Association. Organized the first women's rights convention. Seneca Falls, NY

Manifest Destiny

1840 - 1850

The belief that the western territories were a God-given right, some even argued that Canada, Mexico and all of the Americas should belong to the US. Newspaper editor John O'Sullivan coined the term in 1845

"HIgher Law"


a principle of divine or moral law that is considered to be superior to constitutions and enacted legislation

James K. Polk

1845 - 1849

Democratic President (11th) who settled Oregano boundary, wanted California and to establish boundaries with Mexico. Restored the practice of keeping government funds in the treasury and reduced tariffs.

":54'40" or Fight


Polk was an excellent strategist. He tapped into the public mood and realized that MANIFEST DESTINY was the very issue that could lead him to victory. Polk called for expansion that included Texas, California, and the entire Oregon territory. The northern boundary of Oregon was the latitude line of 54 degrees, 40 minutes. "Fifty-four forty or fight!" was the popular slogan that led Polk to victory against all odds. The British were confident they could win, but by 1846 they were vastly outnumbered in Oregon by a margin of greater than six to one. In June of that year, Britain proposed splitting Oregon at the 49th parallel. Polk agreed to the compromise, and conflict was avoided.

Wilmot Proviso


Prohibits slavery in any state acquired from Mexico. David Wilmot

Popular Sovereignty


the doctrine that the inhabitants of a territory should be free from federal interference in determining their own domestic policy, esp in deciding whether or not to allow slavery

Popular sovereignty was invoked in the Compromise of 1850 and later in the Kansas-Nebraska Act (1854). The tragic events in “Bleeding Kansas” exposed the doctrine's shortcomings, as pro- and anti-slavery forces battled each other to effect the outcome they wished.

Popular sovereignty was first termed “squatter sovereignty” by John C. Calhoun and that designation was adopted by its critics, which included proslavery Southerners and many New Englanders


1848 - 1878

religious commune founded by John Humphrey Noyes in 1848 in Oneida, New York. The community believed that Jesus had already returned in AD 70, making it possible for them to bring about Jesus's millennial kingdom themselves, and be free of sin and perfect in this world, not just Heaven (a belief called Perfectionism). The Oneida Community practiced Communalism (in the sense of communal property and possessions)

The Oneida community believed strongly in a form of free love, where any member was free to have sex with any other who consented

Treaty of Guadeloupe-Hidalgo


Mexican Cession. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ended the U.S.-Mexican War. Signed on 2 February 1848, it is the oldest treaty still in force between the United States and Mexico. As a result of the treaty, the United States acquired more than 500,000 square miles of valuable territory and emerged as a world power in the late nineteenth century. U.S. leaders assumed an attitude of moral superiority in their negotiations of the treaty. They viewed the forcible incorporation of almost one-half of Mexico's national territory as an event foreordained by providence, fulfilling Manifest Destiny to spread the benefits of U.S. democracy to the lesser peoples of the continent. Because of its military victory the United States virtually dictated the terms of settlement. The treaty established a pattern of political and military inequality between the two countries, and this lopsided relationship has stalked Mexican-U.S. relations ever since.

Fugitive Slave Act


Federal authorities had to assist slaveholder sin returning slaves. Put teeth in any previously passed law

Uncle Tom's Cabin


Book by Harriet Beecher Stowe that started out as chapters published in newspaper. Educated that north about he horrors of slavery, fueled northern antislavery support. One of the 1st novels to feature African Americans

Bleeding Kansas

1854 - 1858

Bleeding Kansas is the term used to described the period of violence during the settling of the Kansas territory. In 1854 the Kansas-Nebraksa Act overturned the Missouri Compromise's use of latitude as the boundary between slave and free territory and instead, using the principle of popular sovereignty, decreed that the residents would determine whether the area became a free state or a slave state. Proslavery and free-state settlers flooded into Kansas to try to influence the decision. Violence soon erupted as both factions fought for control

Abolitionist John Brown led anti-slavery fighters in Kansas before his famed raid on Harpers Ferry.

Kansas Nebraska Act


Got rid of Missouri Compromise. Kansas and NB would be settled as popular sovereignty. Steven Douglas. provoked violence in territories (Bleeding Kansas)

Scott v Sanford


Dred Scott, a former slaver whose master had taken him to a territory where slavery was illegal declared himself a free man and sued for his freedom Scott wont he case, lost he appeal and ended up in Supreme Court where he lost again.

Lincoln-Douglas Debates


7 National debates throughout Illinois, key issue was slavery. Lincoln was accused of being an abolitionist. Helped Lincoln become recognized by Republican party

Harpers Ferry


John Brown and 21 men. On the evening of October 16, 1859 John Brown, a staunch abolitionist, and a group of his supporters left their farmhouse hide-out en route to Harpers Ferry. Descending upon the town in the early hours of October 17th, Brown and his men captured prominent citizens and seized the federal armory and arsenal. Brown had hopes that the local slave population would join the raid and through the raid’s success weapons would be supplied to slaves and freedom fighters throughout the country; this was not to be. First held down by the local militia in the late morning of the 17th, Brown took refuge in the arsenal’s engine house. However, this sanctuary from the fire storm did not last long, when in the late afternoon US Marines under Colonel Robert E. Lee arrived and stormed the engine house, killing many of the raiders and capturing Brown. Brown was quickly placed on trial and charged with treason against the state of Virginia, murder, and slave insurrection. Brown was sentenced to death for his crimes and hanged on December 2, 1859.

Crittenden Compromise


In December 1860, on the eve of the Civil War, Kentucky Senator John J. Crittenden (1787-1863) introduced legislation aimed at resolving the looming secession crisis in the Deep South. The "Crittenden Compromise," as it became known, included six proposed constitutional amendments and four proposed Congressional resolutions that Crittenden hoped would appease Southern states and help the nation avoid civil war. The compromise would have guaranteed the permanent existence of slavery in the slave states by reestablishing the free-slave demarcation line drawn by the 1820 Missouri Compromise. Though Crittenden's plan drew support from Southern leaders, its rejection by many Northern Republicans, including President-elect Abraham Lincon, led to its ultimate failure.

Marbury v Madison`


Arguably the most important case in Supreme Cuort history, was the first U.S. Supreme Court case to apply the principle of judicial review...the power of the federal courst to void acts of Congress in conflict with the Constitution. Written in 1803 by Chief Justice John Marshall, the decision played a key role in making the Supreme Court a separate branch of government on par with Congress and the executive.