Causes of the Civil War


Cotton Gin

  • Eli Whitney invented the Cotton Gin to be cheap to own and efficient so slaves wouldn't be needed, but slave owners used the slaves to harvest more cotton.
  • The 3/5 compromise was not enforced and slavery grew.
  • Wolrd-wide demand for cotton and tobacco goes up, requiring more slaves.
  • Slave owners found new ways to buy slaves without buying from Africa

Missouri Compromise of 1820

  • In 1819, there were 11 free states and 11 slave states
  • As America expanded west, some territories had enough people to become states
  • Mossouri wants to join as a slave state
  • Congress says that Missouri can join as a slave state, as long as Maine could enter free. This meant the Senate and HOR would stay relatively balanced.
  • 36' 30" (Missouri southern border) and up were to be free, other than Missouri, and anything below Missouri's southern border could have slaves.

Nat Turner's Rebellion of 1831

  • 1820's; A Virginia slave named Nat Turner could predict the future. He had many religious dreams about being free, but he had to kill for it. His fellow slaves thought he was a prophet
  • The llslaves saw strange atmospheric condition and thought it was a sign to rebell. They killed 50 white farmers and their families near the border of North Carolina
  • After they were executed, this grew fear among Southernors and over 200 black slaves were killed for no reason

Compromise of 1850

  • 1849: 15 slave states, 15 free states, balanced since 1820.
  • California wants to enter as a free state, but some of California was under the 36' 30" line. Slave states wanted it to be a slave state and the free states wanted it to be free.
  • Fighting in Congress erupts and to avoid the 15 southern states from leaving America and forming their own nation, the North will get California as a free state, DC (largest slave market in US) must close forever, and Texas must give up all rights to land to it's west called "the New Mexico Territory". The South will get all of their runaway slaves returned to their plantations in the South, DC is officially allowed to keep and use slaves (even though it can't sell any slaves), the new territories called "Utah" and "New Mexico" do not have to abide by the Missouri Compromise so they can vote for themselves whether they want slaves or not, and Texas will get $10,000,000 in exchange for New Mexico's rights.

"Uncle Tom's Cabin"

  • Written by Harriet Beecher Stowe
  • First book most northerners found out about the horrors of the South in
  • The book reached as far as Europe and let many nations express their views of the abolitionist movement
  • Stowe was happy because of the raising of awareness, but sad because many countries disagreed with the slavery, but still bought tobacco and cotton from the South

Kansas Nebraska Act of 1854

  • Got rid of MO Comp. This allowed settlers in the territories of Kansas and Nebraska to decide whether they would allow slavery within their borders.

Bleeding Kansas

  • After K-N Act, MO ruffians rigged KS elections and the states went to war
  • Northern Abolitionist John Brown raises a private army and helps Kansas defeat troops from Missouri. Brown is violent, vicious and brutal to all in his way but because he fought to end slavery many of his war crimes were overlooked.
  • Now a national celebrity, Brown begins to think of other ways to use war (like bleeding Kansas) to end slavery in the South.

The Dred Scott Decision of 1857

  • Dred Scott is a slave that was given as a gift to a soldier who lived in Illinois. He got freedom, but only verbally. When the soldier dies, his kids sue to own Dred as inheritence
  • His lawyers say that was freed on Northern soil, so he must be free, but SCOTUS said he was a slave, therefore he is a slave
  • Northern abolitionists were done. They started getting physical

The Lincoln Douglass Debate of 1858

  • Abe Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas ran against each other for Ilinois State Senator in 1858
  • In 7 states, the hot topics were slavery and popular sovereignty (for slavery). Abe won the nomination for his party (R) and gave his "House Divided" speech
  • Douglass won, but Lincoln gained attention for his thoughtful, impassioned arguments

John Brown's Raid on Harper's Ferry

  • John Brown is still attempting to end slavery with violence. Since Bleeding Kansas, his army had scattered and the US is looking for him as a war criminal
  • Brown and his sons attempt to attack the US Army weapons depot at Harper’s Ferry WV. They give the guns to the slaves in the south to join their army and kill the slave owners or to be killed themselves
  • Robert E. Lee captures him and kills him as a warning to all other abolitionists that intend to harm a US base

The Election of 1860

  • The South says if Abe is elected, they will leave. The Congressmen in question argue that Lincoln will not honor the principal of state’s rights and therefore in violation of the Constitution.
  • The South says that the country was founded on the Articles of Confederation, so they could leave and be independent of other states. So, they say if they leave, they will be called the "Confederate States of America"
  • They stayed true to their word

The Attack on Fort Sumter

  • Most northerners do not believe in the CSA. Northerners believe the CSA will come crawling back like a spoiled child
  • The CSA proves it's a foreign country that isn't coming back by attacking Fort Sumter (in Charleston Harbor) and winning
  • This shows that they are a differnet country that has a strong military