Causes of the Civil War

Events

Cotton Gin

1793

Eli Whitney created a tool called the Cotton Gin which he makes to lower the amount of slaves because this could do the job for them, but it actually does the opposite. Throughout the world people want more and more cotton so even more slaves were needed for them machines and the owners.

Missouri Compromise of 1820

1820

n 1819 the USA had grown to 11 slave and 11 free states (divided by the Mason Dixon Line). Missouri wished to join America as a slave-holding state even though it was in a region that was thought of as a non slave state. Congress compromised and allowed Missouri to join as a slave state as long as Maine could join as a free state. A line on a map was agreed upon, it was the southern border of Missouri or 36' 30" degrees latitude.

Nat Turner's Rebellion of 1831

1831

In the 1820's, a Virginia slave named Nat Turner kept having religious dreams that told him the day was coming where he would be free. To the slaves on his farm, he was considered a prophet with the gift of prophecy. In the 1830's, Nat and his friends noticed strange atmospheric conditions and believed this was a sign to start a rebellion against Virginia slave masters. After Nat's group is caught and executed, fear begins to grow in southern Virginia and it leads to over 200 black slaves being executed for no reason.

Compromise of 1850

September 9, 1850 - September 20, 1850

In 1849, America had grown to 15 slave states and 15 free states. The balance in Congress had been kept using the Missouri Compromise since 1820. California is now asking to join America, but as a free state. The problem is that some of California is below the Missouri Compromise line . Northern states argue that because most of the state is above the Missouri Line it must be a free state. 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, the largest slave market in America. 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 1852

1852

Written by Harriet Beecher Stowe, this book was the first time many northerners read about the horrors of slavery in the South. Stowe was happy that her book was raising awareness about the horrors of slavery, but also saddened that many nations vocally argued that slavery was wrong and should be abolished yet continue to buy American tobacco and cotton products.

Kansas Nebraska Act 1854

1854
  • In 1854, Congress passed the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which got rid of the Missouri Compromise (which allowed states north of the latitude 36° 30’ to be free states). This allowed settlers in the territories of Kansas and Nebraska to decide whether they would allow slavery within their borders.

Bleeding Kansas 1856

1856

Kansas and Nebraska are allowed to vote for their own slave holding status, it’s discovered that the elections are rigged and ruffians from Missouri were voting illegally in Kansas’ election, they go to war. Kansas and Nebraska are allowed to vote for their own slave holding status, it’s discovered that the elections are rigged and ruffians from Missouri were voting illegally in Kansas’ election. Brown begins to think of other ways to use war (like bleeding Kansas) to end slavery in the South as he is popular.

The Dred Scott Decision of 1857

1857

Dred Scott is a slave that was given as a gift to a soldier who lived in Illinois. After the soldier dies, his sons and wife sue to regain possession of Dred claiming that he was property of their father and therefore passed on in their inheritance. The Supreme Court rules that because Dred was a former slave, he is not considered a citizen and therefore not protected by the Constitution and has to be returned to a state of slavery. Knowing that they can no longer trust even the Supreme Court to end slavery, the movement starts to call for more physical approaches to ending slavery in the South.

The Lincoln Douglas Debates of 1858

1858

Abraham Lincoln and the current Senator, Stephen A. Douglas, ran against each other for an Illinois Senate seat in 1858. The hot topics in the seven debates were slavery and popular sovereignty. Douglas won the Senate seat, but Lincoln gained nationwide recognition for his thoughtful, impassioned arguments.

John Brown's Raid on Harper's Ferry 1859

1859

Abolitionist John Brown is still attempting to end slavery in the South by violent means. Since the time of Bleeding Kansas his army has scattered as the US Army is now looking for him as a war Abolitionist John Brown is still attempting to end slavery in the South by violent means. Since the time of Bleeding Kansas his army has scattered as the US Army is now looking for him as a war criminal. Each new slave that is freed is given the chance to join his army or be killed themselves. Brown is unsuccessful and a Virginia Colonel name Robert E. Lee captures and executes Brown as a warning to all other abolitionists that intend to harm a US Army base.

The Election of 1860

1860

As tensions rise in America, senators and representatives from the southern slave holding states inform Congress and the citizens that if Abraham Lincoln is elected, they will leave the Union and form a new nation. States argue that the nation was founded under the Articles of Confederation which allowed each state to remain independent of each other or confederated, therefore if they leave the Union they will take the name The Confederate States of America. True to their word, when Lincoln is elected, 11 southern states leave the United States of America to form their own nation.

The Attack on Fort Sumter 1861

1861

After the southern states leave the Union and form the CSA (Confederate States of America), many northerners do not believe they are really gone. The usual belief is that the CSA is acting like a spoiled child and will return to the Union as soon as they realize how hard it is to survive on their own. The CSA continues to inform the USA that it is a now a foreign nation and is not ever returning to the USA.This shows the USA that the CSA is not only serious about forming their own nation but how strong their military has grown in such a short while.