Road to War

Events

Missouri Compromise

1820

The Missouri Compromise was a way to balance the amount of free and slave states in the United States. In 1819, Missouri requested to be in the Union as a slave state, but that would make the balance of free and slave states uneven. Congress responded by granting Missouri's request but also allowed Maine as a free state. An imaginary line was also drawn to seperate the free and slave states. Southerners were upset at this because they saw that Congress could make laws about slavery but the northerners see it as expanding slavery. This difference of view between the North and the South contributed to the Civil War.

Compromise of 1850

1850

The compromise of 1850 was a set of laws passed dealing with slavery. California would enter the Union as a free state. Slave trading in Washington, D.C. is now not allowed, a territorial government was made in Utah, a boundary was made between Texas and New Mexico, and a fugitive slave act was made. This fugitive slave act made helping runaway slaves illegal. Northerners were upset about this and helped runaway slaves anyway. This outraged southerners. This tension contributed to the Civil War.

Uncle Tom's Cabin

1852

Uncle Tom's Cabin is a novel written by Harriet Beecher Stowe and it Northerners about the life of a slave. She knew this information because she has met fugitive slaves and her father preached in the anti-slavery movement. This novel made the northerners realize slavery as more than just a political conflict, but as a moral problem. Southerners were outraged and claimed this novel propaganda and false. This tension contributed to the Civil War.

Kansas-Nebraska Act

1854

The Kansas-Nebraska Act allowed the settlers in Kansas and Nebraska to decide if they want to be a pro-slavery state or an anti-slavery state. This act was meant to put an end to the Missouri Compromise. This outraged the Northerners. The debates and conflicts on this created tensions between the north and south which contributed to the Civil War.

Dred Scott Case

1857

This case is brought by a slave named Dred Scott, he claims that spending time in a free state should guarantee him freedom. The United States Supreme Court is made up of southerners and they say that African ancestry cannot claim citizenship of the U.S. New York, a northern state, disagrees with this statement. These different views created conflicts between the North and the South which contributed to the war.

Lincoln/Douglas Debates

1858

The Lincoln/Douglas debates was a series of 7 debates between Republican Abraham Lincoln and Democrat Stephen Douglas. Douglas strongly believed that a state should pick whether if it is a slave state or not. Lincoln believed that slavery is morally wrong. He thinks it should not be allowed in new states. This difference of views made the North and South turn against each other. This hate contributed to the Civil War.

Raid on Harper's Ferry

1859

The raid on Harper's Ferry was a rebellion of abolitionists led by John Brown to attack a military base of weapons. This raid was meant to make a stronghold of freed slaves in the mountains. This raid turned out to be unsuccessful and John Brown was captured and hanged. This made southerners fear of slave rebellions and increased the tensions between the North and South. This tension contributed to the Civil War.

Southern Secession

1860

The southern secession is ultimately what caused the Civil War. Right after the election of 1860 where Lincoln is named President, seven southern states withdraw-ed from the Union. The South thought Abraham Lincoln was an abolitionist and wanted to end slavery and didn't want their lives to be changed. This made the Union have to fight to keep the Southerners in the Union.

Election of 1860

1860

The election of President Lincoln contributes to the Civil War because the south will secede or break away from the Union. The south's rule of the government is over. In the voting, no one in the south voted or supported Lincoln because they thought he was an abolitionist, or a person who wanted to end slavery. Lincoln getting elected was the "final straw" for the south and they want out of the Union. They believe that the government is no longer protecting their rights. Lincoln may have to fight to get them back.

Fort Sumter

1861

Fort Sumter is an island fortification in South Carolina with U.S. Major Robert Anderson in charge. When President Lincoln announced to resupply the fort, it was attacked by Confederate General P.G.T and his army. Anderson surrendered and the Confederates controlled the fort for nearly 4 years. This attack is where the American Civil War begins.