Congress achieved a series of agreements that wound up plainly known as the Missouri Compromise. Missouri was conceded as a slave state and Maine was conceded as a free state, safeguarding the measure of the number of slave states. A line was drawn through the unincorporated western territories, separating north and south states as free and slave.
In August of 1831, a slave named Nat Turner incited an rebellion that spread through several plantations in southern Virginia. Turner and about seventy cohorts killed around sixty white people. Fifty-five slaves, which includes Turner, had attempted and carried out for their role within the rebellion. Almost hundred more were lynched with the aid of frenzied mobs. Virginia lawmakers reacted to the disaster by rolling back what few civil rights slaves and free black people possessed at the time.
Henry Clay and Stephen Douglas, two senators, managed to dealer a shaky accord with the Compromise of 1850. The compromise avoided further territorial expansion of slavery whilst strengthening the Fugitive Slave Act, a regulation which forced Northerners to capture and return escaped slaves to the South.
Uncle Tom’s Cabin was the second-best-selling book in the United States in the 19th century, second only to the Bible. Harriet Beecher Stowe’s fictional exploration of slave life became a cultural sensation. Northerners felt as if their eyes were opened to the horrors of slavery, even as Southerners protested that Stowe’s work become slanderous.
The Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 overturned components of the Missouri Compromise through permitting the settlers inside the two territories to decide whether or not to allow slavery by means of a famous vote. Pro- and anti-slavery agitators flocked to Kansas, hoping to shift the decision through sheer weight of numbers. The two factions struggled for five years with sporadic outbreaks of bloodshed that claimed fifty-six lives.
Dred Scott was a Virginia slave who attempted to sue for his freedom in court. The case eventually rose to the level of the supreme court, in which the justices determined that, as a slave, Dred Scott was a piece of property that had not one of the legal rights or recognitions afforded to a person. The Dred Scott decision threatened to absolutely recast the political landscape that had to this point managed to prevent civil war.
Abraham Lincoln became elected by using a considerable margin in 1860 despite not being included on many Southern ballots. As a Republican, his party’s anti-slavery outlook struck worry into many Southerners.
With secession, numerous federal forts, along with Fort Sumter in South Carolina, all at once became outposts in a foreign land. Abraham Lincoln made the choice to ship fresh materials to the beleaguered garrisons. On April 12, 1861, Confederate warships turned back the supply convoy to Fort Sumter and opened a 34-hour bombardment on the stronghold. The garrison surrendered on April 14. The Civil War was now underway.