Unit 5 Timeline

Pre Civil War, Civil War, Reconstruction


Manifest Destiny

1840 - 1850

Reflected American nationalism, idealistic vision of social perfection. Westward expansion was a result of superior American race

Young America


Democrat idea. Expand US democracy and ideals to the world - turn focus away from slavery.

Not successful - Ostend Manifesto made Northerners angry - thought South trying to get more slave territory.

Free-Soil vs. Pro-Slavery


Tension b/w North and South from economic and territorial interests, but also hardening ideas. Each thought own vision should be dominant.

Free-Soil Ideology
Free soil and free labor Slavery wrong - to whites. Citizens have rights to own property, control own labor, access opportunity, but South was a closed, static society. Slavery preserved aristocracy and common whites had no opportunities. Support from Church too.
Slave Power Conspiracy - Northerners thought they were prospering and South was stagnating, yet South was trying to extend slavery and crush capitalism.
Republican idea. Republicans also committed to Union - splitting would be going backwards, less prosperous, which would have been anti-free labor.

1. Whites wanted security after Nat Turner
2. Cotton became even more profitable in Deept South
3. Garrisonians becoming more vehement against South.

Slavery is positive good
1. Slaves in better conditions than industrial workers.
2. Two races could live together.
3. Helped national economy.
4. Preserve southern way of life. North was greedy, destructive, dirty, crowded with immigrants. South was stable, orderly, protected workers.
5. Blacks biologically inferior.
6. Church.


Mexican government encourages American immigration

1820 - 1826

Increase their tax revenues, wanted Americans as a buffer against US and Indians.

Stephen Austin


Encourages American immigration to Texas

Texans want independence


San Jacinto


General Houston took Santa Anna prisoner, made him sign a treaty giving TX indpc.

Americans proclaim indpc



Texas statehood

1837 - 1844

Jackson against - feared sectional controversy. Van Buren and William Henry Harrison did not press the issue. Tyler encouraged, but Calhoun (Sec of State) presented annexation as if to extend slavery - NO.

Texas Boundary Dispute


Polk sends General Zachary Taylor to Rio Grande to protect it.

Texas becomes a state


Mexican War


Polk orders Taylor across the Rio Grande, deliberately antagonizing Mexicans.

Opposition: Polk had deliberately started the war. Pacific NW more important - Mexico was a distraction. Compromise over Oregon should have gotten US more - Mexico had been distracting.

Polk sent General Winfield Scott, won. Wanted to end the war quickly but also wanted more of Mexico.

Bear Flag Revolution


Colonel Kearny united the Bear Flag Revolutionists (American settlers, navy, exploring party) and conquered CA.

California Gold Rush

1848 - 1856

Forty-niners - abandoned everything to go to CA. Mostly men - fluid and volatile society. First Chinese immigrants - voluntary, looking for economic opportunities.

Labor shortage (everyone looking for gold) - Indian slavery.

Most immigrants stayed after gold was gone - diverse, turbulent place. Needed stable government - need to resolve the issue of territories.

Treaty of Guadelupe Hidalgo


Rio Grande established as boundary. US paid financial claims of new citizens. Pay Mexico $15 mil. Polk wanted more, but Americans tired of war.

Westward expansion


1840 - 1850

Disputed control of Oregon Country with Britain. American immigration began growing, settlements along Pacific coast.

Westward Migration

1840 - 1860

Most from Old Northwest - relatively young, migrated before, relatively prosperous (migrating required money). Some wanted quick riches, others public lands, others to become merchants in the new white societies.

Long, slow, arduous journeys. Many died because of plagues. Indians helped them.

High collective experience - travelling in large groups, constant contact.

Compromise over Oregon


Neither Britain nor US really wanted war -> treaty to make 49th parallel the boundary.

North vs. South

Effects of Nat Turner


Scared the Southern whites, felt the North was antagonistic.

The Pro-Slavery Argument


Calhoun - slavery is not a necessary evil but a positive good.
1. Slaves have better conditions than industrial workers in the North.
2. Two races can live together.
3. Profitable for the country.
4. Black people are naturally inferior.
5. Preserves the southern way of life - stable/orderly society, slow and human pace, protecting workers' welfare and aristocrats' status. No Northern conflicts between capital and labor.

Wilmot Proviso


Amendment to the bill prohibiting slavery in any territory from Mexico.

Free-Soil Party


Signaled inability of parties to address issue of slavery.

Sectional Conflict over Slavery in Territories


President Taylor asked Congress as free and New Mexico under pop sovereignty.

Congress - NO.
1. Antislavery efforts in D.C. were resisted by southerners.
2. Personal liberty laws - courts and police could not return runaway slaves to owners.
3. Two new free states would upset balance between North and South in Senate.

Fugitive Slave Act


Mobs prevented southern slave catchers from taking slaves back to South - Southerners angry

increased white settlement - railroads and slavery

1850 - 1860

settlers moving into plains (farming), pushing out Indians.

Railroads - expansion = need for communication -> support for transcontinental railroad. Problem - placement, especially where to connect with existing rail network - North or South.

Compromise of 1850


Clay's omnibus bill
1. CA admitted as free.
2. Form territorial governments in territory from Mexico, no restrictions on slavery.
3. Abolish slave trade (not slavery) in D.C.
4. New, more effective slave law.

Calhoun - N. give S. equal rights in new territories. Radical demands (dual presidents, cease abolition, etc.)

Clay's bill is defeated.

Seward (ideals of Union < eliminating slavery)
Jefferson Davis (slavery more about economics than ideals)
Stephen A. Douglas (westerner, wanted economic benefits for West. Not about broad national goals - sectional/personal gain.)

Zachary Taylor adamant that CA and NM had to be admitted before other issues - conveniently dies, so omnibus bill can be broken down. President Fillmore rallies N Whig support. Get each bill passed, but out of self-interest not national agreement.

Gadsden Purchase


Bought strip of land for $10 million, remove one obstacle for southern railroad.

Ostend Manifesto


Tried to buy Cuba from Spain, antislavery Northerners feared new slave state.

Kansas-Nebraska Act


Stephen A. Douglas wanted RR to go through western states - created bill to organize a territory, Nebraska.

To appease South, Douglas gave territory popular sovereignty. Also agreed to split the territory into Kansas and Nebraska. Kansas (southern half) more likely to become slave. Repealed Missouri Compromise.

Consequences - divided and destroyed Whigs, divided northern Democrats.

Bleeding Kansas


Thousands of Missourians crossed border to vote in Kansas, legalized slavery. Antislavery supporters formed own Constitution and applied for statehood.

Earned name "Bleeding Kansas" because of sectional strife.

Pottawatomie Massacre


John Brown killed 5 pro-slavery settlers. Led to irregular guerrilla warfare.

Preston Brooks and Charles Sumner

May 1856

Sumner made a rude speech about slavery and Southerners, Brooks beat Sumner with his cane.

Deadlock Over Kansas

1857 - 1858

1857 - new Kansas Constitution legalized slavery, but newly elected legislature widely rejected it. 1858 - Buchanan pressured Congress to admit KS as slave, but Congress refused. Compromise - popular sovereignty - rejected again.

John Brown's Raid


Led followers to Harpers Ferry, Virginia, hoped to lead slave rebellion. Failed, tried, hanged.
White southerners felt threatened, thought that North endorsed raid and slave rebellion.

Kansas enters Union as free


After some Southern states have seceded


Election of 1837 - Van Buren


President John Tyler


Vice President of William Henry Harrison

Election of 1840 - William Henry Harrison


Caught a cold a month into office.

Election of 1844 - Polk


Henry Clay (Whig) vs. Polk (southern Democrats).

Election of 1848 - Taylor


Cass (Democrats) vs. General Zachary Taylor (Whigs).
Van Buren (Free-Soil).

Taylor wins, but Free-Soil gets some members into Congress.

Election of 1852 - Pierce


Pierce (Democrat) vs. General Winfield Scott (Whig) vs. John Hale (Free-Soil)

Many Whigs defected (not addressing issue of slavery) so Democrats won

Birth of the Republican Party


Northerners and Southerners who opposed Kansas-Nebraska Act formed the Republican Party.

Election of 1856 - Buchanan


Republican platform - denounced Kansas-Nebraska Act and slavery, supported internal improvements. Antislave, helped North economically.

Lincoln-Douglas debates


Congressional elections - Lincoln (Rep) ran against Stephen Douglas (Dem). Debates attracted attention.

Lincoln's arguments - denying blacks rights -> could eventually deny immigrants of rights. Extending slavery into territories would deprive poor whites of opportunity.

Opposed slavery but did not see alternative. Thought that if he could prevent spread, slavery would die out on its own.

Election of 1860 - Lincoln


Democrats split between southerners (strong support for slavery) and westerners (popular sovereignty).

Republicans tried to appeal to all of North, who feared South blocking economic interests - high tariffs, internal improvements, homestead bill, Pacific railroad, popular sovereignty (but Congress or territory legis could legalize slavery in territories)

Lincoln - moderate, obscure, native westerner. Lincoln won - South felt being in the Union was hopeless

Supreme Court cases

Dred Scott v. Sanford

March 6, 1857

Supreme Court ruled that slaves were property, and under the Fifth Amendment, Congress can not take property without due process of law. Congress could not deprive people of their slave property.