Maine and Missouri are admitted as states to keep a balance of slave and free states in the US. Maine was made a free state and Missouri a slave state. To separate the free states from the slave states, a compromise line is drawn at the 36’30 line of latitude from the Mississippi River westward to the border with Spanish territory.
Significance: The Missouri Compromise was significant because it maintained a balance of power and set a precedent for future states that wanted to join the nation.
Significance: The rejection of the Wilmot Proviso split the nation’s views on slavery, which divided America even more.
Compromise of 1850
The Fugitive Slave Act is passed in the U.S and slave trade becomes illegal in Washington D.C. California is admitted to the U.S as a free state. Unlike Utah and New Mexico, who used popular sovereignty to determine whether they would be free states or slave states.
A proposal made by David Wilmot to prohibit the slavery in the territory acquired after the Mexican American War. The Wilmot Proviso was passed in the House of Representatives but failed to be passed in the Senate.
Significance: The Compromise of 1850 was an attempt to settle the issue of slavery in the newly acquired territories from Mexico to keep the nation united.
A novel written by a woman named Harriet Beecher Stowe who was a dedicated abolitionist that wrote about the stark realities of slavery. The novel features Uncle Tom, an African American Slave whose impacting and cruel story touch millions of people in America.
Uncle Tom's Cabin
Significance: It opened the eyes of Americans both in the North and South about the evils of slavery through Stowe’s portrayal of brutalities, such as the forcible separation of slave families.
A law introduced by Senator Stephen Douglas which organized the remaining territory from the Louisiana Purchase north of the 36’30 compromise line into the Nebraska Territory and the Kansas Territory. Popular Sovereignty would determine if Kansas and Nebraska would be slave or free.
Significance:The Kansas-Nebraska Act repealed the Missouri Compromise by allowing slavery to exist above the 36’30 Compromise Line.
A small civil war in the United States, fought between pro-slavery and antislavery advocates (Free Soilers and Border Ruffians) for control of the new territory of Kansas under the doctrine of popular sovereignty
Significance:Bleeding Kansas lead to the creation of the Republican Party made up of mostly northerners who are opposed slavery and led to a further divided nation.
Dred Scott vs Sanford
A case where the Supreme Court ruled against a slave (Dred Scott) who had resided in a free state and territory (where slavery was prohibited) and was not thereby entitled to his freedom. The Supreme Court also established that African Americans were not considered citizens of the US.
Significance:The Dred Scott vs Sanford case allowed slave owners to take their slaves into the Western territories, which completely denied the existence of the doctrine of popular sovereignty. It also undermined the platform of the newly created Republican Party and allowed slavery to expand and exist all over America.
John Brown, an extreme abolitionist and 21 of his followers attacked and occupied the federal arsenal in Harpers Ferry. Their goal was to capture supplies and use them to arm a slave rebellion. Brown was captured during the raid and later hanged.
John Brown's Raid
Significance: John Brown’s raid caused great amounts of tension leading up to the election of 1860. Brown also led people to believe that the slavery issue in America couldn't be resolved without bloodshed.
Election of 1860
Abraham Lincoln, the Republicans party's nominee, was elected into office in 1860. He was a moderate on slavery but Southerners feared that his election would lead to its abolishiment, and vowed to leave the Union if he was elected.
Significance:The Election of 1860 was the last straw for the North and the South. The South secede from the Union and the Civil War begins.