Ch. 19 Notes Drifting Toward Disunion Uncle Tom’s Cabin 1. In 1852, Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which left an enduring impression on the North and their view of slavery. 2. Thousands of northerners joined the abolitionist movement because of the book’s portrayal of slavery. 3. The governments of Great Britain and France later decided not to intervene in the Civil War because of their own citizen’s reaction to the book. The Fight for Kansas 1. When the Kansas/Nebraska Act passes through Congress, many abolitionists (known as free soilers) begin moving to Kansas, determined not to allow slavery there. 2. They bring with them guns, known as “Beecher’s bibles”, named after Henry War Beecher, the abolitionist who helped raise the money to buy them. 3. Pro-slavery “border ruffians” moved into Kansas from Missouri in order to vote for slavery. Bleeding Kansas 1. When the election is held in 1855, the pro-slavery side wins and sets up a government at Shawnee Mission. 2. The free soilers set up their own government in Topeka. 3. In 1856, a gang of pro-slavery raiders attacked and burned part of Lawrence, Kansas. 4. In retaliation, John Brown attacked some pro-slavery supporters at Pottawatomie Creek, Kansas, killing five people. 5. After this, civil war breaks out in Kansas between the pro and anti-slavery forces – Kansas become the litmus test that shows popular sovereignty doesn’t work. Bleeding Congress 1. In 1856 Charles Sumner of Massachusetts gives an incredibly harsh speech in the Senate condemning slavery, insulting S.C. Senator Andrew Butler in the process. 2. In response, S.C. Rep. Preston S. Brooks entered the Senate and beat him senseless with a cane. 3. This incident showed how the passions over slavery were becoming inflamed in both the North and the South. Lecompton Constitution 1. In 1857 the pro-slavery government of Kansas submitted the Lecompton Constitution to Congress for approval – the constitution allowed slavery in Kansas and the people of Kansas weren’t allowed to vote on it. 2. It wasn’t approved, largely because of Stephen Douglas, who still believed strongly in popular sovereignty, refused to support a constitution that hadn’t been submitted to the vote of the people. 3. This caused Douglas to lose a lot of his support within the Democratic Party. Presidential Election of 1856 1. The Democrats nominate another doughface, James Buchanan, largely because he had been out of the country and hadn’t been involved in the Kansas/Nebraska Act – they refuse to nominate Douglas, their most wellknown member, because of his involvement in the Kansas/Nebraska Act. 2. The Republicans nominate John C. Freemont of California fame. 3. The Native American Party, or Know-Nothings, nominate Millard Fillmore and campaign on limiting immigration. 4. Buchanan wins the election, largely because many northerners are still willing to vote Democrat because they don’t want to lose their profitable business connections with the South, but the Republicans do quite well for a brand new party Presidential Election of 1856 The Dred Scott Decision 1. 2. 3. 4. In 1857 the Supreme Court hears the Dred Scott case. He was a slave who had sued his owner for his freedom because he had been taken into free territory. The Supreme Court decides that (1) slaves are property and have no standing to use the U.S. courts and (2) Congress can’t deprive people of their property by limiting where slavery is or isn’t allowed. Northerners are horrified by the decision while Southerners are thrilled. The Panic of 1857 1. This panic wasn’t nearly as bad as the one in 1837 but it came at a terrible time because it inflamed the tensions between the north and the south. 2. Northern manufactures struggled during the panic and called for more protective tariffs while southern plantation owners, who were doing a large part of their business with Europe, weren’t affected much. 3. This led the South to believe that they were economically superior to the North and gave them another reason to tout the use of slaves. Douglas vs. Lincoln 1. In 1858, because of Douglas’ loss of support from the Democrats, the Republicans decide to challenge him for his seat in the Senate and run Abraham Lincoln against him. 2. Lincoln challenges Douglas to a series of debates, and Douglas accepts. 3. Lincoln will ultimately lose the election but the coverage of the debates will propel him into the national spotlight and set him up for being nominated for president by the Republicans in 1860. Douglas vs. Lincoln The Great Debate 1. In their debate in Alton, Illinois, Douglas attacks the Republican Party. 2. He refers to them as “Black Republicans” and claims they want to free the slaves and grant them equality. 3. Lincoln refutes the claim, stating that the Republicans just want to contain slavery where it was and keep it from spreading into the territories. The Freeport Doctrine 1. In the debate in Freeport, Illinois, Lincoln asks Douglas if popular sovereignty is still legal after the Dred Scott decision. 2. Douglas claims that it’s the people of an area who have the ultimate say in deciding if slavery exists there and they will have the ability to pass laws that would fail to protect slavery within an area, regardless of the Supreme Court’s decision. 1. In 1859, John Brown leads a raid on Harpers Ferry, Va. 2. Brown believes that God has told him to use force to free the slaves. 3. Brown seizes a federal arsenal and expects the slaves of the area to flock to him, arm themselves and rise up against the whites around them. 4. Brown doesn’t get word to the slaves in the area of what he’s planning and he’s captured and eventually executed. John Brown Harper’s Ferry The Effects of Browns’ Raid 1. While most northerners disapprove of Brown’s actions, many view him as a hero willing to give up his life to free slaves. 2. The South view’s the approval of these northerners as the North’s approval to use force to free the slaves. 3. They also believe that is exactly what will happen should the Republican Party rise to power. The Presidential Election of 1860 1. The Democrats split over the issue of slavery. 2. The northern Democrats run Stephen Douglas, who supports popular sovereignty. 3. The southern Democrats run John C. Breckenridge, who favors the extension of slavery into the territories. 4. The Republican run Abraham Lincoln, who favors keeping slavery contained where it is. 5. The Constitutional Union Party is formed (from moderate Democrats mainly) and their goal is to keep the Republicans from winning and to preserve the Union – they nominate John Bell. 6. Lincoln, or course, wins the election. Presidential Election of 1860 The Confederate States of America 1. As soon as Lincoln is elected, South Carolina secedes from the Union – seven states have seceded by the time Lincoln is inaugurated and four more threaten to do so if the north does anything to them. 2. The southern states meet in Montgomery, Alabama, and form the Confederate States of America, choosing Jefferson Davis as their president and Alexander Stephens as their vice president. Secessionists 1. The southern states had numerous reasons for secession. 2. The state’s rights argument claimed that they had the right to secede – state conventions were used to ratify the Constitution and create the government so state conventions could be used to withdraw from the government as well. 3. Others believed that the political balance was tipping against them anyway so better to get out now while they were still on an equal footing 4. Many claimed the Republicans were full of abolitionists who were going to force them to free their slaves. 5. Others felt like the north wouldn’t care if they seceded – and their were northerners who didn’t. 6. All of these reasons revolved around the issue of slavery though. James Buchanan 1. Buchanan doesn’t know what to do about the secession of the southern states. 2. He believes that they don’t have the right to secede but he also believes that he doesn’t have the authority to do anything about it. 3. Since he’s a lame-duck president, he decides to just wait and let Lincoln deal with it. The Crittenden Amendments 1. Senator John Crittenden of Kentucky will propose a series of Constitutional amendments to try to get the south back into the Union. 2. These amendments would have created a dividing line in the territories along the 36° 30’ line and allowed all new states the right to vote on the issue of slavery. 3. Lincoln refuses to support these amendments, claiming that he had been elected by people that didn’t want to see slavery extended into the territories.