Challenges to Slavery

Challenges to Slavery
• Learn why the Republican Party was formed.
• Learn how the Dred Scott Decision, the
Lincoln-Douglas Debates, and John Brown’s
raid affected Americans.
A New Political Party
In 1854, antislavery Whigs, Democrats, and Free Spoilers joined
together to form the Republican Party. It was formed when the
Democrats split along geographical lines. The Whig party was
destroyed over the issue of slavery.
Republican Party
Republicans opposed slavery. In the election of 1854 they won
enough seats in the House to control it.
1856 Election
In the presidential election of 1856, the Democrats and the
Republicans squared off. The Whig party had all but disappeared.
The main issue: Slavery.
John C. Fremont
Republicans nominated John C.
Fremont. Explorer, California’s
hero of the Mexican War,
Fremont’s campaign slogan
was, “Free soil, free speech,
and Fremont.”
James Buchanan
Buchanan was an experienced
politician from Pennsylvania.
The Democrats endorsed the
idea of popular sovereignty.
The American or
Know Nothing Party
Gaining support by
attacking immigrants, the
Know Nothings
nominated Millard
1856 Election Results
Buchanan wins the
election by capturing 174
electoral votes. Fremont
wins 114, and Fillmore 8.
Fremont does not receive
a single southern vote.
Dred Scott Case
Dred Scott was a slave who
sued for his freedom and on
March 6, 1857, the Supreme
Court’s ruling was announced.
Dr. John Emerson
Emerson was a doctor in the
army. His service caused him to
travel to different posts
throughout the west. While in
Missouri, he purchased a slave,
Dred Scott. From Missouri he
moved to Illinois, Wisconsin,
then back to Missouri where he
died in 1843.
Dred Scott Law Suit
In 1846, with help from abolitionist
lawyers, Scott sues for his freedom
claiming that because he had been
taken into territory where slavery
was prohibited, he then became a
free man.
Dred Scott Decision
On March 6, 1857, the
Supreme Court rendered its
decision. Chief Justice Roger B.
Taney ruled in favor of
Emerson’s heirs.
Dred Scott Decision
• Dred Scott could not sue. He was a slave. He was
property with no rights.
• According to the Fifth Amendment, property could
not be taken away without due process of law.
• Congress had no authority to ban slavery in
1858 Illinois Senatorial Race
Incumbent Stephen A. Douglas, Democrat, and Republican
Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln
Lincoln ran on the principle that
slavery was evil and should not be
allowed to expand.
Stephan A. Douglas
Ran on the idea expressed
in a speech made at
Freeport Illinois: Popular
Harpers Ferry
Harpers Ferry Virginia is located at the confluence of the
Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers. It was home of the United
States Armory and Arsenal. Thousands of guns and ammunition
was stored there.
John Brown
John Brown, the same man from
the Pottawattamie Massacre in
Kansas, hatches a plan with 21
followers to attack and seize the
arsenal and all its supplies to
start a slave revolt. On
October16, the operation
Town Reaction
Instead of helping Brown, which he thought would happen, the
townspeople grabbed their guns and stated firing on the raiders.
U.S. Marines
Because this is an attack on a
United States instillation, U.S.
troops are called to put down the
revolt. The nearest troops are
marines at Washington, D.C. They
are under the command of
Colonel Robert E. Lee
Brown Captured
When Brown refuses to surrender, Lieutenant James Ewell
Brown (JEB) Stuart signals and the marines knock down the
door, kill or capture all the raiders.
Brown’s Trial
Brown is tried and convicted of
murder and treason. He is hanged
on December 2, 1859. He is
forever immortalized in the song
“John Brown’s Body”.

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