Challenges to Slavery 15-3 Objectives • 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 Fillmore. 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 territories. 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 Sovereignty. 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 begins. 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”.