Conflicts Leading up to the Civil War

Timeline created by cdean
In History
  • The Wilmot Proviso

    The Wilmot Proviso
    In August of 1846, President Polk allocated 2 million dollars to purchase land from the reparations of the Mexican-American War. Since Polk was sympathetic to slavery, he wanted to pass a bill to make slavery legal in the newly acquired states. A democrat from Pennsylvania strongly battled this proclamation, saying "“that, as an express and fundamental condition to the acquisition of any territory from the Republic of Mexico…neither slavery nor involuntary servitude shall ever exist.
  • The Compromise of 1850

    The Compromise of 1850
    The Compromise of 1850 was a series of legislative agreements drafted by Henry Clay to help ease the tensions between the North and the South. Included in the Compromise was the inclusion of California into the Union as a free state, the abolishment of the slave trade in Washington, D.C, an amendment to the fugitive slave act was made, Utah established a territorial government, and the Texas-New Mexico border was established. This event led to the Civil War because it leaned against slavery.
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin

    Uncle Tom's Cabin
    The 2nd best-selling novel in the 19th century, runner up to the Bible, was an eye-opening, yet fictional, account and exploration of the horror of slavery. Written by Harriet Beecher Stowe, the book dropped in 1852, and immediately caused an uproarious stir in both the North and the South. It's reviews and reactions were very polarizing, both literally and figuratively. Northerners felt awakened, while Southerners critiqued it for being inaccurate and far-fetched, although it was very precise.
  • The Kansas-Nebraska Act

    The Kansas-Nebraska Act
    The Kansas-Nebraska Act was one of the dumbest, and most near-sighted legislative bills ever passed. In hindsight, it was one of the biggest and most influential causes of the Civil War. The bill was proposed by a democrat named Stephen Douglas, who sought only to save the Democratic Party. He didn't consider or care about the Northerner's nor the preservation of the Union, and once it was passed, it became apparent that popular sovereignty, which gave the people the choice of freedom, was dumb.
  • Dred Scott vs. Sanford

    Dred Scott vs. Sanford
    A slave from Virginia advocated for his freedom by trying to sue his way out of bondage. His case was so strong that it followed a chain of courts all the way to the Supreme Court. After considering the case for some time, they ruled to overrule the case, stating that, as a slave, Dred Scott was technically no more than property of his owner, and as property, he was not afforded any of the rights of an actual person. This ruling emboldened Southern slave owners, and caused tensions even more.
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    Lincoln vs. Douglas debates

    In the summer of 1858, a mostly unknown "prairie lawyer" named Abraham Lincoln faced off against Stephen Douglas, who was a senator looking to extend his time in office. Lincoln was part of the newly formed Republican party, which was anti-slavery, and although Douglas was far better known, he still had to campaign hard to retain his position. Lincoln may have lost the debates, but he earned a name in the game, which helped rocket him to the top in 1860. The Southerners, obviously, disliked him.
  • John Brown's raid

    John Brown's raid
    An abolitionist named John Brown caused a massive stir Harper's Ferry, Virginia, when he raided the arms holding facility there and tried to start an insurrection by arming the slaves. They were quickly extinguished by a team of marines led by Colonel Robert E. Lee. The outcome of the raid left 7 dead and more than a dozen injured before they were stopped. Brown was tried for treason and hanged there shortly after. This blatantly hostile move enraged the South, further polarizing the two.
  • Lincoln's election

    Lincoln's election
    In 1860, the Republican Party's candidate won the presidential election by a considerable amount, despite not showing up on almost all of the southern states' ballots. His victory was a brutal blow to southern slave owners, who held great fear and contempt for his anti-slavery views. For South Carolina, his election was the final blow; they seceded from the Union in December of 1860. Many states followed suit later, dividing up most of the Union. Lincoln's election had been the final straw.
  • Secession of South Carolina

    Secession of South Carolina
    This event was one of the biggest events that contributed to the Civil War. After Lincoln's election, panicked rich Southerners in South Carolina held a meeting that further mulled over a new, important topic: secession. As the meeting adjourned, they decided that to officially break off from the Union. A pro-secession newspaper spread great discontent and unease with the headline: "THE UNION IS DISSOLVED". This proclamation emboldened other states to do the same, and soon after SC, they did.
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    Battle of Fort Sumter

    After Lincoln's election, and following the secession of many of the southern states, some Union bases and outposts were now in danger and out of reach. Lincoln was careful to not take the first strike against the seceding states, and attempted to send fresh supplies to the people(also called garrisons) at Fort Sumter. As the shipment of supplies was on it's way, the South attacked, laying down a 34 hour assault. The garrisons of Fort Sumter surrendered, but this was the first declaration of war