A Divided Nation

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by BrookeValenzuela
Last updated 6 years ago

Social Studies
African-American History

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A Divided Nation

A Divided Nation

Our nation was divided because of the issue of slavery. The northern states were against slavery and the southern states were for slavery. Slavery separated the two sides and made a lot of issues. Some of these issues include theCompromise of 1850, Kansas-Nabraska Act, "Bleeding Kansas", Dred Scott Decision, Lincoln-Douglas Debates, Election of 1860, and the Secession of the South. This problem separated the two sides of the country and eventually lead up to the Civil War.

Senator Henry Clay made the Compromise of 1850 to maintain peace. This comromise stated that California would enter the Union as a free state, Mexican Cession would be federal land, Texas would give up land east and in return government would pay their debts, slave trade would end in nation's capital, and a more effective fugitive slave law would pass. This caused disagreements and eventually led to war.


"Bleeding Kansas" happened when Kansas had two opposing sides on making it a slave state or free state. A battle started because of the decision and argumaents. This pushed the nation closer to civil war because of slavery.

The Dred Scott decision was a decision that the U.S. Supreme Court had to decide on. This case was that Scott sued for his freedom after his master died. The court had to decide if he was a citizen, if his time living on free soil made him free, and determnie the constitutionality of prohibited parts of slavery in Louisiana Purchase. This lead to the war becasue the court had to decide some slavery issues that disappointed other people.

Lincoln challenged Douglas in what became known as Lincoln-Douglas debates. Lincoln was against slavery and Douglas was for slavery. This was an intense debate because both sides had half the country. This would lead to the Civil War becuase Linclon, the winner, was against slavery, so the other side would want to fight back.






" Gentlemen of the Slave States I accept your challenge in the cause of freedom. We will engage in competition for Kansas, and God give victory to the side which is stronger in nubers as in right." -William Henry Seward

The Kansas-Nebraska Act was a plan that would divide the remainder of the Louisiana Purchase into 2 territories: Kansas and Nebraska. It also allowed people in each territory to decide slavery. Antislavery northerners were outraged by this act. This act was signed on May 30, 1854. This act pushed the nation closer to the Civil War because this act eliminated what the Missouri Compromise said.

The election of 1860 was a disagreement. Northern and Southern Democrats couldn't agree on a candidate. Lincoln won 180 out of 183 electoral votes in free states. Douglas won only one state and 12 electoral votes in slave states. This eventually lead to Civil War because the election angered a lot of people.



The South seceeded from the Union because of slavery disagreements. Southerners thought their economy would be destroyed without slavery. South Carolina was the first state to seceed. The secession lead to the Civil War because the North and South had to figure things out and the war begun.

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