[2015] Haley Barham (AB 34): A Divided Nation

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by BrookeValenzuela
Last updated 5 years ago

Social Studies
American History

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[2015] Haley Barham (AB 34): A Divided Nation

A Divided Nation

This was a divided nation because the whole nation was split between being pro-slavery or anti-slavery. There was fighting and violent debates on how slavery should be banned, how strict it should be, and where it should be banned.

The Fugitive Slave Act made it a crime to help runaway slaves and allowed afficials to arrest those slaves in free areas. This angered many northerners because they didn't like how commissioners had so much power, there was a trial without a jury, and some free African Americans had been arrested.

The Compromise of 1850 had the following ideas: 1)California would enter the Union as a free state. 2)The rest of the Mexican Cession would be divided into two territories. Popular sovereignty would decide on slavery.These ideas made people argue about the nation's balance and its issues that would later lead to civil war.

Compromise of 1850

The Kansas-Nebraska Act was a plan that would divide the rest of the Louisiana Purchase into two territories(Kansas and Nebraska). It also allowed the poeple in each territory to decide on the question of slavery, and eliminated the Missouri Compromise's restriction on slavery. Anitslavery northerners were outraged because they believed it would cause the whole country into "slaves and masters".

The Dred Scott Decision reasoned that all African Americans were not citizens under the U.S. Constitution, Scott's presence on free soil didn't make him free, and that Congress had no right to ban slavery in any federal territory. This stunned and feared many northerners because they thought the spread of slavery wouldn't stop with the federal territories.

The raid on Harper's Ferry was when John Brown and his men took over the arsenal in Harper's ferry, Virginia. John Brown was hoping to start a slave rebellion. Brown and some of his men were captured and hung. Most southerners felt threatened and was worried that someone else might do something like that again. Many south states even wanted to leave the Union.

Fugitive Slave Act


Kansas-Nebraska Act

Dred Scott Decision

Raid on Harper's Ferry

Election of 1860

John Breckinridge, John Bell, Stephen Douglas, and Abraham Lincoln all ran in the election of 1860. Lincoln won with no southern states, but 180 out of the 183 electoral votes. This made many southerners angry because it meant that Lincoln would try to ban slaves, and that the South was losing its politoical power.

The South Secedes

Southerners wanted to seceed because they believed that their way of life would be ruined without slave labor. They thought they were able to seceed the way they entered, so they did. There were seven main states and they were called the Confederate States of America. When they seceeded, many people thought it was rediculous, but argued about who owned federal property.

"I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free." --Abraham Lincoln

"Now, if it is deemed necessary that I should forfeit my life for the furtherance of the ends of justice, and mingle my blood...with the blood of millions in this slave country whose rights are disregarded by wicked, cruel, and injust enactments, I say, let it be done." --John Brown


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