[2015] Jessica Brooks (AB 67): A Divided Nation

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Social Studies
American History

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[2015] Jessica Brooks (AB 67): A Divided Nation

History Chapter 14

A Divided Nation




California was suposed to be entered into the Union. However, there was much dispute about whether California would join as a free state or a slave state. A compromise was enacted called the Compromise of 1850, and it settle many of the diputes, while entering in as a free state.

After winning the Mexican-American war, the U.S. gained more than 500,000 square miles of land causing disputes over slavery, so the Compromise of 1850 tried to solve these disputes. However, once the Fugitive Slave Act was passed, it caused more controversy. Therefore, the nation is in great dispute.

The compromise lead to a new fugitive slave law called the Fugitive Slave Act. This law made it a crime to help runaway slaves and allowed officials to arrest those slaves in free areas, which angered many people.

In 1852, a book by Harriet Beecher Stowe was published. The book is called "Uncle Tom's Cabin", and it was written to reveal the evils of slavery. This book spoke out very powerfully against slaverly, which electrified the nation and sparked outrage in the South.

In 1854, Stephen Douglas wanted to build a railroad from Chicago all the way to the Pacific Ocean. However, in order to do so, Douglas had to agree to allow slavery in the new territory west of Missouri. So in January of that same year, Douglas introduced a plan known as the Kansas-Nebraska Act. This act outraged the antislavery northerners.

Just two days after the election of 1856, a historic ruling was issued about slavery by the Surpreme Court. This news threw the country back into crisis. The case involved an enslaved man named Dred Scott when he sued for his freedom after his owner died in 1846. This was known as the Dred Scott Decision.


The results of the election of 1860 angered the southerners because it signaled that the South was losing its national political power. They felt this way because Lincon became the next president even though he did not campaing in their region or carry any southern states.


When Lincon became president he insisted he would not change slavery in the South, however, slavery could not expand. Many southerners were angered because slavery would eventually die out. The South reacted and the Delegates considered secession. The southern states tried to withdraw from the union to have the right to own slaves, but Lincon didn't allow it.



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