A Divided Nation

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by BrookeValenzuela
Last updated 7 years ago

Social Studies
African-American History

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A Divided Nation



This title is titled "A Divided Nation" because of the controversy between the north and the south. This dispute happened due to the issue of slavery. Therefore, because of this conflict many events happened that led to the disorder of our nation in the late 1800's.


A Divided Nation

The Compromise of 1850 was proposed by Senator Henry Clay which stated that California would enter the Union as a free state, would divide the Mexican Cession into two states, and the question of slavery up to popular sovereignty. As a result, the compromise violated the slave trade and solved some of the major slave issues.


The Fugitive Slave Act was enforced right after the Comprise of 1850 was enforced. This act made it so that the law would make it a crime if anyone helped out a runaway slave. However, if the whites were caught helpng a slave, the penalty for helping a slave would be a $1,000 fine and six months in jail. In reaction to this, many northerners oppsed this idea and were horrified this idea.


The Kansas-Nebraska Act was introduced by Stephen Douglas in the mid 1840's. This act was introduced due to the fact that he wanted to build a railroad to the Pacific Ocean. His plan was to divide the remainder of the Louisiana Purchase into two states (Kansas and Nebraska). This impacted the northerners because of the fact that it eliminated the restirctions on slavery.

The Dred Scott case was a case that determined if Dred Scott, a slave, had the right to sue for his freedom. At the court however, they determined that his freedom was not accepted because of the fact that they did not consider him as a citizen, did not consider him free, and declared the Missouri Compromise unconstitutional. In response to this, many northerners feared for the future.

In the Lincoln-Douglas Debates, Lincoln challenged Douglas in the issue of slavery. Lincoln wanted to stop the expansion of slavery in the west and make every state a free one. Douglas on the other hand, critzied Lincoln's ideas and influenced the majority of the people by saying that an all free state would lead to a more devastating event. As a result, Douglas won the Senate seat.

On October 16 1859, John Brown and his 20 men went into the night and took over the weapons at Harpers Ferry. By doing this, he hoped to start a slave rebellion. However, his plan failed due to the fact that some of his men were killed and were captured. A couple months later John Brown was accused of treason, murder, and conspiracy and was hanged on December 2, 1859. Many northerners moured for John Brown's death while the southerners felt threatened.


There were many canidates in the Election of 1860. However, Abraham Lincoln became the president in 1860 thanks to the help of the Republican Party. This angered many of the southerners because he did not campaign in any of the southern states, but he did promise not to aboilsh slavery where it already existed.

Many people in the south seceded due to the fact that Lincoln decided to stop slavery. They were very angry at the thought of their lives being taken away. As a result, many southern states seceded and formed the Confederate States of America. Lincoln on thr other hand stopped this maddness by taking office in 1861.

" Now if it is deemed [thought] that I should forfeit [give up] my life for the furtherence of the ends of justice, and mingle [mix] my blood... the blood of millions in this slave country whose rights are disregarded by wicked, cruel, and unjust enactments, I say, let it be done." -John Brown



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