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

A Divided Nation

This chapter is titled a Divided Nation because when California applied to join the Union,most Californians opposed slavery.If it joined the Union the balance between free states and slave states would be broken.Many southerners did not want this and the entire nation was debating on whether or not slavery should be allowed.

The Compromise of 1850 was conducted by Senator Henry Clay.With the Compromise, California was able to enter the Union as a free state,the rest of the Mexican Cession was divided into two territories,and the question of wether slavery should be allowed would be decided by popular sovereignty.The Compromise settled most disputes between free and slave states.

The Fugitive Slave Act made it a crime to help runaway slaves and allowed officials to arrest those slaves in free areas.The northerners were upset about the commissioners power.Most northerners did oppose the Act peacefully but violence did erupt.Anthony Burns was arrested in Boston,but abolitionists used force to rescue him from the jail.Burns was ordered back to Virginia which outraged the north and caused many to join the abolitionists cause.

The Fugitive Slave Act

The Kansas-Nebraska Act was a plan the would divide the remainder of the Louisiana Purchase into two territories-Kansas and Nabraska-and allow people in each territory to decide on the question of slavery.Antislavery northerners were ouraged by the implications.Members of the legislature passed laws that made it a crime to question slaveholdersIn protest,anti-slavery Kansans formed their own legislature.

Dred Scott sued for his freedom in 1846.Scott's case reached the Supreme Court 11 years later.He was not considered a citizen so therefore he could not rule in a federal court.Roger B. Taney the Missouri Compromise to be unconstitutional and considered slaves property so Congress could not prohibit slaves from being taken from federal property.The ruling stunned many northerners and they feared the spread of slavery would not end.

Lincon challenged Douglas in what became the Lincoln-Douglas Debate.Lincoln expressed in this debate that Democrates were trying to spread slavery across the nation.Douglas retaliated by expplaining the statement "half slave and half free"revealed a republica desiree to make every state a free state.The debate put the slavery questions back in the American citizens hands.

The Compromise of 1850

The Kansas- Nebraska Act

The Dred Scott Decision

Lincoln- Douglas Debates

Quote:Abraham Lincoln"We shall lie down pleasantly dreaming that the people of Missouri are on the verge of [close to] making their state free;and we shall awake to the reality,that of the Supreme Court has made Illinios a slave state."

Quote:William Henry Seward"Gentlemen of the Slave States...I accept[your challenge] in... the cause of freedom.We will engage in competition for...Kansas,and God give the victory to the side which is stornger in numbers as it is in right."


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