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Unit 5
A Nation Divided and Rebuilt
Think of a time when you had a
disagreement with a friend
How were you able to
resolve the dispute?
Did you need to ask other
people to help find a
solution? (parents –
friends – teacher?)
Did one of you have to
change your position –
make accommodations to
the other person – make
a compromise between
the two of you?
When you were young…
you were told the Civil War was fought over slavery
But there's much
more to it than just
States rights
Power in Congress
New Territories
Money / Industry /
The South
Was mostly pro-slavery –
for it / on the side of it
Had fertile soil and a
warm climate.
This made it an ideal
place to grow cotton,
tobacco, etc…
To grow these, you
needed a large, cheap
labor force.
The North
Was mostly antislavery – against it
Industry and trade
drove economics.
Immigrants were a
cheap source of labor
for mills and factories.
The issue of slavery did cause a lot of
tension between the North and South
Abolitionists (N&S) believed
slavery was immoral.
Some Northern workers thought
it was an economic threat to
them – it might take away
Some were afraid they might
someday have to take slave type
jobs themselves.
But even the people who were
against slavery would probably
be called racist today.
Many whites refused to go to
school with, work with, or live
near African Americans.
Southerners just said that
white people were superior
to black people.
They also said they were
helping them to become
good Christians.
They also said… well…
we’re providing these
people with food, clothing,
and shelter.
By 1848… the country had to decide what to
do about slavery in the new Mexican lands.
The big change came
with California trying
to be admitted as a
free state.
This could be the
start of a big move to
have more free states
than slave states.
So a compromise was made in 1850 –
(The Compromise of 1850)
California was a new state
(free) and the slave trade
would be abolished in
Washington D.C.
There would be no new
slavery laws in the new
Mexican lands - and there
would be a new law that
said runaway slaves could
be recaptured.
Both sides agreed to the
plan, but also felt they each
had to give in too much to
the other side
From the Compromise of 1850
came the “Fugitive Slave Act”
Any runaway slave could
be recaptured and taken
There were fines and
punishments for people
who wouldn’t help.
A “commissioner” (judge)
would decide runaways
fates, but…
The commissioner got $5
for letting them go and
$10 if they were returned
to slavery.
There are 4 major events that
historians feel were immediate causes
leading to the Civil War
A book: “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”
 “The Sumner – Brooks Affair”
 The Dred Scott Decision
 John Browns Raid
One woman who was upset about the
whole idea of slavery wrote a book
Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote
“Uncle Tom’s Cabin”. about a
slave named “Uncle Tom” and
how badly he was treated.
Northerners: used this as their
main source of knowledge
about slavery.
Southerners felt it made them
look brutal.
The thing was – Stowe had
never been to the South – the
book was “fictional.”
Nebraska was ready to become a new state, but again…
Should it be a slave state or a free state?
 (they made it 2 separate states)
From this came: The Kansas – Nebraska Act
There ended up being
a lot of violence in Kansas
It was even called
“Bleeding Kansas”
It was a place where
they were going to
have the residents
vote on whether they
wanted slavery or not
– so both sides had
extra voters come in.
John Brown
is famous for leading
an attack on some of
his pro-slavery
neighbors (in Kansas)
He even murdered
5 of them.
Violence even spread to Congress
(The Sumner Brooks Affair)
During an argument in 1856, Senator Preston Brooks (South
Carolina – 37 years old) beat Senator Charles Sumner
(Massachusetts – 45 years old and with a bad hip) with his
walking cane in the hall of the Senate for a speech Sumner had
made three days before.
Brooks hit Sumner repeatedly; Sumner was trapped by his desk,
and was unable to get up or avoid the blows. Brooks continued to
beat Sumner even as he lay unconscious on the floor of the Senate
until his cane broke.
Sumner was unable to return to duty for more than three years
while he recovered