The Union in Peril: Sectional Issues

The Union in Peril: Sectional
An analogy
You are a high school gym teacher. Your class is playing tug-a-war today and
you want to divide the teams evenly. In the next few minutes, divide your
class into two “fair” teams…
Juliana – 5’9 female, volleyball player, 145lbs.
Erwin– 6’0 male, wrestler, 160lbs.
Cam – 6’3” male, linebacker on the football team, 215 lbs.
Carl – 5’6” male, captain of the chess club, 150 lbs
Tami – 5’2 female, cheerleader, 115lbs.
Mike – 5’9” male, skateboarder, 135 lbs.
• As the US pushes westward, slavery is the key issue. The battle
between North and South becomes like a “tug-a-war”. As each side
adds another player (state) the other side is upset until something is
done to even the teams…
The Missouri Compromise
Background info:
Northwest Ordinance (passed
in 1787) forbade slavery in
Midwest. (unsettled territory
north of the Ohio River.)
Southwest Ordinance (passed
in 1790) permitted slavery
south of the Ohio.
Why not a permanent solution?
Missouri applies for statehood,
Tallmadge Amendment,
part of Missouri’s admission for
a ban on future slave imports
and a gradual emancipation of
What problem does this
Missouri Compromise, 1820
Statehood passed in
the House, but failed in
the Senate.
1820 – Henry Clay
authors “Missouri
1. Missouri becomes a
slave state.
2. Maine enters as a free
3. No slavery within the
Louisiana Purchase
above 36’30
The Wilmot Proviso
The year is now 1848… What do we do with all of the land
we just won in the Mexican-American War?
The Wilmot Proviso
• Wilmot Proviso
– Essential Info…
• “Any land gained from the War
with Mexico must become free
– Northern lawmakers in the
House pass more than 50
versions of the bill between
1846 and 1850
» Voted down every time in
the Senate.
– Outcome
• What are southerners going to
begin to think about the
David Wilmot,
Representative from Penn.
The Compromise of 1850
• Problem = California wants to
join the Union as a free state.
– Large population influx from Gold
• New Mexico, Utah also.
– Why is this a problem?
• Union is balanced 15 free, 15 slave
• The Solution = The Compromise
of 1850
1. California, New Mexico, and Utah
get “popular sovereignty.”
• Can choose slavery status.
2. End slave trade in District of
3. Pass the Fugitive Slave Act.
• Made helping a slave escape to
North/Canada a punishable offense.
• Underground Railroad?
– Who got the better end of the deal,
North or South? Why?
The Kansas/Nebraska Act
Senator Stephen Douglas (IL) wants to pass legislation to build a
transcontinental railroad westward from Chicago through Nebraska. As a
result of the railroad, people will move to these territories, meaning they will
soon become states.
According to the Missouri Compromise, should they become free or
slave states?
– Why will Southerners still oppose this?
Kansas/Nebraska Act
• Kansas/Nebraska Act.
– The Act
• Kansas and Nebraska are given “popular sovereignty.”
– Northerners outraged because this went against the Missouri Compromise
under which both states should be free.
– Result?
• Pro-slavery southerners from Missouri move to Kansas hoping to sway
the vote to become a slave state.
• Abolitionists from Illinois, Iowa move to Kansas hoping to sway the vote
to become a free state.
– Sets the stage for fight called “Bleeding Kansas”
The Union in Peril: Social
Uncle Tom’s
A Kentucky slave owner is forced by
financial ruin to sell three of his slaves.
By Harriet Beecher Stowe, 1852
George and Eliza run away, escape with
baby across the Ohio but are run down
by bloodhounds.
Tom submits to sale to a New Orleans
master, then sold to Simon Legree – a
vicious and sadistic master…
Gave slavery a “face”
Had real characters who were sinful
(extra-marital sex, broken family), yet
constructed in a way that their sins were
trumped by the cruelty of slavery.
Changed people’s perceptions of the
institution of slavery as immoral.
Frederick Douglass – “A work plainly
marked by the finger of God.”
Brings abolitionism into the mainstream,
relates it to Christian morals.
See it as an attack on their way of life.
Bleeding Kansas
• Background
– Recall that the Kansas-Nebraska Act declared that the slavery status of
these two territories would be ruled by popular sovereignty.
Battle over Kansas
Both anti-slave northerners and proslavery southerners start a drive to
recruit settlers and establish a
A type of “Civil War”
March 1855 – Pro-slavery forces
elect a territorial legislature.
Their Constitution:
Anti-slavery forces elect their own
Civil War develops between the two
forces in Fall 1855 and Spring 1856.
Death penalty for aiding a fugitive
Felony to question slaveholding.
On May 21st, a group of proslavery
officials attacks a free state strong
hold of Lawrence.
John Brown leads a raid in response
on Potawatomie Creek. They split
the skulls and hacked the bodies of
five men.
Seen as a preview of the Civil War!
Violence in the Senate
Sumner beating
In Senate, Charles Sumner delivers speech “The Crime Against
Kansas,” which personally insults many southerners.
Preston Brooks enters Senate chamber and beats Sumner with a
Uncle is a southern senator .
It is three years before Sumner can return to the legislature.
South hails Brooks as a hero, many send him canes!
Lincoln-Douglas Debates
Election of 1858
Abraham Lincoln
challenges IL
Senator Stephen
7 debates across IL
before election.
Outcome /
Lincoln losses.
However, Lincoln is
recognized as one of
the up and coming
leaders of the new
Republican party.
Harper’s Ferry
John Brown (violent abolitionist from
Bleeding Kansas!) decides that he
wants to attack and capture the federal
arsenal at Harper’s Ferry, Virginia and
arm slaves in a massive slave revolt.
The attack
In 1859, Brown and 22 followers
successfully raid armory
Robert E. Lee is called in.
However, few slaves revolt.
His regimen wounds Brown, kills three
Plays on southerners worse fear of
mass slave rebellion, and growing
suspicions of the North
John Brown is sentenced to hang
North mourns his loss as a martyr
South thinks of this as the final insult
White man trying to use violence against
Its one thing to be against slavery in the
territories, but completely another to
attack it where it already exists.
The Raid on