Chapter 10
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A Decade of Crisis

California became a state

Gold discovered in 1848 by James Marshall on the property of Johann Sutter

International rush toward California in 1849

Population grew enormously over night

Constitution drawn up

Outlawed slavery

South objected to statehood

Henry Clay's compromise(1850)

Omnibus bill

California admitted as a free state

Utah separated from New Mexico and both allowed to decide slavery issue themselves

Disputed area between Texas and New Mexico given to New Mexico

U.S. pay debts that Texas incurred before annexation

Slavery not to be abolished in DC without the consent of its residents and the surrounding state of Maryland and then only if the owners were paid

Slave trading banned in DC

Stricter fugitive slave law

John C. Calhoun spoke against it

Daniel Webster spoke for it

Taylor against it

Zachary Taylor died and Millard Fillmore became president

Fillmore for it

Stephen Douglas

separated the bill

Compromise passed almost in original form

Calhoun died during crisis and within two years Clay and Webster were dead

Sectional crisis averted temporarily

The Fugitive Slave Law

Slave owners or their agents could seize runaway slaves in any state

Could demand assistance of federal marshals

Any black person could be grabbed as a slave

Judge decided whether truly a slave

Northerners saw as unjust

Highlighted cruelties of slavery

Uncle Tom's Cabin

Harriet Beecher Stowe

Highlighted cruelties of slavery and the fugitive slave law

Increased northern desire to abolish law

Franklin Pierce elected president in 1852

Weak ineffective president

The Kansas-Nebraska Act

Popular Sovereignty

Stephen Douglas

Repealed Missouri Compromise and left slavery issue up to the voters in those territories

Douglas wanted to run railroad through territory but needed support of southern senators

Caused outrage in North

Mini Civil War in Kansas

Senator Charles Sumner(Mass.) was beaten by Rep. Preston Brooks(SC) because of anti slavery comments

New parties developed

Whigs gone

Know-Nothing Party

Anti immigrant party

Supreme Order of the Star Spangled Banner


"Know Nothing"

Responding to massive wave of immigration between 1845 and 1853 from Scandinavia, Germany, and mostly Ireland

Potato famine

Became known as the American Party in 1856 and nominated Millard Fillmore


Whigs, Free Soilers, and anti slavery Democrats


Bar slavery from all territories

Higher wages for labor

Transcontinental railroad

High tariff

Election of 1856

James Buchanan


John Freemont


Democrats won on popular sovereignty platform but Republicans did very well




Dred Scott v. Sanford(1857)

Blacks were not citizens

A slave was still a slave even if taken into a free state

Angered the North, pleased the South

The Depression of 1857

Hurt the North more than the South

South blamed the North for causing it

North resented the South having slaves to help them through it

The Lincoln/Douglas Debates


Senator from Illinois

Spread of slavery to the territories was the main issue

Abraham Lincoln-against it

Stephen Douglas-popular sovereignty

Freeport Doctrine

Lincoln forced Douglas to admit that slavery could not exist in areas that did not have laws to support it no matter what the Supreme Court said

Popular Sovereignty was inconsistent with the Dred Scott decision

Douglas won the election but lost the support of the South

Lincoln was thrust onto the national scene

John Brown's raid


Captured federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry

Hoped to start a massive slave revolt

Colonel Robert E. Lee led the federal troops that captured Brown and his men after two days

Brown was tried and hanged

Divided the nation even more

Election of 1860

John C. Breckinridge

Southern Democrat

Vice President

Dred Scott decision

Stephen Douglas

Northern Democrat

Popular Sovereignty

Abraham Lincoln


No slavery in the territories

Won the election

Confederacy formed

Six weeks after election SC seceded

Miss., Fla., Ala., Ga., La., and Tex. followed

Met in Feb. 1861 in Montgomery, Ala. and formed the Confederate States of America

President Jefferson Davis

Constitution resembled U.S. except:

Each state was sovereign and independent

Right to own slaves was guaranteed

Confederates began occupying federal buildings in the South

Buchanan did nothing