Chapter 19: Drifting Toward Disunion 1854-1861

Stowe and Helper: Literary Incendiaries:
  • 1852, Harriet Beechar Stowe - Uncle Tom's Cabin - exposed the evils of slavery (emotional, moral). Helped start the war - and win it. Influenced North to have nothing to do with Fugitive Slave Law. Popular in Europe too.
  • 1857, Hinton R. Helper - The Impending Crisis of the South - said nonslaveholding whites suffered most from slavery - book banned in South

The North-South Contest for Kansas:

  • Many organizations of Norther abolitionists came to Kansas
  • The S supported Kansas-Nebraska scheme because they were under the impression Nebraska would be free and Kansas a slave state
  • Proslavery Southerners also came to Kansas. Legislature vote - proslavers won by fraud (Missourians came in and voted). Free-soilers established an illegal government in Topeka.
  • 1856, proslaver fools burned and shot up town of Lawrence.

Kansas in Convulsion:

  • Abolitionist John Brown moved to Kansas. 1856, he led followers to Pottawatomie Creek, where they butchered up 5 pro-slavers
  • 1857, Kansas wanted to apply for statehood. Proslavery leaders devised "Lecompton Constitution" (people had to vote for it with slaver or without slavery). With slavery won.
  • Replacing Pierce was James Buchanan - S influenced
  • Stephen A. Douglas was against Lecompton fraud - and they compromised that the entire Constitution was up to a popular vote.
  • Free-soiilers voted against it and won - Kansas remained a territory until 1861.
  • Douglas Democrats vs. Buchanan Democrats - split last national party.

"Bully" Brooks and His Bludgeon:

  • MA Senator Charles Sumner - leading abolitionist - disliked
  • Congressman SC - Preston S. Brooks - beat Charles Sumber with a cane. Brooks resigned and was reelected! Sumner was srsly injured, went to Europe for treatment, reelected with empty seat in Senate.
  • Sumner vs. Brooks = N vs. S, first blows of the Civil War

"Old Buck" vs. "The Pathfinder:

  • Democrats picked James Buchanan to run in 1856 (because he had nothing to do w/ the Kansas-Nebraska scheme)
  • Republican party chose John C. Fremont (but there were rumors that he was Catholic...gasp!)
  • Republicans: against extension of slavery
  • Democrats: for popular sovereignty
  • American party "Know-Nothings" - nativists -nominated Millard Fillmore

The Electoral Fruits of 1856:

  • Buchanan won
  • Cast a shadow froward for the Republican party in 1860

The Dred Scott Bombshell:

  • March 6, 1857. Dred Scott, a black slave, had lived with his master in Illinois (free soil) for 5 years - sued for his freedom on the basis of his long residence on free soil.
  • The Supreme Court wanted to throw out the case, on grounds that Scott was not a citizen and could not sue in federal courts. But the people wanted the case to go further
  • Chief Justice Taney ruled that because a slave was private property, he/she could be taken into any territory and legally be held in slavery.
  • -> 5th amendment forbade Congress to take away property w/o due process of law.
  • Also declared the 1820 Missouri compromise unconstitutional - Congress had no power to ban slavery from the territories
  • => Disunited N and S wings of Democratic Party, Republicans infuriated, North refused to honor this as a decision, merely a pro-slavery opinion. S wondered how much longer they could stay joined to a union that didn't honor the Supreme Court.

The Financial Crash of 1857:

  • Economic panice of 1857, cause by Cali gold inflating currency, land speculation. Businesses collapsed and unemployment rose
  • North hardest hit because South had cotton
  • Congress passed Homestead Act - made public lands available at 25 cents and acre - but vetoed by Buchanan
  • Congress enacted Tariff of 1857 - reduced duties to 20% => North wanted higher duties
  • Republican party picked up two economic ideals: protection for the unprotected and farms for the farmless

An Illinois Rail-Splitter Emerges:

  • Republicans chose Lincoln to run against Douglas in Illinois Senatorial election.
  • Lincoln was a lawyer - "Honest Abe" - he had a conscience

The Great Debate: Lincoln vs. Douglas

  • Lincoln challenged Douglas to a debate - 7 meetings Aug-Oct 1858
  • Famous Freeport debate: Lincoln: Who decided on slavery, people (pop sov) or the Supreme Court? Douglas: No matter how the Supreme Court ruled, slavery would stay down if the people voted it down. (This came to be known as the "Freeport Doctrine")
  • Douglas won the seat in Senate, but Lincoln got famous and emerged as potential Republican candidate for presidency, while Douglas had hurt his chances (opposed Lecompton Constitution and defied Supreme Court at Freeport).

John Brown: Murderer or Martyr?

  • John Brown schemed to invade the South, call slaves to rise, and establish a black free state as a sanctuary.
  • Oct 18599, he had the "revolt" at Harper's Ferry, VA, killed/injured innocents, slaves failed to rise, and Brown was captured by US marines
  • Brown was hanged - a hero!

The Disruption of the Democrats:

  • Southern Democrats pretty much seceded from Democratic convention
  • Northern Democrats - Douglas - popular sovereignty and against obstruction of Fugitive Slave Law (for South)
  • Souther Democrats organized rival convention - John C. Breckinridge - favored extension of slavery into territories and annexation of Cuba
  • Constitutional Union party - former Whigs and Know-Nothings - John Bell

A Rail-Splitter Splits the Union:

  • Republicans: William H. Seward best contender, but too extreme. Lincoln nominated.
  • Republican party good for all nonsoutherners: free-soilers - nonextension, northern manufacturers - protective tariffs , immigrants - no abrdigement of rights, NW - pacific railroad, West - internal improvements, farmers - free homesteads.

The Electoral Upheaval of 1860:


The Secessionist Exodus:

  • SC met at Convention 1860 and voted unanimously to secede -> Alabama, Miss., Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas followed, and 4 more would join later, bringing total to 11.
  • The 1st 7 seceders met in Alabama 1861 and created a government called the Confederate States of America. Jefferson Davis - president.

The Collapse of Compromise:

  • Henry Crittenden (compromiser) came up with Crittenden amendments: slavery prohibited N of 36'30, but given federal protection S of that line. Future states (N or S) could enter union w/ or w/o slavery - they could choose.
  • Lincoln rejected this.

Farewell to Union:

  • REREAD! Super Duper Important!

1 comment:

Tyler said...

The Dred Scott case made an impact.