Slavery, Sectionalism and Manifest Destiny
1. Cotton ran the South before the Civil War— it was "King Cotton." The entire southern economy was based on cotton.
2. The South had developed a pyramid-like social structure. From top-to-bottom: planter aristocrats, small farmers, the white majority (who owned no slaves), free blacks, slaves.
3. Life as a slave could be wildly varied—some slave owners were kind toward their slaves, some were immensely cruel. In all situations, slaves were not free to do as they pleased.
4. Abolition (move to abolish slavery) began with the Quakers. Frederick Douglass became the main spokesman against slavery. And William Lloyd Garrison printed "The Liberator", a radical abolition newspaper.
5. Southerners countered that northern workers were treated even worse than slaves. Slave owners, they said, had a vested interest in their slaves. Northern factory workers exploited then fired their workers.
6. A boundary dispute with England over Maine was settled peaceably. In the long run, the U.S. likely got the better end of the deal.
7. Texas finally joined the U.S. Since the Texas revolution, it’d been hanging in the balance. American lawmakers finally decided it was too good of a prize to let slip by, so it was annexed in 1845
8. Oregon was next on the list of lands to seal up. It was shared land, mainly between the U.S. and England. After some negotiating over the border, the 49th parallel was agreed upon. Again, the U.S. likely got the better.
9. The election of 1844 saw James K. Polk run on a Manifest Destiny platform. Americans liked the idea, voted him in, and he went after California.
10. When the Mexican-American war was over, the prize of California that Polk had wanted, was obtained. So was all of the modern American Southwest.
11. The main question facing the nation was, “Will new lands won from Mexico have slaves or be free?”
12. The answer to the question was hammered out in the Compromise of 1850. It said California was to be free, popular sovereignty (the people decide) for the rest of the lands.
13. A tougher fugitive slave law was a major concession to the South, but it wasn’t enforced. This angered the Southerners.
14. The North—South rift was widened with the Kansas-Nebraska Act. It repealed the Missouri Compromise which had kept the peace for a generation. In it’s place, popular sovereignty opened the Great Plains to potential slavery. Whereas the slave-land issue had been settled, now it was a big question mark.
15. Uncle Tom’s Cabin drove a wedge between the Northerner and Southerner. The South cried foul saying it gave a view of slavery that was too harsh and unrealistic, but it cemented each section’s feelings on the issue.
16. Kansas became the battleground over slavery. Since slavery there was to be decided by popular vote, each side passionately fought for their position. Bloodshed resulted.
17. The Supreme Court’s Dred Scott decision was huge. It said that Congress or a legislature cannot outlaw slavery in the territories. Effectively then, all new lands were possible slave lands.
18. A financial panic in 1857 added to the chaos and uncertainty.
19. Abe Lincoln arrived on the scene. Although he lost to Stephen Douglas for Illinois Senate, he made a name for himself there.
20. In 1860, Abe Lincoln won a very sectional race for president over 3 other candidates. The South had promised to leave the union if Abe won. He won, and the South indeed seceded.
(by Richard Hengerstman)
Unit 5 PPT 1
Unit 5 PPT 2
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The Burdens of Bondage
A Quick Timeline of Major Slave Rebellions 1712 to 1831
New York City, 1712
Like many later revolts, this one occurred during a period of social dissension among whites following Leisler's Rebellion. The rebels espoused traditional African religion.
Stono Rebellion, 1739
The Spanish empire enticed slaves of English colonies to escape to Spanish territory. In 1733 Spain issued an edict to free all runaway slaves from British territory who made their way into Spanish possessions. On September 9, 1739, about 20 slaves, mostly from Angola, gathered under the leadership of a slave called Jemmy near the Stono River, 20 miles from Charleston. 44 blacks and 21 whites lost their lives. South Carolina responded by placing import duties on slaves from abroad, strengthening patrol duties and militia training, and recommending more benign treatment of slaves.
Prosser’s Rebellion, 1800
When the day of the revolt arrived though, a violent storm washed out the roads and bridges leading to Richmond. The rebels broke up and Prosser was betrayed by one of his followers. The state militia captured Prosser and he and many of his followers were hanged.
Denmark Vesey's Conspiracy, 1822
This failed insurrection was organized soon after the contentious debate over the admission of Missouri as a slave state. Like Gabriel, Vesey consciously looked to Haiti for inspiration and support.
Nat Turner, 1831
This insurrection took place at a time when slaves in Jamaica had staged one of the largest revolts in history, when radical abolition had arisen in the North, and Britain was debating slave emancipation.