bellwork briefly describe compromise of 1850. what did it do (or fail to do)?
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BellworkBriefly describe Compromise of 1850. What did it do (or fail to do)? American HistorySection 12, Unit 2Compromise EndsObjectivesAnalyze how the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 affected northerners views of slavery.Explain why the Kansas-Nebraska Act reignited the debate over slavery.Explain how the previously described act affected KansasState what led into the formation of the Republican PartyElection of 1852Although many Americans were dissatisfied with the Compromise of 1850, most Americans hoped that it had settled the slavery question.To tap into this sense of optimism, both parties adopted platforms that avoided a discussion of slavery.Election of 1852At their 1852 election, the Democrats nominated Franklin Pierce, a supporter of the Compromise. Pierce persuaded many people on both sides that he shared their views on slavery.Some Free-Soilers felt secure enough with Pierce that they returned to the Democratic Party.Southerners generally felt that Pierce was sound on all his issues.
Election of 1852Having won the election of 1848 with General Taylor, the Whigs turned to Mexican War hero General Winfield Scott. However, many southern Whigs who were upset at northern Whig opposition to the Fugitive Slave Act (which was part of the Compromise of 1850), refused to vote for Scott. Election of 1852Pierce won by a landslide. In his inaugural address, the President urged national harmony and even appointed members to his cabinet who were from the North and South.
Franklin PierceHowever, Franklin Pierce proved to be a weak leader, who was unable to control his diverse cabinet or convince northerners he was not caving in to southern pressure. The Fugitive Slave ActThe Compromise of 1850 began crumbling even before Pierce became President, mostly because of the Fugitive Slave Act.The law, which made it a federal crime to assist fugitive slaves and authorized the arrest of fugitives in free states, roused opposition in the North.
The Fugitive Slave ActHarriet Beecher Stowes anti-slavery novel, Uncle Toms Cabin, helped stir northern opposition to the law. The novel dramatized the plight of runaway slaves and discussed how slavery degrades slave masters, breaks up black families, and made a mockery of Christian morality.
The Fugitive Slave ActUncle Toms Cabin had an immediate impact on the nation as a whole and sold over a million copies. The book convinced many northerners that slavery was morally wrong and should be abolished. The Fugitive Slave ActNortherners also began to see the inhumanity of the Act. As northerners began to see slave catchers at work, they began to believe that they should personally oppose helping the capture of slaves.Some peoples, such as Frederick Douglass, argued that the North should not be the tools of the South. The Fugitive Slave ActSome northerners took direct action.In New York and Massachusetts, angry mobs freed runaway slaves taken into custody and helped them to Canada. The common sentiment of many was voiced by Amos A. Lawrence:
We have submitted to slavery long enough, and must not stand it any longer I am done catching Negroes for the South.Debate ReignitesEarly in 1854, Senator Stephen Douglas reignited the debate over slavery after he pushed to expand settlement (and railroads) to the West Coast. Because he was from Illinois, he wanted these railroads to run from Chicago to the Pacific Ocean.
Debate ReignitesConstruction of a new interstate railroad required Congress to organize Kansas and Nebraska the lands of the Louisiana Territory west of Missouri and Iowa. This meant reopening the issue of slavery in the West.Question: Why does this have to reopen the issue of slavery?Kansas-Nebraska ActTo quiet any congressional debate, Douglas introduced the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which organized the lands on the basis of popular sovereignty Essentially, it allowed Kansas and Nebraska to vote to allow or ban slavery.
Look very carefully at this map. Notice where Nebraska and Kansas are. Why might allowing them have slaves be a problem? Kansas-Nebraska ActThe problem with the Act, however, is that it allowed the territories above the Missouri Compromise line to have slaves thereby repealing the Missouri Compromise. When the Act passed in 1854, southerners felt renewed hope of expanding slavery.
Kansas-Nebraska ActHowever, antislavery northern delegates were outraged.They called Douglas a traitor and accused him of caving into southern pressure just so that he can become president. Many northerners began to view the Kansas-Nebraska Act as a scheme for the south to perpetuate the supremacy of Slave Power. Kansas-Nebraska ActHowever, not everyone opposed the Act on abolitionist grounds. Some critics had economic concerns. They argued that if slavery were allowed to spread into these territories, white workers would lose jobs.
Arguably, no one would hire whites if blacks worked for almost nothing. Question: Is this a fair concern? Bleeding KansasThe Kansas-Nebraska Act pitted antislavery and proslavery forces against one another for control of the new territories.To bolster the number of antislavery settlers, New Englanders formed the Emigrant Aid Company to help antislavery families move to Kansas. Bleeding KansasProslavery forces countered by urging southerners to migrate to new territories. Issues became more tense when Kansas which was mostly antislavery- prepared to elect their first territorial legislature.
Bleeding KansasWhen they attempted to vote, some 5,000 proslavery Missouri residents crossed into Kansas and casted illegal votes.In this, they elected a largely proslavery legislature.The antislavery residents of the state refused to accept these members as their legal government. Bleeding KansasIn response, antislavery residents formed a Free State party and elected their own legislature.Officially, Kansas now had two governments: one proslavery and one antislavery.
Bleeding KansasWith two rival governments in place, conflict was inevitable. Proslavery raiders from Missouri attacked antislavery Kansas settlers and in May 1856, a proslavery mob of around 700 burned the town of Lawrence, Kansas. In response, a group led by abolitionist John Brown attacked a proslavery settlement of Pottawatomie (paht-uh-waht-uh-mee) Creek.Bleeding KansasIn what became known as the Pottawatomie Massacre, the raiding party dragged five men from their beds and brutally murdered them.Southerners became enraged as northerners were shocked at the news. This massacre sparked more violence in what newspapers began calling Bleeding Kansas. Bleeding KansasBack in Washington, Congress echoed many of the issues that was in Kansas.In one instance, a proslavery congressman savagely beat a antislavery senator with his cane.Due to the violence, many people had begun to move towards abolition.
John Brown and the clash of forces in Bleeding Kansas. Formation of a New PartyTo carry their antislavery message, voters began to flock to a new party forming in the North.In 1854, antislavery Whigs and Democrats, together with some Free-Soilers, had organized a party against the expansion of slavery. Formation of a New PartyIn 1854, at a convention in Jackson, Michigan, the delegates used the name of Thomas Jeffersons party, calling themselves Republicans. The Republican party also gained support from the Know-Nothing Party, which has found itself divided over slavery. Election of 1856Running the popular western explorer John C. Fremont, the Republicans campaigned on an antislavery platform.Abandoning Franklin Pierce, the Democrats nominated James Buchanan to be president.
Election of 1856The Democratic platform praised the Kansas-Nebraska Act as a reasonable solution to slavery and painted the Republicans as a sectional party who wished to destroy the Union.This tactic worked in Buchanans favor, as he received 174 electoral votes to Fremonts 114.
Issues BrewWhile a President was being elected, events in Kansas continued to boil.Early in 1857, elections were held in Kansas to choose delegates for an upcoming constitutional convention.Suspecting that proslavery forces would rig the elections, antislavery forces boycotted the convention.Issues brewThe constitutional convention, made up entirely of proslavery delegates, met at Lecompton and drafted a constitution that protected slaveholder rights already living in Kansas.The Lecompton Constitution gave the voters of Kansas the right to decide only whether more slaves could enter the territory, but not the ability to remove slavery entirely. Issues brewSenator Stephen Douglas attacked the Lecompton Constitution, arguing that voters in Kansas should have the right to decide if any slaves enter the territory.Douglas would later lose a lot of support from the South, who felt that he was supporting the Republican party.Issues brewDespite the admission of Kansas as a free state in 1861, Douglas principle that states should have the right to choose whether or not to have slaves (i.e. popular sovereignty) was highly discredited by both sides of the slave issue. QuestionsIf you have any questions, please ask now. Next lessonIn the next lesson, we are going to discuss the beginnings of war. ReviewHow did Uncle Toms Cabin affect the nations views of slavery? Why was the Kansas-Nebraska Act so widely opposed by the North? Why did the South support it? How did the Fugitive Slave Act affect public opinion of slavery in the North?Why did tensions rise (and violence occur) in Kansas? Be sure to describe your answer. What platform did the Republican Party form around? How did the Democratic Party defeat the Republican party in the election of 1856?How did Stephen Douglas request for expansion into the West accidentally reopen the issue of slavery?