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  • Debate over Slavery
  • Hello. I am Mason, a slave working for my master on his plantation in Georgia. This is the South, where there are many like me working for the white men, driven along to work like animals. But in the North, there are mostly free states that are against slavery. I hope I can be free some day.
  • States' Rights Issues and Nullification
  • It's the master-wait, what? The North and South are arguing over something again? States' rights? And what exactly does nullified mean?? I know tariffs are taxes put on goods, so does that mean South Carolina doesn't agree with them? It sounds like the North and South disagree on everything...
  • The argument over states' rights between the North and South has gotten more heated than ever. And South Carolina nullified the federal tariffs; I'm not sure how long the country will hold with all this tension.
  • The Missouri Compromise, Compromise of 1850 and the Georgia Platform
  • Well, I heard the master say that part of it has something called the Fugitive Slave Act. That means slaves that escape to the North can be captured and returned to their owners!
  • Hi, Francine. It was a hard day out in the fields. Did you hear about the new compromise?
  • Yeah, and I also heard about the Georgia Platform. I think it's what the decision is for Georgia on the compromise. The master said that the Georgian politicians agreed to it because the Fugitive Slave Act would keep slavery even though there will be more free state representatives.
  • No... Could you tell me?
  • Oh no... I hope that the compromise will at least keep the peace between the North and South.
  • Oh no! The poor slaves...
  • The North and South of the United States had many conflicts, and one of the main ones was the debate over slavery. Slavery was economically important to the South, where agriculture was the main source of income and needed a lot of workers. The North was more factory and manufacturing-based and were not supportive of slavery. This sparked conflicts between the pro-slavery South and anti-slavery North.
  • The Kansas-Nebraska Act and Dred Scott Case
  • Did you hear? Dred Scott was ruled as a slave at the Supreme Court! And they said that he wasn't allowed to sue for his freedom in the first place!
  • Another major cause of the Civil War was the subject of states' rights. The southern states were more in favor of stronger state governments, whereas the northern states wanted a stronger national government. The Nullification Crisis also dealt with the problem of states' rights. The federal taxes caused South Carolina to declare the tariffs unconstitutional and nullify the law, which meant they refused to accept it. This was a debatable topic on states' rights because the Southern states believed that states should have the right to decide for themselves what's best. South Carolina threatened to secede from the Union until Andrew Jackson warned them that he would attack. South Carolina stayed, and the government lowered the taxes to keep the peace.
  • The Election of 1860
  • I want you ALL working double the speed! Come on, hurry up! Faster!
  • Why is the master so angry today? Is it because Abraham Lincoln was elected? I hope the new president can abolish slavery.
  • The Missouri Compromise was one of the compromises reached to help maintain the balance of free and slave states. Pro-slavery and anti-slavery people wanted to be in control in the government by having representatives in Congress. Thus, when new states were added, there was debate over whether the state would be free or slave. The Missouri Compromise of 1820 allowed Missouri to enter as a slave state while also allowing Maine to enter as a free state to keep the balance. It also declared that states north of the 36-30 parallel line to be free states. Later, when California was admitted as a free state, which upset the balance in Congress. To keep the equality, Northern states passed the Fugitive Slave Act. This stated that runaway slaves caught in the North would be sent back to their masters. This was the Compromise of 1850.
  • The Debate over Georgia's secession from the Union
  • The Georgia General Assembly has voted to secede along with the other southern states. Alas, war is bound to come.
  • One act, called the Kansas-Nebraska Act, was passed in 1854, which stated that states would be decided as free or state by popular vote of the people. As people flooded into Kansas to try and sway the vote in their favor in the election, fights broke out amongst pro-slavery and anti-slavery people. There was much violence and the territory was nicknamed "Bleeding Kansas". The state was later admitted as a free state, and the event caused even more tension. One particularly interesting cause of the Civil War was the Dred Scott case. Dred Scott was a slave whose master had taken him to a free state, then died. Dred Scott sued for his freedom, and the case was taken all the way to the Supreme Court. It was ruled that he was a slave and since slaves weren't counted as citizens, they didn't have the right to sue.
  • Oh no! That's so unfair!
  • The election of 1860 was the final straw that tipped the United States towards civil war. The election had 4 candidates running; Abraham Lincoln (Republican), John Bell (Constitutional Union Party), John Breckenridge (Southern Democrat), and Stephen Douglas (Northern Democrat). The Democratic Party had split into two due to the very different view of the North and South. Lincoln won the election, which pushed the Southern states to decide to secede because they feared that Lincoln would get rid of slavery.
  • After Lincoln was elected as president, the southern states were deciding whether or not to secede. Georgia's General Assembly debated over the topic of secession. Those who wanted secession were mostly large farmers and slaveholders who were very loyal to the South and believed that Lincoln would abolish slavery if they continued under his lead. The ones who didn't want to secede were mostly small farmers and non-slaveholders and were afraid that secession was illegal. In the end, Georgia decided to secede from the Union. Alexander Stephens was the vice president of the Confederacy and had a strong political background. He had played a role in the Compromise of 1850 and the Kansas-Nebraska Act. He supported slavery but was against secession and tried to persuade the General Assembly.
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