Antebellum and the Cause of the Civil War

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  • Debate over Slavery, States' Rights, and Nullification
  • Why does the south need so many slaves?
  • Why does the north not understand that we need slaves for our agricultural economy?
  • The Missouri Compromise
  • But Missouri is over the 36-30 line! Isn't that unconstitutional?
  • Why don't we just let Missouri be a slave state and Maine be a free state?
  • Compromise of 1850, the Georgia Platform, and the Kansas-Nebraska Act
  • States can vote on whether they want to be a free or slave state. We should rule out the 36-30 line too.
  • If slaves escape into free states, their owners should be able to bring them back to their plantation or farm.
  • Okay. We Georgians agree with that. So what are we going to do about Kansas or Nebraska?
  • The North had a more industrial based economy, so they didn't see the need for slaves that the south had. The south, which had an agriculturally based economy, had a need for slaves to work on farms and plantations. This caused a lasting argument between the two sides. The states also had disagreements on their rights , and this caused another debate between states and the government. The states did not agree with, or nullified, the compromises that were made.
  • The Dred Scott Case and the Election of 1860
  • Please let us have our freedom! We traveled to a free state so we have the right to be free.
  • The Missouri Compromise was a compromise to allow Missouri to be a slave state in exchange for Maine to be entered as a free state. Normally all states above the 36-30 line would be free states, but the government made an exception for Missouri.
  • The Secession Debate in Georgia
  • I don't think Georgia should secede from the union because small farmers and non-slaveholders like me don't really have a need for slaves.
  • The Compromise of 1850 allowed owners to go into a free state and recapture their escaped slaves. The Georgia Platform was a response to this compromise, stating that Georgia approved of it. The Kansas-Nebraska Act repealed this compromise by ruling the 36-30 line out from the Missouri Compromise back in 1820.
  • Alexander Stephens
  • Since I am against secession but for slavery, i am the vice president of the Confederate States Of America.
  • Dred Scott filed a lawsuit that was against Irene Emerson. Their case gained public attention and got up to the highest court in the US, the Supreme Court. This caused an imbalance of free and slave states, and the same result happened when Abraham Lincoln was elected in 1860. Abraham Lincoln was an abolitionist who made southern states want to secede.
  • I have control over these slaves so i should be the one to decide whether or not this family should be free.
  • Since South Carolina had already seceded, Georgians wondered if they should secede too. This turned into a debate, dividing Georgia into two sides. The small farmers and non-slave owners wanted to stay, but the slave owners and large farmers wanted to leave the Union.
  • Although most people would agree with you, I think we should secede because we need slaves for our economy.
  • Alexander Stephens was governor, US congressman, and senator for Georgia. He believed in slavery, but was strongly against secession. He became vice president in the new nation of the Confederate States of America after Georgia seceded.
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