The Compromise of 1850 was a compromise that let each state decide whether they were a free or slave state. This idea is called popular sovereignty. This was meant to keep the balance between free and slave states equal.
Kansas Nebraska Act of 1854
The Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 allowed southerners to track down their slaves who had escaped to the north and take them back to the south where they would be enslaved again. The compromise was made with good heart because we were just trying to keep our country together. Unfortunately though, some people took advantage of this and captured northern African Americans who had never been enslaved, and brought them to plantations in the south.
Dred Scott Decision of 1857
Uncle Tom's Cabin is a book written by Harriet Beecher Stowe in 1852. This is an anti-slavery novel and talks about real stories of slaves escaping to the north and their hardships along the way. It was meant to give people a different point of view on slavery, and it did. More than 2 million copies were sold worldwide and the book is known for helping set the groundwork for the civil war.
Lincoln Douglas Debates of 1858
The Kansas Nebraska Act was passed on May 30, 1854. It allowed people living in the Kansas and Nebraska territories to decide whether they were or a free or slave state. This also meant that the 36 30 line would not apply anymore. It sparked lots of discussion because of this.
Dred Scott was a slave who had been passed through several different states and several different owners. He had once been moved to the free state of Illinois, but he was still enslaved while he was there. He decided to sue his master's widow for his freedom. After several years of trials, the case ended up at the supreme court. On May 6, 1857 the court ruled that he was not to be free because technically African Americans weren't allowed to become citizens and that the statement "once free always free" did not have to be followed by southerners.
The Lincoln Douglas debates were 7 debates between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas as they ran for senate in Illinois. Lincoln said that he did not agree with enslaving African Americans but he did not want to change slavery as it was. Douglas made several extremely racist points and mocked Lincoln for his point of view.