Civil War Causes

Civil War Causes

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  • Kansas-Nebraska Act
  • The Act renews my hopes of expanding slavery
  • This is a "great scheme for extending and perpetuating the supremacy of the Slave Power."
  • Pottawatomie Massacre
  • Dred Scott Case 
  • You will not be free.
  • I deserve freedom. 
  • The act allowed settlers in the Kansas and Nebraska territories to choose if they wanted to permit slavery based on popular sovereignty.  It angered the antislavery northerners as they thought it promoted slavery, but pleased the southerners as it renewed their hopes to expand slavery. Northerners moved in so that that there would be a greater chance of the territories not having slavery. This caused 5,000 Southerners to come and kill antislavery supporters for ten years.
  • Lecompton Constitution 
  • They should not allow more slaves to come it, let alone slavery as a whole!
  • An abolitionist named John Brown led a revenge group to attack a pro-slavery settlement along Pottawatomie Creek. They dragged five southerners or supporters of slavery out of their bed and brutally murdered them. This caused "Bleeding Kansas" which consisted of more violence between northerners and southerners, continuing to build tensions between northerners and southerners. 
  • Election of 1860
  • Antislavery: Abraham Lincoln
  • Dred Scott was suing for his freedom. He was a resident of free state of Illinois and in the free Wisconsin Territory which he thought made him entitled to freedom. The Supreme Court refused him his freedom. This made the northerners feel there was no way to limit the expansion of slavery, creating more tension of the northerners towards southerners. The antislavery leaders say this as an opportunity for action. 
  • The Secession of South Carolina
  • Voters of Kansas the ability to choose if slaves could enter the territory, but not a say on the issue of slavery existing. This would make the northerners feel that their wishes were not being complied with, causing them to have a growing anger towards the southerners. 
  • This will help us minimize slavery!
  • Abraham Lincoln won the election with forty percent of the votes. The south burnt Lincoln in effigy. The south was enraged by Lincoln, an antislavery supporter winning office, but northerners were happy. In addition, the southern states were considering seceding from the Union, which could start a war. 
  • Secession?
  • Southerners thought that the Washington was against them after Lincoln was elected as president and the Union would be radicalized and try and make southerners follow abolitionism. Therefore South Carolina seceded from the Union and was an example for other southern states to do the same. They formed the Confederacy and made a constitution allowing slavery and stating it was independent from the Union. This ultimately caused America to be divided and cause a Civil War. 
  • Proslavery Southerners: The Confederation
  • Antislavery Northerners: The Union
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