The Wilmot Proviso of 1846 proposed that
slavery be prohibited throughout the entire area ceded by Mexico.
As the battle over the expansion of slavery intensified in the 1840s, Senator Lewis Cass of Michigan proposed the doctrine of “popular sovereignty,” a measure that would allow
people who settled the territories to decide whether or not they wanted slavery.
To reunite their party, the Whig strategy in the presidential campaign of 1848 was to nominate a
military hero and remain silent on the issue of slavery.
When Zachary Taylor became president in 1849, he enraged Southerners by
championing a free-soil solution to slavery by urging Congress to admit California and New Mexico to the union as free states.
The Compromise of 1850
was neither a true compromise nor a final settlement of all the issues it addressed.
The Fugitive Slave Act, part of the Compromise of 1850,
stipulated that all citizens were expected to assist officials in apprehending runaway slaves.
Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852) influenced Northerners’ attitudes toward slavery
because it was a compelling novel and a vehicle for a stirring moral indictment of slavery.
In 1853, the United States negotiated the Gadsden Purchase in order to
support the dream of a southern route for the transcontinental railroad.
In 1854, Stephen A. Douglas sponsored the Kansas-Nebraska Act and included a section repealing the Missouri Compromise because
he needed southern support to pass his legislation, the price of which was opening up the Nebraska territory to the possibility of slavery.
As a result of the 1854 Kansas-Nebraska Act, the
nation witnessed the demise of the Whig Party and the eventual rise of a system in which the Democrats dominated the South and the Republican Party was limited to the North.
The American Party, or Know-Nothings, appeared in the mid-1850s as
a reaction to large numbers of Roman Catholics coming to the United States from Germany and Ireland.
The common thread that wove together northern men into the Republican Party in 1854 was their
opposition to the extension of slavery into any territory of the United States.
When the first territorial legislature in Kansas met, it
enacted tough proslavery laws and prompted the organization of a rival government.
John Brown’s leadership of a massacre at Pottawatomie Creek, Kansas, led to
guerrilla war engulfing the territory.
Preston Brooks’s caning of Massachusetts senator Charles Sumner in 1856
further inflamed sectional passions over the institution of slavery and its future in the Republic.
In the 1857 Dred Scott decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that
Dred Scott could not legally claim violation of his constitutional rights because he was not a citizen of the United States.
In the mid-1850s, Abraham Lincoln’s search for a political home was based on his
opposition to the extension of slavery in the United States.
While Abraham Lincoln espoused a typical racial attitude for a white man of his day, he personally believed that slavery
was morally wrong.
Abraham Lincoln understood that humanitarian concerns for black people would not motivate Northerners to fight to keep slavery out of the territories, so he promoted the “free labor” concept by asserting that the territories were
excellent destinations for poor people seeking to improve their conditions.
In his 1857 campaign for reelection to the U.S. Senate, Illinois Democrat Stephen Douglas needed to overcome several challenges, including
his reputation as a racist.
When proslavery forces in Lecompton, Kansas, drafted a proslavery constitution in 1857 that many felt was fraudulent, Stephen A. Douglas
broke with the Buchanan administration and the southern members of his party by coming out against the proslavery constitution.
As a result of the Lincoln-Douglas debates,
Stephen A. Douglas won a senate seat, but Abraham Lincoln became nationally known.
When reflecting on John Brown’s raid on the arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia, most Northerners
concluded that his ideals couldn’t excuse violence.
. In 1860, Democrats meeting to choose a presidential candidate in Charleston, South Carolina, wound up
splitting the party into southern and northern factions over the issues of popular sovereignty and a federal code protecting slavery in the territories.
n the national crisis surrounding the presidential election of 1860, southern moderates refused to support the more radical members of the Democratic Party clamoring for a federal slave code. Instead, they
organized the Constitutional Union Party, a political party that had no platform.
In 1860, the increasingly confident Republican Party
expanded their platform to address other issues.
Abraham Lincoln became the Republican candidate for president in the election of 1860 because
he was a moderate on the volatile issue of slavery, demonstrated solid Republican credentials, and represented the crucial state of Illinois.
After Lincoln’s election, the vote to secede from the Union came first from
As the secession crisis loomed over the final weeks of the presidential administration of James Buchanan, his response was to
remain in Washington and do nothing.
In his first inaugural address, Abraham Lincoln was
reassuring and conciliatory toward the South on the issue of slavery but firm and inflexible concerning the perpetuity of the Union.
When the Civil War began, most Northerners viewed it as
a struggle to preserve the Union and uphold the Constitution.
On March 4, 1861, President Abraham Lincoln delivered an inaugural address in which he revealed his strategy to avoid disunion; that strategy was to
take measures to stop the contagion of secession and buy time in order for emotions to cool.
In 1861, armed hostilities between the North and South began officially with
Confederates firing on Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor in April 1861.
The border states of Missouri and Kentucky did not formally secede from the Union, but in these areas
a prosouthern minority remained sympathetic to the southern cause and sometimes resisted Union control.
Typically, Northerners viewed secession as
an attack on the best government on earth and a severe challenge to the rule of law.
Southerners believed they had a real chance of winning the Civil War based on
all of the above
When considering the wartime leadership of Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis, a central irony emerges in that
Abraham Lincoln brought little political experience to his presidency yet rose to the occasion to become a masterful leader, whereas Jefferson Davis, a seasoned politician, proved to be a relatively ineffectual chief executive.
The first battle at Manassas (or Bull Run) in July 1861 is significant because it
demonstrated that Americans were in for a real war, one that would be neither quick nor easy.
At the end of 1862, the eastern theater of the Civil War
had reached a stalemate.
The conflict between the Merrimack and the Monitor
marked the birth of the ironclad warship but had little impact on the Union’s conventional naval dominance.
Initially the Confederacy sought King Cotton diplomacy, a strategy based on the belief that
cotton-starved western European powers would be forced to enter the conflict by offering diplomatic recognition to the Confederacy and breaking the Union blockade to secure cotton.
When the Civil War broke out, President Lincoln chose not to make the conflict a struggle over slavery because he
doubted his right under the Constitution to tamper with the “domestic institutions” of any state, even those in rebellion.
In March 1862, Congress tilted toward emancipating slaves when it
forbade the practice of returning fugitive slaves to their masters.
On July 17, 1862, Congress adopted a second Confiscation Act, legislation that
declared all slaves of rebel masters “forever free of their servitude.”
Abraham Lincoln wrote the Emancipation Proclamation
because he considered emancipation to be “a military necessity, absolutely essential to the preservation of the Union.”
Among free black men of fighting age in the North,
most fought in the Union army.
From the beginning, the Confederacy faced formidable odds in pursuing its bid for independence; it had to succeed in
all of the above
Despite their ideological commitment to states’ rights and limited government, Confederate leaders
expanded their power by drafting soldiers into the Confederate army and confiscating large amounts of property for the war effort.
Aside from leading to the legal destruction of slavery, the Civil War itself helped destroy slavery in practice
by disrupting the routine, organization, and discipline necessary to keep slavery intact.
White Southerners’ greatest fear regarding their slaves during the Civil War was that they would
engage in violent revolt.
Slaves increasingly used the chaos and turmoil of the Civil War to whittle away at their bondage by
employing various means to undermine white mastery and expand control over their own lives.
In 1862, the Homestead Act
helped to encourage Westerners to be loyal to the Union.
While the North’s industrial production boomed during the Civil War, the working class there found that
inflation and taxes cut so deeply into their wages that their standard of living actually fell.
Dorothea Dix and Clara Barton are both known for their Civil War efforts as
nurses on the battlefield and behind the lines.
President Lincoln’s efforts to stifle opposition to the war
did suppress free speech.
What poor northern men found especially galling about the new draft law of 1863 was that
it allowed a draftee to hire a substitute or pay a $300 fee to avoid conscription.
Under Grant’s leadership, the war shifted in favor of the North and the Union armies
became a sophisticated and powerful war machine that continued to fight in the same bloody and ferocious manner.
The seige of Vicksburg in July 1863
was an important Union victory that opened up a large portion of the Mississippi River.
In strict military terms, the battle of Gettysburg in the summer of 1863
was a crucial turning point for Confederate armies because it proved to be the last time Confederates launched a major offensive above the Mason-Dixon line.
After his victory at Chattanooga, Tennessee, in 1864, General Ulysses S. Grant
launched a massive military campaign that would take his troops on a sweep through Virginia and get thousands of them killed in the process.
. In 1864, when General William T. Sherman stated that he intended to “make Georgia howl,” he was gearing up for
a scorched-earth military campaign aimed at destroying the will of the southern people.
President Lincoln’s determination to hold elections in 1864 is particularly noteworthy because
with the Union war effort stalled and many Northerners basically wearied by the burdens of the war, the Democrats had an excellent chance of ousting the Lincoln administration.
By the waning months of the war, Confederate soldiers were demoralized because
the toll of years of fighting, lack of supplies, and concern for their families had become too much.
General Robert E. Lee’s surrender to General Ulysses S. Grant near Appomattox Court House in Virginia on April 9, 1865,
ended the Confederate war effort, not because the South was out of troops, but because Lee’s surrender demoralized the armies remaining in the field.
The Civil War affected the United States by
establishing the sovereignty of the federal government and the dominance of industrial capitalism.
In the decades after 1820, the most important factor dividing the North and the South was
the existence of an ever-increasing number of slaves in the South.
After 1820, what caused slavery to become more vigorous and profitable, which in turn increased the South’s political power?
Cotton production expanded to the West.
The growth in the southern slave population between 1790 and 1869 occurred primarily because of
Southern whites of all classes were unanimous in their commitment to
Initially, the white South defended slavery as a “necessary evil”; eventually, however, southern intellectuals began to argue that slavery was
a positive good because it civilized blacks and brought them Christianity
The effect of the institution of slavery on southern society was that
whites were unified around race rather than divided by social class.
According to historians, a planter in the antebellum South may be distinguished from a farmer by virtue of his
owning at least twenty slaves.
Louisiana was dominated by plantations that cultivated
Before the Civil War, the southern economy was based on agriculture; the North developed a mixed economy based on
agriculture, commerce, and manufacturing.
Prior to the Civil War, why did the South remain agriculturally based instead of diversifying its economy?
Planters made good profits and feared that economic change would threaten the plantation system.
Because the South lacked economic diversity,
newly arrived European immigrants tended to settle in the North.
As late as 1850, there were no statewide public school systems in the South because
state legislatures failed to provide many essential services, and planters saw no need to educate their workforce.
Plantation owners often described the master-slave relationship in terms of “paternalism,”
a concept whereby a slave’s labor and obedience were exchanged for the master’s care and guidance.
As the price of slaves continued to rise, masters began to treat their slaves marginally better because
it was in the master’s best interest to treat his slaves well enough that they could have children.
Plantation mistresses were like slaves in that their husbands
demanded that they be subordinate.
The southern lady has been idealized in history; in reality
she could have the responsibility of managing servants, directing the slave hospital, and supervising the henhouse and dairy.
As a system, slavery by 1860 was
found in almost every skilled and unskilled occupation in the South.
When slaves became elderly, they
cared for small children, spun yarn, fed livestock, or cleaned stables.
There were several advantages to being a house servant in the old South; for instance, house servants
enjoyed somewhat less physically demanding work.
Central to slave life was the importance slaves placed on
family, religion, and community.
Planters in the nineteenth century promoted Christianity in the slave quarters because
they believed that the slaves’ salvation was part of their obligation and that religion would make slaves more obedient.
Among the ways slaves reacted to their bondage was
engaging in daily resistance such as feigning illness, breaking farm equipment, or playing dumb.
A widespread form of protest that particularly angered masters was
Which of the following restrictions were placed on the 260,000 free blacks by 1860?
Free blacks were subjected to special taxes, prohibited from interstate travel, denied the right to have schools and to participate in politics, and forced to carry “freedom papers.”
Open slave revolts were uncommon in the South because
whites outnumbered blacks two to one by 1860 and were heavily armed, so rebels had almost no chance of success.
In 1860, the largest number of white Southerners
were nonslaveholding yeoman farmers.
Upcountry yeomen, who lived in the hills and mountains,
raised hogs, cattle, and sheep, and sought self-sufficiency and independence.
At the bottom of the social scale in the South were poor whites, who
worked ambitiously and hoped to move up and away from their miserable living conditions.
Southern plain folk, whether they lived upcountry or in the flatlands,
were more likely to attend a religious revival than a classroom lecture.
In the nineteenth century, southern politics were democratized, which meant that
a greater number of ordinary citizens voted, but yeomen and artisans were still only infrequently elected to the legislatures.
In attempting to establish a reconstruction policy after the Civil War,
Congress and the president disagreed about who had the authority to devise a plan of reconstruction.
Pardons granted to rebel soldiers under the terms of Lincoln’s Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction were important in that they
restored property (except slaves) and political participation.
Members of Congress hoped Lincoln would not veto the Wade-Davis Bill because they wanted to
guarantee freedmen equal protection before the law.
Ex-slaves believed that ownership of land
was a moral right and was linked to their freedom.
“Sherman land” and the establishment of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands
created an expectation among ex-slaves that they would become independent citizens and landowners.
Following emancipation, many ex-slaves aspired to
reunite family members sold away
Some ex-slaves who had formerly worshiped in biracial Methodist churches joined the African Methodist Episcopal Church, an all-black church from the North, because
they wanted religious autonomy and escape from white oversight.
Reformers were shocked by President Andrew Johnson’s quick reconstruction of ex-Confederate states because
his reconstruction plan seemed to contradict earlier statements in which he claimed a willingness to destroy the southern planter aristocracy.
Although Andrew Johnson had left the Democratic Party before becoming president, he seemed more a Democrat than a Republican as president because
he advocated states’ rights and limitations on federal power, especially in the economic realm.
Abraham Lincoln’s and Andrew Johnson’s reconstruction plans both promised reconciliation and the rapid restoration of civil government in the South; they also shared an emphasis on
pardons for most former rebel soldiers and ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment.
During the Reconstruction era, southern black codes
restricted freedmen’s economic opportunities and civil rights.
The black codes were essentially an attempt to
subordinate blacks to whites and regulate the labor supply.
The Civil Rights Act of 1866
made discrimination in state laws illegal.
The Fourteenth Amendment dealt with voting rights for blacks by
giving Congress the right to reduce a state’s representation in that body if the state refused to give all of its adult male population, including ex-slaves, the right to vote.
The voting rights provisions of the Fourteenth Amendment proved a major disappointment to
Elizabeth Cady Stanton and other advocates of female suffrage.
The impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson
effectively ended Johnson’s interference in reconstruction.
The Fifteenth Amendment
extended black male suffrage to the entire nation.
The constitutional amendment that prohibited states from depriving citizens of the right to vote on the basis of their “race, color, or previous condition of servitude”
was undermined by literacy and property qualifications in southern states.
The Ku Klux Klan developed into a paramilitary organization, but it began as
a social club for Confederate veterans who wanted to restore white supremacy.
As new constitutions were ratified in the South in the late 1860s, local and state Republican governments focused on
public education, the defense of civil rights, the abolition of racial discrimination, and the creation of a diversified economy.
The system of agricultural labor that emerged after 1865 often pitted ex-slaves and their expectations for freedom against former slave masters who wanted to restore the plantation system. In this struggle,
ex-slaves could decide who would work, for how long, and how hard, but still remained dependent
The system under which farmers rented small pieces of land, paid their rent with a portion of their crops, and were provided mules and tools by their landlord was known as
President Ulysses S. Grant’s administration saw
corruption at all levels of government, a severe economic depression, labor violence, and an attempt to annex Santo Domingo to provide the freedmen with a new home.
When southern Republicans pleaded with Congress for federal protection from the racism and violence of the Ku Klux Klan, Congress
responded by passing the Ku Klux Klan Act and the Civil Rights Act of 1875.
Supreme Court decisions in the years following the Civil War largely
In the Slaughterhouse cases (1873) and in United States v. Cruikshank (1876), the Supreme Court
restricted the ability of the federal government and Congress to protect individuals from discrimination by other individuals.
By the early 1870s, the congressional reconstruction goals of 1866
had been mostly abandoned by Northerners.
southern Democrats who wanted to restore white supremacy in the South.
By the early 1870s, Democrats had adopted a two-pronged strategy to defeat the Republicans. That strategy consisted of
polarizing the political parties on the issue of color and relentlessly intimidating black voters.
In the presidential election of 1876,
the Democratic candidate won the popular vote but fell one vote short of victory in the electoral college, while the Republican candidate initially fell nineteen electoral votes short of victory.
In the Compromise of 1877,
southern Democrats accepted a Republican president in exchange for federal subsidies and the removal of federal troops from the South.
The Compromise of 1877 essentially
spelled the end of reconstruction and of the Republicans’ commitment to the civil rights of blacks.
Congressional reconstruction did not meet all of its goals, but among those it did meet were
the legacy of the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments, and the Civil Rights Act of 1875.