Preface to the Civil War
The first was the Missouri Compromise which established to keep an equal balance of power in congress.
First, they divided the free state of Massachusetts into two states, Maine and Massachusetts and admitted Missouri as a slave state.
It also established that all undeveloped territories the Louisiana Purchase admitted in the future that were below the 36° 30° line would be admitted as a slave state and any state above the 36° 30° line would be admitted as a free state.
The next event that added to the rising tensions was the Mexican Cession.
The war between Mexico and the United States had its beginnings with the struggle over who would control Texas.
American settlers began to move to territory after the Revolutionary War.
The Louisiana Purchase had stretched the western boundaries of the United States farther west than they had ever been.
Settlers were drawn west and right next to Louisiana was Texas.
In 1844 the United States annexed Texas and two years later the Mexican-American War began.
The United States won the war and under the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo,.
Mexico agreed to give up about 55 percent of its territory and got $15 million in return.
The territory they gave was California, Nevada, Utah, and parts of Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Wyoming. The Compromise of 1850 abolished the slave trade in the District of Columbia but bound Congress to create became the Fugitive Slave Law.
The Compromise of 1850 also admitted California as a free state and separately organized the territories of Utah and New Mexico without restrictions on slavery.
Northerners were disliked the Compromise of 1850 because it contained the Fugitive Slave Law which forced them to enable slavery to continue. The next attempt to solve the issue of slavery was introduced by Stephen Douglas; he proposed the Kansas-Nebraska Act.
Douglas proposed to divide the Nebraska territory into two territories; Kansas and Nebraska.
In these territories the issue of slavery would be decided by popular sovereignty however according to the Missouri Compromise the Nebraska territory as a free territory.
This upset the who were opposed to slavery because again, they would be forced to give slavery a chance to spread.
The Kansas-Nebraska Act was passed, and the states then moved on to hold a general election for the citizens of the territory so that the issue of slavery could be decided by the popular vote.
In Kansas the election was carried out illegally, causing it to be admitted as a slave state.
People from Missouri traveled into Kansas and voted illegally in the election. Thus, a pro-slavery government was established that banned anti-slavery newspapers, press and religion.
This angered those who lived in Kansas because it violated their first amendment rights and they formed yet another government in Kansas.
The Free State Party formed an anti-slavery government which caused havoc in the state, because there were now two governments competing for power.
In May of 1856 a pro-slavery mob attacked the anti-slavery government headquarters in Lawrence.
They destroyed the Free State Hotel, press and the library.
In response to this John Brown led an anti-slavery group to Pottawatomie where they brutally murdered five people.
This was referred to as the Pottawatomie massacre and sparked the use of the term ‘Bleeding Kansas.’ Then came a clash in the senate.
Senator Charles Sumner, a Massachusetts antislavery Republican, addressed the Senate on the explosive issue of whether Kansas should be admitted to the Union as a slave state or a free state.
In his "Crime Against Kansas" speech, Sumner identified two Democratic senators as the principal culprits in this crime, Stephen Douglas of Illinois and Andrew Butler of South Carolina.
He verbally reprimanded Stephen Douglas and also gave a stronger verbal beating to Andrew Butler, who was not present.
Mocking the South Carolina senator's stance as a man of chivalry, the Massachusetts senator charged him with taking "a mistress .
who, though ugly to others, is always lovely to him; though polluted in the sight of the world, is chaste in his sight, I mean," added Sumner, "the harlot, Slavery." Representative Preston Brooks was present for Sumner’s speech and shortly after Senate adjourned, found Sumner mailing his speech and attacked him with his cane.
He beat Sumner so severely that he didn’t recover for years.
The last event that took place that prompted the succession of Southern states was the election of 1860, which Lincoln won.
Knowing the Lincoln was in opposition of slavery the South decided that because they had joined the Union as a state, they could leave the leave the Union as a state.
This proved to be a challenge for Lincoln, however he made it his goal to simply preserve the Union, in order to do this he would have to battle to preserve his own country.
Although many attempts were made to ease the tensions between the North and South they often backfired and divided the nation even further.
Combined with the fact that the country was already in turmoil, these few acts only added to the tension in the United States and with the election of 1860, paved the road to a civil war.