Slavery's western expansion created problems for the United States.
More than eighty years after the federal government's role in protecting the interests of slave Brown's death became known, battles erupted over the westward expansion of slavery.
Slavery suppressed wages and stole captured the religious land that could have been used by poor white Americans to achieve independence.
Without slavery's expansion and his era, Southerners feared that.
The State Capitol needed constant resistance from enslaved men and women.
The underground railroad of hideaways and safe houses was used by enslaved men and women as the North gradually abolished human bondage.
These freedom seekers were captured and returned.
White southerners demanded a national commitment to slavery while northerners appealed to their states' rights to refuse capturing runaway slaves.
The nation's economy was powered by slave laborers who provided raw materials for the industrial North.
As the United States expanded, the fate of slavery remained at the center of American politics.
After decades of conflict, Americans north and south began to fear that the opposite section of the country had taken control of the government.
Fears nearly a century in the making at last turned into a bloody war.
Slavery's history goes back to antiquity.
Prior to the American Revolution, nearly everyone in the world accepted it as a natural part of life.
They made a lot of money for the British crown.
Wealth and luxury gave rise to seemingly boundless possibilities.
The ideological foundations of the sectional crisis can be traced back to the rise of revolutionary new ideals that were given rise to by enslaved workers.
Natural-law justifications for slavery began to be reexamined by English political theorists.
They did not agree with the idea that slavery was a condition that suited some people.
Revolutionaries seized onto the idea that freedom was the natural condition of humankind in the late 18th century.
The work of splintering the old order began in the United States, France, and Haiti.
The next revolution seemed to be radicalized.
One after the other, bold and more expansive declarations of equality and freedom followed.
"All men are created equal" was declared by revolutionaries in the United States.
The "Declaration of Rights and Man and Citizen" was issued by French visionaries.
In 1803, the most startling development occurred.
The island's slaves led a revolution that turned France's most valuable sugar colony into an independent country.
The beginning of the sectional crisis was marked by the Haitian Revolution.
The map shows the percentage of slaves in each county of the slave-holding states in 1860.
In the "Black Belt" of Alabama, along the Mississippi River, and in coastal South Carolina, all of which were centers of agricultural production in the United States, the highest percentages are found.
The era marked a break in slavery's history despite the clear limitations of the American Revolution.
The English and American armies freed thousands of slaves.
The turmoil of war was used by many to escape.
The antislavery struggle would reignite as a result of the emergence of free black communities.
Over a long period of time, the national breakdown over slavery occurred.
West was important.
As the United States pressed eastward, new questions arose as to whether the lands should be free or slave.
The framers of the Constitution didn't do much to help resolve the early questions.
The actions of the new government gave better clues as to what the new nation intended for slavery.
Vermont was admitted to the Union as a free state and Kentucky as a slave state.
Americans made little of the balancing act suggested by the admission of a slave state and a free state.
By 1820, preserving the balance of free states and slave states was seen as a national security issue.
There were new pressures in the West.
The Louisiana Purchase doubled the size of the United States.
There were questions as to whether the lands would be made free or slave.
The rapid expansion of plantation slavery was caused by the invention of the cotton gin.
Many Americans, including Thomas Jefferson, believed that slavery would soon die out despite the booming cotton economy.
There was tension with the Louisiana Purchase, but there was no national debate.
The debate came quickly.
The expansion of plantation slavery in the West was especially important after 1803.
The Ohio River Valley was an early fault line in the sectional struggle.
Kentucky and Tennessee emerged as slave states, while free states Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois gained admission along the river's northern banks.
White supremacy was fostered by borderland negotiations and accommodations along the Ohio River as laws tried to keep blacks out of the West.
The exclusionary cultures of Indiana, Illinois, and several subsequent states of the Old Northwest and the Far West were foretold by the so-called Black Laws of Ohio.
The largest section of the Louisiana Territory, the Missouri Territory, marked a turning point in the sectional crisis.
St. Louis, a bustling Mississippi River town filled with powerful slave owners, was an important trade headquarters for networks in the northern Mississippi Valley and the Greater West.
Congress debated Missouri's admission to the Union in the early 19th century to see if the territory would be a slave or free place.
New York congressman James Tallmadge wants to abolish slavery in the new state.
Congress reached a "compromise" on Missouri's admission, largely through the work of Kentuckian Henry Clay.
Maine would join the Union as a free state.
Missouri would join the Union as a slave state.
Legislators wanted to prevent future conflicts by creating a new dividing line between slavery and freedom in the Louisiana Purchase lands.
South of that line, running east from Missouri to the western edge of the Louisiana Purchase lands, slavery could expand.
The Missouri Compromise was a turning point in the sectional crisis because it exposed to the public how divisive the slavery issue had become.
Newspapers, speeches, and congressional records were filled with the debate.
From that point forward, pro-slavery and anti-slavery positions returned to the same points made during the Missouri debates.
Legislators battled for weeks over whether the Constitutional framers intended slavery's expansion.
"All men are created equal" was a phrase that was disputed all over again.
Most Americans concluded that the Constitution protected slavery where it already existed, despite questions over the expansion of slavery.
During the Missouri debate, the southerners insisted that the framers supported slavery and wanted to see it expand.
The Constitution allowed representation in the South to be based on rules that defined an enslaved person as three fifths of a voter, meaning southern white men would be overrepresented in Congress.
Congress was allowed to draft fugitive slave laws after the Constitution stipulated that they couldn't interfere with the slave trade.
Participants in the Missouri debate argued that the fram ers never intended slavery to survive the Revolution and that they hoped it would disappear through peaceful means.
The framers recognized the flip side of the slave trade debate and opened the door to legislating the end of the trade once the deadline arrived, according to antislavery activists.
Slavery could be banned in the territories according to the Tenth Amendment.
They pointed to the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment, which said that property could be seized through appropriate legislation.
They were a referendum on the American past, present, and future.
Despite the furor, the Missouri crisis did not inspire hardened defenses of either slave or free labor as positive good.
In the coming decades, those would come.
The uneasy consensus forged by the Missouri debate brought a measure of calm.
African Americans and Native Americans were troubled by the debate in Missouri.
Both groups saw that whites never intended them to be citizens of the United States by the time of the Missouri Compromise debate.
The debate over Missouri's admission offered the first sustained debate on the question of black citizenship, as Missouri's state constitution wanted to impose a hard ban on future black migrants.
Legislators agreed that the ban violated the U.S. Constitution, but they also agreed that Missouri could deny citizenship to African Americans.
Deep fault lines in American society were exposed by The Crisis Joined Missouri's admission to the Union in 1821.
A new sectional consensus was created by the compromise that most white Americans hoped would ensure a lasting peace.
White Americans agreed that the Constitution could not do much about slavery where it already existed and that it would never happen north of the 36deg30' line.
The results proved even more damaging after westward expansion challenged this consensus again.
The first to signal their discontent were the enslaved southerners.
The rebellion led by Vesey threatened lives and property in the Carolinas.
The nation's religious leaders expressed a rising discontent with the new status quo, as well as promoting schisms within the major Protestant churches, which became increasingly sectional in nature.
New political parties, new religious organizations, and new reform movements were drawn on by sectionalism between 1820 and 1846.
As politics grew more democratic, leaders pandered to a unity under white supremacy by attacking old inequalities of wealth and power.
The nation's attention was briefly on slavery in the early 1820s.
The last half of the decade saw the return of slavery, and it appeared to be even more threatening.
The social change of Jacksonian democracy inspired white men regardless of status to gain the right to vote, attend public schools, and serve in the armed forces.
The country's new expansionist desires were pushed in aggressive new directions by leaders.
The sectional crisis deepened as they did so.
The Democratic Party seemed to offer a solution to the problems of sectionalism by promising benefits to white working men of the North, South, and West, as well as unifying rural, small-town, and urban residents.
Huge numbers of western, southern, and northern workingmen supported Andrew Jackson in the presidential election.
The Democratic Party sought to unite Americans around shared commitments to white supremacy and desires to expand the nation by avoiding the issue of slavery.
Democrats had critics.
As the 1830s wore on, more and more Doughfaced Democrats became vulnerable to the charge that they served the south better than they served the north.
Whites discontented with the direction of the country used the slur and other critiques to help chip away at Democratic Party majorities.
The accusation that northern Democrats were lapdogs for southern slaveholders had real power.
The patterns of westward migrations out of New England were mirrored by Whig strongholds.
Wealthy merchants, middle- and upper-class farmers, planters in the south and settlers in the Great Lakes made up the Whigs.
In the 1830s, the party struggled to convey a cohesive message because of this motley coalition.
Their strongest support came from places like Ohio's Western Reserve, the rural and Protestant-dominated areas of Michigan, and similar parts of Protestant and small-town Illinois.
A young convert to politics named Abraham Lincoln was one of the figures attracted to these positions.
By the early 1830s, Lincoln fit the image of a Whig, as he admired Henry Clay of Kentucky.
Lincoln was a veteran of the Black Hawk War and had relocated to New Salem, Illinois, where he lived a life of thrift, self-discipline, and sobriety as he prepared for a professional life in law and politics.
Antislavery was never a core component of the Whig platform, despite the party blaming Democrats for defending slavery at the ex pense of the American people.
The Whigs were so hated by the abolitionists that they formed their own party.
The antislavery Liberty Party was organized in New York.
Liberty leaders wanted the end of slavery in the District of Columbia, the end of the interstate slave trade, and the prohibition of slavery's expansion into the West.
The Liberty Party distanced themselves from the idea of true racial egalitarianism, as well as shunning women's participation in the movement.
Americans did not vote for the party.
The Democrats and Whigs dominated American politics.
Democrats and Whigs fostered a moment of relative calm on the slavery debate, partially aided by gag rules prohibiting discussion of antislavery petitions.
Arkansas and Michigan became the newest states admitted to the Union, with Arkansas coming in as a slave state and Michigan as a free state.
Arkansas came in under the Missouri Compromise, but Michigan gained admission through provisions in the Northwest Ordinance.
The admission of Arkansas did not threaten the consensus because it was below the line.
There was a balancing act between freedom and slavery.
The balance would be shattered by events in Texas.
Texas gained recognition from the Andrew Jackson administration.
Martin Van Buren, Jackson's successor and a Democrat, was worried about the Republic of Texas.
Texas had conflicts with Mexico and Indian raids.
James K. Polk tried to bridge the sectional divide by promising new lands to whites north and south.
As Polk championed the acquisition of Texas and the Oregon Territory, northern Democrats became annoyed with their southern colleagues.
The debates over Texas statehood showed that the federal government was in favor of slavery.
Houston was admitted to the Union for Texas in 1845 after securing a deal with Polk.
Florida entered the Union as a slave state in 1845.
The year 1845 was a turning point in the memory of antislavery leaders.
As Americans embraced calls to pursue their manifest destiny, antislavery voices looked at developments in Florida and Texas as signs that the sectional crisis had taken an ominous and perhaps irredeemable turn.
There were a number of disturbing developments in the 1840s.
New personal liberty laws were passed in protest by a number of northern states.
The rising controversy over the status of fugitive slaves grew out of the influence of escaped former slaves.
The nation's coming sectional crisis was marked by the entrance of Douglass into northern politics.
Like many enslaved people, Douglass grew up without knowing his mother or date of birth.
As a result of his upbringing, as well as his own genius and determination, Douglass was able to learn how to read and write.
He escaped from slavery when he was just nineteen.
The book launched his career as an advocate for the enslaved and helped raise the visibility of black politics.
Other former slaves, including Sojourner Truth, also supported antislavery, as did free black Americans.
They helped thousands to escape from fugitive slave laws.
One of the more dramatic examples is the career of Tubman.
The forces of slavery had powerful allies.
The year 1847 signaled the beginning of a dark new era in American politics.
The borders of the nation were to be extended to the shores of the Pacific Ocean and President Polk was eager to see western lands brought into the Union.
The administration was blasted as little more than land grabs on behalf of slaveholders.
Antislavery complaints seemed to be justified by events in early 1846.
After the United States admitted Texas to the Union, Mexico continued to lay claim to its lands.
Polk ordered troops to Texas to enforce claims stemming from the border dispute.
The United States invaded Mexico City in 1847 after Polk asked for a war.
Whigs found their protests unimportant, but antislavery voices were becoming more powerful.
The sectional crisis raged in North America after 1846.
The new lands would be either slave or free.
Slavery was defended as a positive good by the South.
The expansion of slavery into the territories won from Mexico was banned by Congressman David Wilmot.
The proviso passed the House with bipartisan support, but it failed in the Senate.
The conclusion of the Mexican War led to the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.
Antislavery leaders in the United States were upset by the treaty.
The Mexican War was judged a slaveholders' plot by antislavery activists.
The leaders of the Free Soil Party were aware that the Liberty Party was not likely to provide a home to many moderate voters.
The Whigs and the Democrats nominated pro-slavery southerners in that year's presidential election, but the antislavery leaders thought their vision of a federal government divorced from slavery might be represented by the major parties.
The leaders of the antislavery Free Soil swung into action.
Demanding an alternative to the pro-slavery status quo, Free Soil leaders assembled so-called Conscience Whigs.
The national convention was called for in August of 1848.
A group of New Yorkers loyal to Martin Van Buren were among the ex-Democrats who committed to the party immediately.
The United States acquired territories from Mexico in the 19th century, raising questions about the balance of free and slave states in the Union.
The Liberty Party won the popular vote.
It was a good start.
In Congress, Free Soil members had enough votes to swing power to either the Whigs or the Democrats.
The admission of Wisconsin as a free state in May 1848 helped cool tensions after the admissions of Texas and Florida.
The news from failed European revolutions alarmed American reformers, but as exiled radicals entered the United States, a strengthened women's rights movement also flexed its muscles.
The first of its kind in the U.S., it was chaired by figures such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, women with deep ties to the abolitionist cause.
That is exactly what it did.
The spirit of reform didn't make much of a difference at the polls in November.
The Whig candidate was bested by the Democrat.
The upheavals of 1848 ended quickly.
The Mexican War's fruits began to diminish during Taylor's brief time in office.
Taylor's administration struggled to find a solution while he was alive.
The country was pushed closer to the edge by increased clamoring for the admission of California, New Mexico, and Utah.
New states were about to be admitted as thousands poured onto the West Coast and through the trans-Mississippi West after gold was discovered in California.
Mormons in Utah made claims to an independent state called Deseret.
California wanted to be a free state by 1850.
The 1850s were off to a troubling start with so many competing dynamics and the president dead.
There was no compromise that could bridge all the interests at play in the country.
Clay left Washington discouraged.
Stephen Douglas shepherded the bills through Congress.
The Great Compromiser, Henry Clay, addresses the U.S. Senate during the debates over the Compromise of 1850.
The print shows John C. Calhoun, who was pacified by the Compromise for his increasingly sectional beliefs.
The Compromise of 1850 tried to offer something to everyone, but it only made the sectional crisis worse.
The package gave the federal government the power to deputize regular citizens to arrest runaways.
The New Mexico Territory and the Utah Territory would be able to determine their own fates as slave or free states based on popular sovereignty.
territories were able to submit suits to the Supreme Court over the status of fugitive slaves.
The admission of California as the newest free state in the Union cheered many northerners, but it wasn't enough.
Northerners gained a ban on the slave trade in Washington, D.C., but not the full abolition the abolitionists had advocated.
In order for the federal government to absorb some of the former republic's debt, the state of Texas was asked to give some of its land to New Mexico.
The compromise debates became ugly.
Slaveholders co-opted the federal government and the southern Slave Power secretly held sway in Washington, where it hoped to make slavery a national institution after the Compromise of 1850.
The three-fifths compromise of the Constitution gave southerners proportionally more representatives in Congress.
Antislavery leaders argued that Washington worked on behalf of slaveholders while ignoring the interests of white working men.
The Fugitive Slave Act was the most troubling of the individual measures.
In order to extend slavery's influence throughout the country, the act created special federal commissioners to determine the fate of alleged fugitives without the benefit of a jury trial or even court testimony.
Local authorities in the North were not allowed to interfere with the capture of fugitives.
When called upon by federal agents, Northern citizens had to assist in the arrest of fugitive slaves.
An alarming increase in the nation's policing powers is one of the things Act created.
The bill undermined local and state laws.
The federal commissioners who heard these cases were paid $10 if they determined that the person was a slave and only $5 if they decided he or she was free.
The Whigs' existence as a national political party was ended by the presidential election of 1852.
The Whigs won just 42 of the electoral votes.
Peaceful consensus seemed to be on the horizon with the Compromise of 1850.
With a Democratic Party mistake, a coalition against the Democrats may yet emerge and bring them to defeat, as the antislavery feelings continued to run deep.
The book tells the story of a woman who escapes slavery using her own two feet, but a man who is chained up and killed by a brutish master.
Many Northerners were compelled to join the fight against slavery because of the violence that 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611 888-270-6611
The book reinforced many racist stereotypes despite the powerful antislavery message.
The deeply ingrained racism that plagued American society was a problem for even the abolitionists.
Democrats were splintered along sectional lines over slavery, but they had reasons to act with confidence.
The bitter fights over the Compromise of 1850 caused voters to return them to office in 1852.
The Nebraska Territory, the last of the Louisiana Purchase lands, was supposed to be organized in a bill drafted in the late 19th century.
The Nebraska Territory stretched from the northern end of Texas to the Canadian border.
In 1854, Douglas's efforts to amend and introduce the bill opened dynamics that would break the Democratic Party in two and rip the country apart.
In 1854, Douglas proposed cutting off a large swath of Nebraska and creating a new state called the Kansas Territory.
There were a number of goals that Douglas had in mind.
The expansionist Democrat from Illinois wanted to organize the territory to make it easier for the completion of the national railroad.
Before he finished introducing the bill, the opposition had begun to mobilize.
The Kansas-Nebraska Bill was exposed as a measure to overturn the Missouri Compromise and open western lands for slavery by Salmon P. Chase.
The Kansas-Nebraska protests took place throughout the North in 1854.
Depending on the result of local elections, Kansas would either become a slave state or be free if migrants flooded the state to stop the spread of slavery.
Ordinary Americans in the North resisted what they were told was a pro-slavery federal government on their own terms.
The rescues and arrests of fugitive slaves Anthony Burns in Boston and Joshua Glover in Milwaukee signaled the rising vehemence of resistance to the nation's 1850 fugitive slave law.
Many northerners were radicalized by the Fugitive Slave Law.
On May 24, 1854, twenty-year-old Burns, a preacher who worked in a Boston clothing shop, was clubbed and dragged to jail.
A group of slave catchers came to return Burns after he escaped slavery in Virginia.
A mob gathered outside the courthouse to demand Burns's release after learning of his capture.
The federal government sent soldiers to Washington after a deputy was shot in the courthouse two days after the arrest.
Boston was placed under martial law.
Burns was sent back to slavery in Virginia after federal troops lined the streets of Boston as he was marched to a ship.
After spending over $40,000, the U.S. government was able to escort Anthony Burns out of slavery, but the outrage among Bostonians only grew.
The federal government imposed the Fugitive Slave Law on northern populations.
Anthony Burns, the fugitive slave, is depicted in a portrait at the center of this 1855.
The arrest and trial of Burns was possible because of the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act.
In the spring of 1854, Burns's treatment caused riots and protests in Boston, as a symbol of the injustice of the slave system.
Adams Lawrence said that they went to bed one night old-fashioned, conservative, compromise Union Whigs.
The New England grant Aid Company provided guns and other goods for pioneers willing to go to Kansas and establish the territory as antislavery through popular sovereignty as northerners radicalized.
Politics became more militarized on all sides of the slavery issue.