What events brought the nation to crisis? - American History  
 
This is your new blog post. Click here and start typing, or drag in elements from the top bar.
Arjun Rajesh
3/23/2010 07:44:01

There were many events that led to the collapse of our nation. One of the major ones was the Dread Scott decision. Dread Scott was a slave who escaped and became a free man until he was recaptured and had to undergo trial. Scott claimed that because his slavemaster had passed away and that he had lived in a free state. Since he was not an American citizen he could not sue his captors. In the end Dred Scott lost and was forced to go back to slavery. Of course after the civil war Scott was freed but Scott was still forced to be a slave. I think that the only reason why Scott wasn't freed on the spot was because slaves were considered property. This upsets me because slaves are people too and they cannot help it if they were born into slavery. This was thrilling to southern slavemasters and infuriating to abolitionists. This event increased tensions between both groups. The Wilmot Proviso was an event that truly brought the nation to crisis. The Wilmot Proviso stated that any territory acquired from Mexico would be a free state. The slavemasters didn't like this because it meant that proslavery states would have less power in congress because there would be fewer slave states. If I was a proslavery state I would also be very upset because in future years the slaves could be freed. Possibly the most significant event that brought the nation to pieces was John Brown's raid. John Brown's raid was an abolisinist, John Brown, and his followers raiding a federal arsenal so that they could steal weapons and arm the slaves so that the slaves could rebel. Brown was captured by the legendary Robert Lee and sentenced to death for treason. The southerners were infuriated and cursed Brown's name while the northerners were pleased and praised him. I think that this hero/ crook was a main reason why the civil war started.

Textbook
Class Notes http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/history/A0852373.html

Reply
Jessica Reed
3/23/2010 09:04:24

There were many factors that brought the United States, or at that time the Union, into crisis. This crisis was when the South seceded due to ongoing tension. This tension started around 1846 which was the year of the Mexican War and the Wilmot Proviso. The Wilmot Proviso was the main source of tension in the Union in 1846. The Proviso suggested banning slavery from the new territories acquired from the war. The proviso caused a lot of controversy between the predominantly proslavery South and the mainly anti-slavery North. The proviso was so controversial because if the new territories did become proslavery the people against slavery would be outnumbered. Yet, if the territories became free then the slaveholders could not expand their land. Secondly, four years later the Compromise of 1850 was created. However, instead of bringing compromise it brought more conflict. The Compromise of 1850 proposed admitting California as a free state and letting Utah and New Mexico decide if they wanted to be free or slave territories. The Compromise of 1850 also proposed the Fugitive Slave Act which called for all escaped slaves to be brought back to their owners as if they were pieces of property. The tension that arose at this time was caused by the North being upset over the Fugitive Slave Act. As a result, in 1852 Harriet Beecher Stowe, an abolitionist, wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin, a novel explaining the cruelty that slaves endured from their owners and the deep determination they had to live a free life. Although, the book was very popular it received some bad reviews in the South. Slave owners claimed that the novel falsely depicted the way owners acted towards their slaves. Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel was another factor that caused the crisis in the Union. Two additional sources of tension occurred in 1856. One of these two was the Kansas-Nebraska Act which allowed the territories of Kansas and Nebraska decide if they wanted to be proslavery or not using popular sovereignty. This would mean discarding the Missouri Compromise of 1820, and many Northerners were upset. This act probably caused the most tension in the Union because of the violence that came of it. Furthermore, in 1856 the Whig Party was broken apart by the act. Not only did the act cause controversy in the Union, but also in the Whig Party. Southern Whigs who supported the act joined the Democrats, while Northern Whigs who opposed the act made a new political party, the Republican Party. Finally, the last straw that pushed America into crisis was the 1860 presidential election when Republican Abraham Lincoln won. The South, terrified that a Republican president had been elected, started wanting to secede in fear that Lincoln would destroy “their southern way of life”. The secession of the South, creating the Confederates States of America, was the final factor that brought the Union into crisis.

Personally, I think that America had been in tension so long that secession or a war was most likely inevitable. The view points of the North and South contrasted greatly therefore causing this tension, and ultimately a war. Yet, I think that the feud between the North and the South prove that even one of the most powerful countries have their problems.

Sources:
Textbook
Class notes
http://www.bookrags.com/notes/utc/SUM.html
http://www.gdg.org/Research/Causes/causes2.html

Reply
Molly Buring
3/23/2010 10:21:16

There were many reasons that brought the nation to crisis. One reason was the Kansas-Nebraska Act. The act allowed people who lived in these territories to pick themselves whether to become free or slave states. Depending on their answers, that could affect the Missouri Compromise, which made a lot of people mad. That started what is called "Bleeding Kansas". During it, there was murders, raids, and more violence. Another reason was the Dred Scott decision. Dred Scott was a slave then since his slave master died he thought he had become a free man. Then when people caught him again and brought him to court, the judge decided that he was not a free man therefore he was not an American Citizen and could not sue anyone. He was not considered a free man because he was a slave, and slaves were considered property, so he was owned and not his own person. The southerners believe that is the way of life, you are either a slave, someone's property, or a free man. The abolitionists were very mad about that and did not believe that was right at all. Another thing that split up the North and South, leading to the crisis, was the presidency. Abraham Lincoln, a republican, was elected president without any electoral votes. The Southerners were extremely upset by that. They were also worried that having a republican as president would ruin their "way of life". they thought he would ban having slaves and stop all of the progress they made. And with all of these things happening in the US, many historians today thought it was kind of obvious that a big war was coming up. many believed that maybe if there had been stronger leaders then "opposing Americans" could have settled their differences without war. I, personally, think that a war was kind of necessary. I would hate to have been just waiting years for the president to do something and would hate to be hated by citizens of my own country. If I was alive during that time, and still lived in the South, I probably would have agreed to their ways of living, even though I don't today, but I still probably would have been waiting for a war to come up with all of the fights and bad things happening to the country anyway.

sources:
textbook
class notes
Arjun and Jessie's notes

Reply
Jiayi Diao
3/25/2010 23:20:42

There were many reasons brought the US into crisis. I think one of the main reasons is that after the Mexican War, America had a lot of new territories.
After these territories become a part of America, so the new states have to decide them selfs to be a slavery state or a free state.Because the Federal government want's them to be a new part of the free state, but the south want's it to be a slavery state, so both sides send their people in to the new territories to vote for their own side.During that time,there were many people in the north were anti-slavery.But the southerners lived on the slavery farming.That's what happened in Kansas in 1850s.And the fighting began between the people in Kansas.

sources:
textbook
class notes
wikipedia(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/19th_century)

Reply



Leave a Reply.