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Amanda's Civil War Essay

Amanda's Civil War Essay



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Published by Amanda
This essay on the causes of the Civil War was written mid-October, 2008 and is not as developed as it could be. I had to memorize it and rewrite it for an exam, so I I included the minimal requirements.
This essay on the causes of the Civil War was written mid-October, 2008 and is not as developed as it could be. I had to memorize it and rewrite it for an exam, so I I included the minimal requirements.

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Published by: Amanda on Jan 25, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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I.IntroductionA.Popular explanation is slaveryB.K-N, D.S., and J.B. also major contributorsC.Divergence
lack of unity
ultimately caused Civil WarII.Kansas-Nebraska ActA.Passed by Congress on May 30
, 1854B.Stated that populations in territories could decide whether tooutlaw or allow slaveryC.Pro- and anti-slavery supporters rushed in to win the territory fortheir causeD.Election held, but anti-slavery supporters cried ‘fraud’E.Another election held, but the pro-slavery side refused to voteF.Violence broke outG.Nicknamed “bleeding Kansas”H.Anti-slavery supporters eventually wonI.In 1861, Kansas admitted as free state J.Arguments over future of territories helped spark the ignition of Civil WarIII.The Dred-Scott DecisionA.Scott was from a slave state, MissouriB.His master took him to Illinois, a free stateC.Later moved to Wisconsin, a free stateD.When his master died, he sued for his freedomE.Supreme Court ruled that not only was he not free, blacks weren’teven citizens and had no rights, so he couldn’t even rightfully sueF.Also ruled that Congress could not outlaw slavery in the newterritories and that the Missouri Compromise of 1820, whichoutlawed slavery above the 36 30’ parallel, was unconstitutional(even though it had already been repealed by the Kansas-NebraskaAct)G.Dred-Scott Decision widened the political gap between the Northand the South and further encouraged a civil warIV.John Brown’s Raid on Harper’s FerryA.John Brown was an abolitionist who believed himself to be a God-sent liberatorB.Led 23 men into an attack on the United States Arsenal at Harper’sFerryC.Was unsuccessful, captured, tried for slave insurrection, treason,and murder and hangedD.Raid ignited Southerners’ feelings toward Northern anti-slaverysupporters and brought the country closer to civil war
 The popular explanation for the Civil War is of course slavery, but severalother factors contributed as well. The growing divergence between states led to alack of unity in the nation, which ultimately caused the American Civil War.However, the Kansas-Nebraska Act, the Dred Scott Decision, and John Brown’s raidon Harper’s Ferry were also contributors.Passed by the U.S. Congress on May 30
, 1854, the Kansas-Nebraska Actallowed the people in the territories of Nebraska and Kansas to decide amongstthem whether to allow or outlaw slavery. Many of the Northerners protested theKansas-Nebraska Act because it automatically repealed the Missouri Compromise of 1820, which stated that slavery would be outlawed above the36°30'parallel. Afterthe Kansas-Nebraska Act was passed, anti- and pro-slavery supporters rushed in totry to win the territory for their cause. The pro-slavery side won the election, but theanti-slavery supporters charged them with fraud. The anti-slavery supporters heldanother election, but the pro-slavery side refused to vote. Violence broke out andthe nickname “bleeding Kansas” stuck as the death toll rose. Eventually, the anti-slavery supporters won, and in 1861, Kansas was admitted to the Union as a freestate. The controversy over the Kansas-Nebraska Act divided the nation and pointedtowards a civil war. The Dred Scott case involved the slave by that name and his pursuit of freedom. As the slave of an officer in the U.S. Army, Scott had moved with hismaster from the slave state of Missouri to the free state of Illinois, and later toWisconsin, a free territory. After his master died, Scott sued for his freedom byclaiming that since he had lived on free soil for a long period of time, he was free.Seven out of nine Supreme Court Justices ruled that not only was Scott still a slave,but that no slave or descendent of a slave could be a U.S. citizen, and since he hadno rights as an American, he couldn’t even rightfully sue. The Supreme Court alsoruled that Congress had no right to outlaw slavery in the new territories and thatthe Missouri Compromise was unconstitutional (even though it had already beenrepealed by the Kansas-Nebraska Act.) Anti-slavery supporters in the North saw theDred Scott decision as the Southerner’s way to expand slavery in the west.Southerners agreed with the ruling. The Dred Scott Decision widened the politicalgap between the North and South and brought the country closer to a civil war.On October 16
, 1859, an abolitionist named John Brown and a handful of hisfollowers attempted to seize the United States Arsenal at Harper’s Ferry. Brownbelieved that he had been sent by God to liberate the slaves. His raid wasunsuccessful and he was captured, tried and convicted of murder, slaveinsurrection, and treason and subsequently hanged. John Brown’s raid at Harper’sFerry further divided the North and South and contributed to the cause of theAmerican Civil War.

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