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Ch 2: Rising Tension Over Slavery

About This Chapter

Watch history video lessons and learn about the Mexican-American War, the Dred Scott decision, the raid at Harper's Ferry and more. These lessons feature dynamic animations and graphics that bring to life the tensions that arose over slavery.

Rising Tension Over Slavery - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

Instructors in this chapter can help you examine the political precedent set by the Missouri Compromise alongside the role newly acquired territories played in the debate over slavery. Follow Congress' divisive legislative decisions and find out how this dispute escalated into a clash between abolitionist and pro-slavery settlers in Kansas, foreshadowing the bloodshed to come. This chapter can help you understand the following:

  • Causes of the Mexican-American war
  • Consequences of legislative stances on slavery
  • Prominent figures in the abolitionist movement
  • Outcomes of the Dred Scott case
  • Public responses to the debate over slavery

Video Objective
Henry Clay and the Missouri Compromise of 1820 Depicts the increasing sectional tensions, as epitomized by the Missouri Compromise. Explores the role of America's second generation of politicians, beginning with Henry Clay.
The Mexican-American War, Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo & the Wilmot Proviso Describes the skirmish on disputed territory that lead to war with Mexico. Details the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo and the controversial Wilmot Proviso.
President Fillmore and the Compromise of 1850 Explains President Fillmore's support for a Congressional compromise that added new states from the Mexican cession. Discusses his attempts to resolve long-standing controversies over slavery.
Abolitionist Movement: Important Figures in the Fight to End Slavery Outlines important figures in the movement to end slavery, including Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman.
Bloody Kansas: Causes, Effects and Summary of Events Explores the unintended consequences of popular sovereignty: terror in Kansas and a cane fight on the Senate floor.
Dred Scott v. Sanford: Case Summary & Decision Details the landmark Supreme Court case that stripped citizenship from black Americans and overturned the Missouri Compromise of 1820.
John Brown's Raid at Harpers Ferry: Fighting Slavery Describes John Brown's raid on the arsenal at Harper's Ferry and the publication of The Impending Crisis of the South by Hinton Rowan Helper.

7 Lessons in Chapter 2: Rising Tension Over Slavery
Henry Clay and the Missouri Compromise of 1820

1. Henry Clay and the Missouri Compromise of 1820

In 1819, Missouri applied for statehood, threatening to tip the balance of senatorial power in favor of the slave states. Find out how Henry Clay resolved the matter for the next 30 years.

The Mexican-American War, Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo & the Wilmot Proviso

2. The Mexican-American War, Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo & the Wilmot Proviso

The controversial Mexican-American War lasted from 1846-1848. In this lesson, discover how the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo expanded the southern part of the United States all the way to the Pacific Ocean.

President Fillmore and the Compromise of 1850

3. President Fillmore and the Compromise of 1850

Following President Zachary Taylor's death, Millard Fillmore took office. He supported the Compromise of 1850 that added new states from the Mexican cession and attempted to resolve long-standing controversies over slavery.

Abolitionist Movement: Important Figures in the Fight to End Slavery

4. Abolitionist Movement: Important Figures in the Fight to End Slavery

The abolitionist movement spanned decades. Although slavery did not end peacefully, great Americans like William Lloyd Garrison, Frederick Douglass, and Harriet Beecher Stowe were some of the driving forces behind the anti-slavery movement.

Bloody Kansas: Causes, Effects and Summary of Events

5. Bloody Kansas: Causes, Effects and Summary of Events

The events in the Kansas territory were a microcosm of the violent forces shaping the United States in the decade of the 1850s, forces that would ultimately lead to a disintegration of the Union itself. This lesson details what has come to be known as Bleeding Kansas and its impact on the issue of slavery.

Dred Scott v. Sanford: Case Summary & Decision

6. Dred Scott v. Sanford: Case Summary & Decision

In this lesson, we will explore the famous Dred Scott v. Sanford Supreme Court case. We will learn about the case's background, the court's findings, and the impact of this landmark decision.

John Brown's Raid at Harpers Ferry: Fighting Slavery

7. John Brown's Raid at Harpers Ferry: Fighting Slavery

John Brown was a man of strong convictions - so strong that he was willing to fight, to kill, and to die for them. These abolitionist beliefs led him from Kansas to Virginia, where he would pay the ultimate price. This lesson tells that story.

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