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- Take a look at factors that contributed to the tension over slavery in the 1850s.
- Describe the causes and effects of Bloody Kansas.
- Discuss the Supreme Court decision in Dred Scott v. Sanford.
- Learn about John Brown's raid at Harpers Ferry.
- Understand the significance of the Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858.
- Discuss Lincoln's election and the secession of the South.
- Learn about the Battle of Fort Sumter and the start of the Civil War.
1. Uncle Tom's Cabin and Tension Over Slavery in the 1850s
Uncle Tom's Cabin captured the plight of slaves in the 1850s like no other book. The novel, coupled with the Missouri Compromise and the Fugitive Slave Act, served to further strain the country, which was at a breaking point over the issue of slavery. This lesson details these events.
2. 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.
3. Dred Scott v. Sanford and President Buchanan
The Dred Scott decision was one of the most important turning points in the debate over slavery in the United States. It came during the presidency of James Buchanan, a man well qualified but ill suited for the job of keeping the nation together. This lesson discusses both as we attempt to understand the dynamics that led to the American Civil War.
4. 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.
5. The Lincoln-Douglas Debates of 1858: Summary & Significance
In an effort to secure their own appointments to the U.S. Senate, Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas squared off in a series of seven debates in 1858. Find out why Douglas might have won in the short term but Lincoln won in the long term.
6. Lincoln's Election, Southern Secession & the New Confederacy
Learn about how Abraham Lincoln's election in the contentious 1860 presidential race set off a domino effect leading to the secession of South Carolina and six other states and the formation of the Confederate States of America.
7. The Battle of Fort Sumter & the Start of the Civil War
South Carolina's attack on a U.S. military outpost triggered the American Civil War. Learn more about the Battle of Fort Sumter and the consequences of the fort's surrender to the Confederacy.
8. Fugitive Slave Act of 1850: Definition & Summary
The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 was an inclusion into the Compromise of 1850 in order to appease southern states. Learn how the act impacted runaway slaves and its contribution to the arrival of the Civil War.
9. Walker Tariff of 1846: Definition & Summary
The Walker Tariff of 1846 was a successful attempt by President James Polk to lower Federal tariff rates to help the economy and trade in Southern states. It was one of many political battles that occurred in the lead-up to the American Civil War.
10. Know-Nothing Party: Definition & Overview
The Know-Nothing political party gained popularity in the Northeastern United States in the mid 1800s. In this lesson you will learn about the rise and fall of this party that opposed immigration.
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