Chapter 14 Sectionalism Crisis - Rose State College

Chapter 14 Sectionalism Crisis - Rose State College

Chapter 14

The Politics of



Martin Van Buren“

“The Little Magician”


8 th President 1837-41

Vernon Maddux 16

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Compromise of 1850: This Legislation permits

slavery in the Northern Territories which upset the 1820 Missouri

Compromise balance between slave and “free” states.

• 1846. Wilmot Proviso fails

(no Mexican-derived territory should

permit slavery).

1850 Slave population in the US

• 1850. Fugitive Slave Act is

greeted by an angry response in the


• 1852. Election of pro-slave

president James Buchanan.

• 1852. Uncle Tom’s Cabin

is published.

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Zachary Taylor


12 th President 1849-50

“Old Rough & Ready”

• 1848. Whigs chose Taylor, a

Louisiana slaveholder who was no

Whig and had never voted.

• To soothe more traditional Whigs,

the convention picked stalwart

Millard Fillmore as vice-president.

• Taylor’s Whig victory held hope of

a solution that could end the

growth of slavery, but he proved

fiercely resistant even to the most

important Whig founders Henry

Clay and Daniel Webster.

• July 9 1850 At the peak of the

Sectionalism Crisis, Taylor died

unexpectedly after two years in


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Millard Fillmore 13 th President 1850-1853

• To ease the North-South crisis, the new

president Millard Fillmore asked for

resignations from Taylor's cabinet. He

then appointed Daniel Webster, the major

Northern advocate of compromise to be his

Secretary of State.

– Fillmore put Whig party hacks favorable to

compromise in every cabinet post.

• As fast as Congress passed COMPROMISE

of 1850 bills, Fillmore immediately signed

them –deeply irritating Southerners.

• Fillmore angered Northerners even more

Millard Fillmore


by strictly enforcing the FUGITIVE

SLAVE LAW. This required Northern police

officers to capture and return escaped

slaves to Southern owners.

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The Compromise

of 1850

In Practice

• Southerners hated the idea of

restricting slavery in any way.

• Northern Abolitionists continually

attacked slavery in print.

• Fillmore’s aggressive Federal

policy of enforcing the fugitive

slave laws especially infuriated

people in New England.

• Northern black freemen were

liable to be captured illegally and

sent into Southern slavery.

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Harriet Beecher Stowe


“The little lady who made this big

war.“ Lincoln

Her father a famous preacher,

her cousin served with Custer in

Kansas and was killed by Sioux

Indians in 1868.

• 1811. Harriet Elizabeth Beecher was

born to Lyman Beecher, a famous

Connecticut evangelist preacher.

• 1836. She married Calvin E. Stowe

and had seven children.

• 1852. She wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin

in her despair after losing a child to


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Frightened, the mother flees

from slave hunters across icecovered

Ohio River with her

baby in her arms.

• UTC is an appealing story of a

slave family torn apart by cruel


• UTC first appeared as a serial in a

magazine: National Era.

• A run-away best-seller, the book

sold 5,000,000 copies worldwide,

several million in England.

• As an American stage play, it

appealed to a vast illiterate northern

public (especially Irish).

• Its message of family destruction

convinced even poor and racist

Northerners to pursue an end to


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Political Realignment

Stephen Douglas


“The Little Giant”

• Sen. Stephen Douglas proposed to build a

Transcontinental Railroad.

• This resulted in the Kansas-Nebraska Act

and “Bleeding Kansas.”

– LeCompton Constitution- Kansas.

• The rising Slavery crisis creates three new

Political Parties: “Know-Nothings,” “Anti-

Masons” and the “Republicans.”

• Lincoln-Douglas senatorial debates in

Illinois brings Lincoln to national attention

as a champion who would end slavery.

• Buchanan wins the election of 1856 and

does nothing to ease the crisis.

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Rep. Brooks attacks Sen. Sumner

Summer 1856

During a debate over Kansas,

Sen. Charles Sumner of

Massachusetts openly scorned

SC Sen. Andrew P. Butler,

calling him “helpless without

slaves to tend to him.”

The next day Butler’s nephew,

SC Rep. Preston S. Brooks,

attacked Sumner with his cane

on the Senate floor.

Brooks beat Sumner so hard that

the cane broke apart.

Sumner was severely injured.

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Dred Scott

“Dred Scott Decision”

Dred Scott

1799 - 1858

• 1799. Dred Scott was born a

slave on the Peter Blow farm

in Southampton Co., Va.

• Although trained as a butler,

Scott remained illiterate.

• 1820. Blow sold the

Southampton farm and

moved with his slaves to St

Louis, Missouri.

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Harriett Robinson Scott

Dred Scott Decision

Harriett Robinson

c1818 - c1867

• 1832. The slave owner sold Scott to

Army Surgeon Dr John Emerson who

transferred with his wife Irene, from St

Louis to Ft Snelling, Wisconsin

Territory (Minn.).

• 1836. At Ft Snelling, Dred Scott met

Harriett, a slave for Maj. Lawrence

Taliaferro, the fort’s Sioux Indian


• 1837. When approached by Dred and

Harriett, Taliaferro agreed to their

marriage, set Harriett free and, as

Justice of the Peace, even performed the

marriage ceremony.

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Scott vs. Sanford

Dred Scott Decision

• Harriett and Dred had two daughters;

Eliza born 1838 on a Mississippi

riverboat and Lizzy born 1840, St Louis.

• 1843. Dr Emerson died and his widow

remarried, now Irene Sanford

• 1845. To increase her income, she hires

out Dred who offers to buy his freedom

for $300.00, but Irene refuses.

• 1846. Dred persuades local St Louis

lawyer to sue Irene Emerson-Sanford for

his freedom.

• 1857. After several victories and

reversals, the case goes to the Supreme

Court, Chief Justice Roger B. Taney.

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Roger Brooke Taney

Appointed by President Jackson as 5 th Chief

Justice of the Supreme Court

Roger B. Taney


His sister married

Francis Scott Key

Born March 17, 1777 on a slave plantation in

Calvert Co., Md, Taney (tawn-ee) was

educated by tutors until 15 then attended

Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pa.

When his father died, he freed all inherited

slaves, however remained sympathetic to

Southern ideals.

1857, Mar 6. Taney read his 56 page Scott vs.

Sanford decision two days after swearing in

the new president Buchanan.

The decision, though absolutely true to the

Constitution, stunned both sides of the slavery

issue, ending all attempts at legal compromise.

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Scott vs. Sanford

“A Supreme Court Decision that Nationalized Slavery”

Supported by five justices (vs. three), Taney decreed:

• Dred Scott was forever a slave regardless of where he lived.


• Under the Constitution, no black person, free or slave, could

ever be a citizen of the United States.

• The Missouri Compromise of 1820 and the Compromise of

1850 were unconstitutional because Congress had no power to

prohibit slavery within US territory.

Dred Scott becomes the central issue in the 1860

election. The Republican Party chose the abolition of

slavery as its only plank, nominating Abraham Lincoln

to be its uncompromising anti-slavery champion.

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John Brown

John Brown 1800-1859

Southern Paranoid Fears


• Oct 16 1859 Harpers Ferry Sunday

at 11:00 p.m., John Brown and 20

followers (5 blacks) capture the

federal arsenal. Monday passes.

• Tues. at 1:00 a.m. Col. RE Lee, JEB

Stuart and a company of U.S.

Marines board a B&O train.

• At dawn Lee sends Stuart to demand

surrender. Stuart recognizes “Mr.

Smith” as John Brown, a radical

abolitionist he knew from Kansas.

• On Stuart’s signal, Marines storm the

arsenal and captured Brown.

• Dec. 2. 1859. Brown is hanged as a

martyr to slavery at Charlotte, Va.

• One of his guards is John Wilkes Booth.

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Election of 1860

Abraham Lincoln


Two Terms 16 th PotUS 1861-1865

• Born Sinking Spring Farm near

Hodgenville (Larue Co.), Ky.

• 1832. A lawyer, he was a

volunteer militia captain for 16

weeks in the Black Hawk War.

• 1856. Ran for US Senator from

Illinois; lost to Steven Douglas.

• 1860. Nominated for President by

the Republican Party. His only

promise was to end US slavery.

• He won easily, but received no

votes in the South.

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