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Flashcards in Causes Of The Civil War Deck (34):

Founding fathers

The 13 colonies in America belonged to England until the war of independence has won.
The founding fathers wanted to create a system of government that was democratic. They wanted to avoid narrow sovereignty. In 1787 they drew up the US Constitution and created a political system where power is divided between federal government and individual states. In 1803 the USA but the Louisiana territory, doubling the size of the USA



Legislative - senate, each state sends two representatives, senators selected from two parties and sit for six years.
House of Representatives, members represent constituency based on population, elected every two years.
Executive – elected every four years. President dies/resigns the vice president takes over. President can call special sessions of Congress, recommend laws and veto laws by Congress.
Judiciary – highest court. Nine judges that check that law in constitutional. Judges sit on the court for life or until they resign, if this happens the president picks a judge but congress has to approve


1824 election

In 1824 the US have no political parties, you voted for a president. In 1824 the candidates were Andrew Jackson, Henry Clay, John Quincy Adams and William Crawford.
There was no out right winner so the House of Representatives chose the winner.
The house chose Adams despite Jackson getting the most votes.
In response Jackson formed the Democrat party, in response Clay and Adam formed the Whig party.
Jackson was the most popular and won the 1828 election, he was president until 1837


Whig Beliefs

Whigs believed in government intervention on state affairs and the government should help in economic and social issues.
They supported higher tariffs, government sponsored improvements e.g. railways and the abolition of slavery. The party was strong in the north especially in New England


Democrat beliefs

Democrats believe issues should be decided at state and not federal level. They thought tariffs should be lowered and they supported Westward expansion. The party was popular in the South, West and they had support from Irish Catholics in northern cities


North and south similarities

Both the north and the south thought women were the cult of domesticity (women can’t vote but have power in the family.
Transport improved in both areas. By 1860 the US had 30,000 km of railway more than all the other railroads across the world.
There were 700 steamboats on the Mississippi river.
Both the north and the south believed in manifest destiny


North and south differences

The north had a growing amount of immigrants. 1830-60 5 million immigrants went to the north, one in five people immigrants. Whereas in the south it was one in 30.
North was more urban and had larger cities like Chicago (109,000 people in 1860) and New York (800,000 people in 1860). In the north 1 in 4 lives in cities, whereas in the south it was one in 14. But southern cities like new Orleans had 175,000 people in 1860.
The north was more industrialised than the south. 90% of industry was in the north.
North was more educated and modern
65% of the US population lived in the north


Slavery pre 1830

In 1776 all 13 colonies had slavery. It was important to the south, but over time it was abolished in northern states. In 1808 the US banned the slave trade with Africa.
In 1790, 9,000 bales of cotton were produced a year, with Eli Whitney’s Cotton-gin in 1793 by 1830s 2 million were produced.
Slavery was seen as a necessary evil some southerners.
It was used as a social control of the Haiti became the first black Republic after a slave revolt.


Slavery was a benign system

Slaves did not work longer than other Americans.
Most never worked on Sundays and got some holidays.
Christian morality meant slaveowners were kind of slaves.
Slaves were reasonably fed,clothed and housed.
Hard-working slaves could be promoted.
By 1860 slaves lived as long as white Southerners.
Not many slaves try to escape.


Slavery was a harsh system

Slave owners have unlimited power, they could sell, separate, punish , sexually exploit and murder slaves without punishment
Firm discipline was the norm.
Slaves had many vitamin deficiencies.
Slave revolts never happened due to them being impossible to organise, slaves couldn’t own firearms or gather in group


Slavery facts

By 1860 there were 4 million slaves.
In 1850 1 in 3 southern families owned slaves.
55% of slaves worked in cotton production.
By 1860 there are only 250,000 free black people in the US


Economic importance of slavery

Slavery was an efficient form of economic organisation.
Slave pics doubled in the 1850s
The south made money from slavery, so didn’t need to industrialise
The south grew cotton more efficiently than any other area in the world


Missouri compromise

By 1819 there were 22 states
In 1819 Missouri applies to join the union.
This meant if they were added senate wouldn’t be balanced
In 1820 Henry Clay came up with a compromise
Maine was added as a free state with Missouri
Also agreed there would be no slavery above the 36’30’ line in the Louisiana purchase territory


Nullification crisis

Tariff in 1828 introduced encouraged the purchase of American goods. This benefited the north but not the south.
Calhoun called it the tariff of abominations. He said said that a state should be able to ignore the tariffs.
Jackson wanted to preserve the union, so passed a tariff in 1832 reducing duties from 45% to 35%.
South Carolina weren’t pleased by this, so with Calhoun they passed the nullification ordinance in 1832, declaring the tariffs null and void.
Jackson asked congress to grant him the ability to use military force to make South Carolina to follow the law.
Meanwhile clay promised a compromise tariff in 1833, which would reduce the tariff significantly over the next 10 years.
Both were passed in 1833. South Carolina repealed the nullification ordinance once the compromise tariff was introduced


American immigration to Texas

From the 1820s Americans started to settle in Texas (then part of Mexico).
Most southerners brought slaves with them.
In 1829 Mexico freed its slaves and in 1830 prohibited further American immigration to Texas. Americans ignored this, by 1835 there were 30,000 Americans in Texas and 5,000 slaves.
In the winter of 1835-6 the Americans in Texas declared their independence from Mexico


The Alamo

Santa Anna (Mexican general) marched north to crush the American rebels at the Alamo. All 187 Texans were killed
President Jackson (democrat) sympathised with the Texans but did nothing to help. In April 1836 on American-Texan army led by Sam Houston defeated the Mexicans at the battle of san Jacinto. Santa Anna was captured and forced to recognise the independence of Texas.


Gag rule

In May 1836 the house passed a resolution that postponed the action on petitions relating to slavery without hearing them.
Pro slavery members of the House of Representatives passed a series of gag rules to prevent discussion relating to slavery


Issue of Texas

After 1836 Texas was independent . Southerners wanted Texas to join the union as it was a slave state but northerners opposes this as it would expand slavery.
It was feared Texas could be added to the union as 5 separate states. Due to the gag rule president Jackson, Van Buren and Tyler ignored Texas.
The 1844 election was between Clay (Whig) and Polk (democrat).
Polk won on a platform of the annexation of Texas and Oregon. Outgoing Whig president Tyler admitted Texas to the union as a single state in 1845, before Polk could



Most abolitionists before 1830 believed in gradual emancipation. They believed slaves should go back to Africa.
In 1822 Americans purchased Liberia, but only 10,000 slaves had gone back by 1860 and the slave population had grown to 2 million.
In the 1830s abolitionists became stricter. Associated with William Lloyd garrison, who in 1831 launched a new abolitionist journal, the liberator. He said slavery was a sin and he demanded immediate abolition.
In 1833 a militant national anti slavery society was established. 250,000 members by 1838. Most leaders were educated. Women and African Americans like Fredrick Douglas played a role in this society.


End of the Mexican war

By autumn 1847 the war was essentially over. Cost of victory was $100 million and 13,000 dead soldiers. US would now enforce the peace, the south wanted to annex the whole of Mexico, while the north didn’t want to annex any.
The treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was proposed in February 1848. Terms were that California and New Mexico were ceded to the USA. This amounted to 2/5 of present US territory. The US paid Mexico $15 million and $3.25 million to Americans to settle their claims against Mexico


Wilmot proviso

In August 1846 Wilmot (a northern democrat) said slavery should be excluded from any territory gained from Mexico.
He thought Polk had a pro southern policy, as he went to war to win territory in Mexico but made a deal with Britain for part of Oregon. The proviso passed in the House of Representatives 83 to 64, but failed in the senate


Calhoun doctrine

In 1847 Calhoun claimed citizens had a right to take property where they want and that congress had no authority to place restrictions on slavery in the territories


Popular sovereignty

In December 1847 senator Cass and Douglas came up with this idea. It meant settlers decided whether a territory should be a salve or free state.
North liked the idea as it was unlikely the territories would become slave states. South liked the idea as slavery could expand


1848 election

Between Cass (democrat) and Taylor (Whig and Mexican war hero).
Taylor had no political experience. The Whig party had no national platform and they led a two faced campaign.
The Free soil party was a breakaway group led by Van Buren, they supported the Wilmot Proviso.
Taylor won 47.5% of the vote, Cass won 42.5% of the vote and Van Buren won 10% of the vote.
At the same time Calhoun issued an address to the southern state, which was an effort to unite all southern congressmen against northern aggression. It failed as southern whigs were prepared to trust Taylor


California and New Mexico

Few Americans thought New Mexico and California would quickly have enough people to gain statehood.
100,000 people caught Gold fever in California and Mormons in New Mexico increased its population.
Taylor wanted to keep slavery but he thought slavery wouldn’t expand to keep the north happy.
In 1849 California votes for a free constitution and were admitted to the union. He was also prepared to add New Mexico despite it not having 60,000 people


Where Taylor went wrong

He ignored the advice of Clay and listened to New York senator William Seward.
Taylor encouraged California and New Mexico to apply for statehood without going through the process of creating territorial governments.
This annoyed southerners as they both had free slave constitutions
South felt excluded from the territory they had won from the Mexican war. The south wanted compensation


Sectional tension 1849

Nashville convention was called in October 1849. This was to devise some mod of resistance against northern aggression
Tensions around California, New Mexico, expansion of slavery, north ignoring the fugitive slave act, slavery in Washington and the border dispute between Texas and New Mexico


1850 compromise bill

In January Clay offered a series of resolutions. The bill stated California was to be admitted as a free state, Utah and New Mexico organised as territories with no mention of slavery, slave trade to end in Washington, a stricter fugitive slave act, Texas would surrender land to New Mexico and congress would pay Texas $10 million.
The proposals were rolled into one omnibus bill


Reactions to the compromise

February 1850 Clay spoke for 4 hours in favour of the compromise. He warned the south against secession and reassured the north slavery wouldn’t expand.
March 1850 - Seward was against the compromise, he wanted slavery abolished.
March 1850 - Webster spoke in favour of the compromise. He was attacked by abolitionists in New England and this ruined his political career.
Calhoun’s speech in March stated succession is an option for the south, if the north doesn’t accept slavery.
Taylor was against the compromise. He was prepared to use the army if the south seceded.


How the compromise was reached

Failure of the Nashville convention in June 1850. Only 9 out of 15 attended.
President Taylor died in July 1850.
New president Filmore - gave the bill his backing but it failed on the 31st July 1850.
Douglas - he put the bill into separate bills which all passed due to moderates voting in favour of them.
By September 1850 California was a free state, Utah and New Mexico were territories under popular sovereignty, abolition of the salve trade in Washington, new stricter fugitive slave act and there was a resolution of the Texas, New Mexico border dispute


North reaction to new fugitive slave act

The broth was unhappy with the fact that $1,000 fines were given if you didn’t help federal marshals find slaves if you were chosen.
In 1834 a Boston mob broke into a courthouse to free Burns a slave but his failed and during the mob a guard was killed.
9 states passed personal liberty laws - they made it harder for the FSA to be enforced. For example forbidding the use of state jails to keep slaves in.
Vigilance committees were set up to help salves escape to Canada


1852 election

Between Pierce (Democrat) and winfield Scott (Whig).
Democrats were confident as they won the 1850 mid term elections and the free soil party had returned. German and Irish immigrant could now vote and they would vote democrat. The party was for the 1850 compromise and popular sovereignty.
Whigs were divided on the candidate (took 53 ballots to decide), they had no national platform as they couldn’t agree
Pierce won 27 states and 254 electoral college votes whereas Scott won 4 states and 42 electoral college votes.
Piece won and had an expansionist policy as he thought the 1850 compromise had settled the issue of slavery


Gadsden purchase

In 1853 James Gadsten got permission to negotiate 250,000 miles of Mexican territory.
He got 54,000 miles.
Southerners liked this as it assured the building of a southern railroad to the Pacific


Cuban filibustering

In 1851 and American sponsored filibuster to overthrow Mexico’s government failed.
In 1853-54 John Quitman planned another filibuster. He recruited Americans to join Cuban rebels, he wanted Spain to sell Cuba to the USA.
Pierce met Quitman before he left.
This angered the north as they thought it was an attempt to expand slavery.
Pierce alarmed at northern opinion, stopped the expedition and attempted to buy Cuba for $130 million