Events that lead up to
the Civil war.
The civil war began on April the 12th
in 1861.There where many causes to the civil war but some of the key events
that triggered and led to the out break of the civil war where, Uncle toms
Cabin, Bleeding Kansas, and the Dred Scott V. Sandford, John Browns raid. These
are just some of the events I believe to be more important than the others.
The novel “Uncle toms Cabin” by Harriet Beecher
Stowe was one of the major key events that triggered the civil war. “This book
was published in 1852 and it sold more than 300,000 copies with in a year of
This novel was a eyeopener for everybody. It was written as a story so that
people could understand slavery and have a sense of feelings for slaves. It influenced
more abolitionist to speak and it also encouraged many civilians to support
abolitionist. Mrs. Stowe’s goal was to portray evils of slavery and to help
humans relate by humanizing slaves by putting slaves on the same level as any
other human race.2
Many of the northerners then realized how brutal slaves where getting treated
in the south so then many southern people began to defend the institution. This
created more tension between the north and the south, which added on to one of
the reasons the civil war started.
Bleeding Kansas was also another factor that
lead to the civil war. This event used Popular sovereignty in which Kansas territory
was being debated over whether it should be a free slave state or not. Stephan Douglas
was the man who created the bill in which Kansas territory would be decided by
Popular sovereignty. Many of the Northerners where upset because in 1820 the Missouri
compromise took place, which indicated that there shall be no slave states above
the Missouri Compromise line which was latitude 36 degree30’3. Kansas was completely on
the other side of the line. The southerners where happy at the fact that Mr.
Douglas had created the bill because this bill was opposing the Missouri
Compromise. The Pro slavery people now saw a chance to expand slavery above the
Compromise line. Through out this time the Proslavery and anti slavery people had
many battles. The south believed that they had succeded in making Kansas a Pro
slavery state because They had the National Government on their side and the Federal
government was ignoring the free legislature and only paying attention to the
Pro slavery Legislature. Everything was falling into place for the Proslavery
Southerners till in 1856 John W. Geary Became the new Kansas Territorial
Governer. Only one constitution could be passed and it was the Anti slavery
Constitution. In 1861 Kansas became a
free state which left the northerners happy. This factor contributed to the
civil war because the main reason of the ” Kansas Bleeding” was because Kansas used
popular sovereignty to determine if it will be a Free slave state or not.
On March 6, 1857, the Supreme Court of the
United States projected itself into the sectional controversy because of the Dred
Scott V. Sandford. Dred Scott was a slave and his slave owner was a surgeon
Sandford was traveling and with Scott to Illinois and Wisconsin, where slavery
is forbidden. Later on Sandford passed away so then Scott decided to sue Sandford’s
widow for his freedom. He sued her by saying that his residence in free
territory had liberated him from slavery. He won the argument and the court
declared him free in 1850. The widows brother then tried to claim Scott and
appealed the circuit court ruling which changed the courts decision which then
claimed that Scott had no standing sue because he was not a citizen. At this
point Scott couldn’t even make a law suit because he is not a citizen. This just
increased the tension between the north and south and also increased the
probability of the Civil war.
At this point many northerners where upset and
abolitionist where wanting to make a difference. One of the abolitionist was
John Brown, He had previously had a episode during the “Bleeding Kansas” event
and now he plans to seize a mountain fortress in Virginia. He and a group of
eighteen followers attacked and seized control of a United States arsenal in
Harpers Ferry, Virginia.5 Brown Succeeded at
entering the arsenal but was soon surrounded by militia and he would not
surrender till 10 of his men where killed he then gave in. Brown was tried in a
Virginia court for treason and sentenced to death. He and his men where hung.6 Southerners where then
convinced that they could no longer live safely in the union. The south now
believed that the north where now sympathizers of john brown and started
blaming the republican party which was Abraham Lincoln so now they thought Lincoln
supported this act. This may have been a down fall for Lincoln because the
election was right around the corner and nobody from the south will support him.
Abraham Lincoln then won the presidency by 180 electoral college votes all from
the north and none from the south. Lincoln chose to fight than to let his southern
stated secede because he believed his duty was to preserve the Unions. His
first inaugural address was to appeal the 7 rebellious states that had already seceded
and to make them rejoin the nation. After this appeal time passed and battle of
fort sumpter began. Lincoln may have been the main reason the civil war started
but all he wanted to do was keep the Union in tact and be united. The south
took this the wrong way and started rebelling against the north.
Over all The civil war was fought because of
slavery through out all of these events the main conflict was about slavery. Uncle
toms cabin was a novel that helped the north realize slavery was bad in the south.
Bleeding Kansas was a debate whether Kansas will be a slave state or not. Dred
Scott v. Sandford was a slave trying to get his freedom through courts. John
Browns raid was a abolitionist trying to get weapons to help slaves rebel. As you
can tell slavery is the main cause of the Civil war.