The U.S. purchased Louisiana in 1803. Congress
had to decide if states being made from this
territory would be free or slave.
Missouri applied to become a slave state. Maine
wanted to come in as a free state. This would keep
the balance between slave and free in Congress.
To avoid future arguments, Henry Clay wrote a
compromise that said that any territory that became
a state would be slave or free depending on where
it was on the map.
Any territory below the 36x30 line on the map
would be a slave state, any territory above that line
would be a free state.
On the section MISSOURI COMPROMISE Write:
Maine is admitted to the United States as a Free State
Missouri is admitted to the United States as a Slave State
Now 12 free and 12 slave
Compromise draws an invisible line thru the U.S. at the 36x30
line=above the Arkansas territory.
Every new state South of that line would be slave. Every new state
North of that line would be free. Only Missouri would be above the
To make the Southern states happy, Congress added that slaves that
had escaped to the North could be brought back if they were caughteven from non-slave states.
Compromise of 1850
The annexation of Texas and the gaining
of the Mexican Cession land made the U.S.
re-examine the issue of slavery. They had to
decide if new states would be slave or free.
When California asked to become a free
state in 1849 people began arguing. The
36x30 line cut right thru the middle of
Henry Clay came out of
retirement to help write the
Compromise of 1850
When it passed people
believed this would finally solve
the problem of what to do about
On the section COMPROMISE OF 1850 write:
1.California would be admitted as a free state.
2.All other territories could decide when they applied for
statehood if they wanted to be slave or free=Popular
3.The slave trade would be outlawed in D.C.
4.This compromise included the Fugitive Slave Act=it
was now a CRIME to help runaway slaves even in the
North. This made many people in the North very angry.
5.Texas agreed to give up its claims to New Mexico for $10
million. This let Texas pay off her debt and gave us our
present day borders.
Kansas-Nebraska Act 1854
By the 1850s the area above Texas was ready to be
recognized as a territory in preparation to becoming a state.
It was North of the 36x30 line. The Compromise of 1850 had
stated that these territories could decide for themselves if they
were going to be free or slave.
In 1854 Congress passed a bill creating 2 territories=Kansas
and Nebraska. It was hoped by many that one would be free
and one would be slave. However, the decision was left up to
the people in those territories=Popular Sovereignty.
People from surrounding states flooded into these territories
to swing the vote the way they wanted it to go. Many people
were killed over the issue.
On the section KANSAS-NEBRASKA ACT write:
1.Nebraska was divided in half so there are 2 territories.
Kansas and Nebraska.
2.Slavery in each territory would be decided by the
1. Bleeding Kansas-lots of violence
2. The Democratic Party lost support in the North
but gained it in the South. Democrats were proslavery.
3. The Republican Party is created and it gained
power among those against slavery.
Dred Scott Decision 1857
Dred Scott was an African American slave who
belonged to an Army officer.
He traveled with his owner and lived in 2 free states for
At one point he even traveled alone through free
territories to join his master in the South.
He never sued for his freedom while his master was
alive. However, shortly after the Army officer died, his
widow hired Scott out to someone else. At this point,
Scott tried to buy his freedom. He was denied.
Abolitionist lawyers took his case and helped
him sue for his freedom on the grounds that he
had lived in 2 free states and should have been
given his freedom.
His case was in the courts for 10 years. Some
found in his favor, others found against him.
He decided to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court
Of the 9 Supreme Court justices 7 had been
appointed by pro-slavery, Southern presidents
and 5 were from slave holding families.
The Supreme Court ruled that because Scott was black
he was not a citizen of the United States and therefore he
had no right to sue.
The justices also declared that the Missouri
Compromise and its attempt to restrict slavery in
territories North of the 36x30 line was unconstitutional.
Northerners were furious and this decision had a huge
impact on the 1860 election of the Republican
The sons of the man who had owned Dred Scott had
paid his legal fees for years trying to help him win his
freedom. After the Supreme Court decision, they bought
Scott and his wife from the widow and set him free. Scott
died 9 months later a free man.
On the section DRED SCOTT DECISION write:
1.The Supreme Court of 1857 ruled that people of
African ancestry were not citizens and could not
sue in Federal Court for freedom or anything else.
2.They also ruled that the Missouri Compromise
was not legal. They stated the government can
not tell states they have to be slave or free.
1. Angry anti-slavery voters voted for
Abraham Lincoln for president in 1860.
Write in the section Presidential Election of
Lincoln won the Presidency.
Republicans promised to:
End the spread of slavery
Impose tariffs to protect US
Give free land in the West
In the South:
There were no votes for Lincoln-they feared he would end slavery
Southern states started seceding-leaving the United States
In Texas, Sam Houston and other Unionists urged Texans not to
secede Unionist=Southerner who wanted to stay with the Union
February 23, 1861-Texas secedes from the Union. They join other
states to form the Confederate States of America=Confederacy
Sam Houston is removed from the office of governor after he refuses
to take the Oath of the Confederacy=promise to support and defend
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