Rules vs. Laws Rule: something that says how to act or behave Laws: a group of rules that are controlled by authority (government) Can you break a rule? Can you break the law? What is the difference?
Legal vs. Illegal Legal and illegal are 2 words used when talking about laws. Legal: the law says it is okay Illegal: the laws says it is not okay What happens if you do something illegal?
In the beginning… 1619: The first slaves arrived in Virginia from Africa. 168 YEARS later in 1787, slavery was made illegal in the Northwest Territory. This territory made up only 5 states: Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio.
Federal Fugitive Slave Law 1793: fugitive slave laws are passed. If slaves escape, they are returned back to their slave owners even if they had crossed into a different (or free) state.
A poster warning “colored” people in Boston, Massachusetts. The poster tells them to be careful because there are “kidnappers” and “slave catchers” collecting them for money.
Posters for Runaway Slaves
In 1808, Congress bans slaves coming in (imported) from Africa. In 1820, the Missouri Compromise is passed. This law made slavery illegal north of the southern boundary of Missouri.
Famous African-Americans In 1822, a man named Denmark Vesey planned a slave revolt. Vesey was a carpenter who had bought his freedom. He planned for a group of slaves to fight and escape from Charleston, South Carolina. His plan was discovered and he was hanged along with 34 other slaves.
Nat Turner was an African-American slave and preacher. In 1831, he leads the most important fight for slaves in Virginia. The U.S. military quiets the fight and Nat Turner is hanged. Also, Virginia has much stronger laws for slaves.
More laws on slavery… The Compromise of 1850: California becomes a free state and the slave trade is made illegal in Washington D.C. The Dred Scott Case in 1857 says that Congress cannot ban slavery in states and that slaves are not citizens.
In 1861, the Confederacy starts and separates from the rest of the United States. The Civil War also begins. In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln gives the Emancipation Proclamation that all slaves are freed in Confederate states.
In 1865, the Civil War ends. President Lincoln is assassinated. The 13th Amendment abolishes slavery in the U.S. On June 19th1865, slavery officially ends as 250,000 slaves in Texas get the news about the 13th Amendment.