Informal network of secret routes and safe houses used by 19th century Black slaves in the United States to escape to free states and Canada with the aid of abolitionists who were sympathetic to their cause
1) Demonstrated to northerners, white northerners, who were not committed to the end of slavery, how horrendous an institution slavery was. 2) The underground railroad demonstrated to northerners their own complicity (participation) in the institution of slavery. 3) The Underground Railroad demonstrated to southerners, to slave holders, the extent to which slaves opposed slavery. UNDERGROUND RAILROAD VIDEO – 9 MINS. Harriet Tubman - After escaping from slavery, into which she was born, she made thirteen missions to rescue over seventy slaves. Said she "never lost a passenger”
The United States had recently acquired a vast territory -- the result of its war with Mexico. Should the territory allow slavery, or should it be declared free? Or maybe the inhabitants should be allowed to choose for themselves?
STATES / TERRITORIES SLAVERY FREE New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, and Utah Organized without mention of slavery. Washington D.C. Slave Trade would be abolished in the District of Columbia, although slavery would still be permitted. California To pacify slave-state politicians, who would have objected to the imbalance created by adding another free state, the Fugitive Slave Act was passed.
Pro-slavery Americans were angered by the shift in balance towards free states with California becoming a free state.
Fugitive Slave Act was strengthened to prevent further turmoil (1793)
Mandated that all escaped slaves must be returned to their masters, and - more crucially for the impending war - that ordinary citizens were required to aid slave catchers.
Compromise of 1850 & Fugitive Slave Law 1850 Video | 8:30 minutes
The result of the Fugitive Slave Act was that federal marshal or other official who did not arrest an alleged runaway slave was liable to a fine of $1,000. Law-enforcement officials everywhere in the United States had a duty to arrest anyone suspected of being a fugitive slave on no more evidence than a claimant's sworn testimony of ownership.
The suspected slave could not ask for a jury trial or testify on his or her own behalf.
In addition, any person aiding a runaway slave by providing food or shelter was to be subject to six months' imprisonment and a $1,000 fine
FUGITIVE SLAVE ACT “WARNING POSTER” April 24, 1851
Why did the Dred Scott decision discourage future compromises in Congress?
The Supreme Court ruled that Congress could not prohibit slavery in the territories, so members of Congress could no longer set aside land as free territory as part of a compromise. Dred Scott Decision of 1857 Effects of Scott v. Sanford Slaves, because they were not citizens, were denied the right to sue in court. Enslaved people could not win freedom simply be living in a free territory or state. The Missouri Compromise was ruled unconstitutional and all territories were opened to slavery.
... Buchanan [new president] thinks the decision handed down from the Supreme Court will settle the slavery issue... [3:43]...that position, of the southern Democrats, eventually is the rock on which the Democratic party splits apart in 1860 -- the southern demand for a slave code in the territories and the northern democrats refusal to accept that position... ultimately the Dred Scott decision is one of the key things in disrupting the political system and therefore disrupting the whole union...
Senator Stephen Douglas (Illinois) drafted a bill to organize territorial government for the Nebraska Territory
Proposed that it be divided into two territories – Nebraska and Kansas
The new Republican Party, which was created in opposition to the act, aimed to stop the expansion of slavery, and soon emerged as the dominant force throughout the North.
To get support for bill, he suggested that the decision about whether to allow slavery in each of these territories be settled by popular sovereignty – a system where residents vote to decide an issue
Bill passed and got rid of Missouri Compromise of 1820 and angered opponents of slavery.
Kansas – Nebraska Act An 1854 cartoon depicts a giant free soiler being held down by James Buchanan and Lewis Cass standing on the Democratic platform marked "Kansas", "Cuba" and "Central America". Franklin Pierce also holds down the giant's beard as Stephen A. Douglas shoves a black man down his throat.
Militant-abolitionist and folk-hero. Advocated armed insurrection to end all slavery.
“ The Raid” was an attempt by white abolitionist John Brown to start an armed slave revolt by seizing a United States Arsenal at Harpers Ferry in Virginia in 1859.
Brown's raid was defeated by a detachment of U.S. Marines (88) led by Col. Robert E. Lee.
Brown was executed – at his execution was John Wilkes Booth Strength 88 U.S. Marines Virginia Militia Maryland Militia 16 white men 3 free blacks 1 freed slave 1 fugitive slave Casualties and losses 1 killed 1 wounded 10 killed 7 captured 4 escaped
Douglas and Bell won only the states between Deep South and the North
Because North had more people than South, Lincoln won the election
Turned out to be two different races for presidency.
NORTH SOUTH Abraham Lincoln opposed expansion of slavery into territories. Breckenridge insisted that federal government be required to protect slavery in any new territory. Douglas and Bell Didn’t want new laws on slavery