PART 2 CALIFORNIA AND THE CIVIL WARPatricia FonsecaApril 7, 2012History 141 31136History of the Americas Since 1800Professor Arguello
PART 2CALIFORNIA AND THE CIVIL WAR• Slavery was an issue that needed to be addressed once Texas and the American Southwest was consumed by the United States.• Pennsylvania’s Congressman David Wilmot submitted his “Proviso” which stated that slavery and any involuntary servitude would never be allowed in any of this region. It was virtually supported by all representatives of both parties at this level in the South. Southern senators in the 15 slave states and the 15 free states blocked the Proviso.• In the 1850’s, Utah and New Mexico (encompassing what would eventually be Nevada and Arizona) legalized slavery.• Many settlers, representatives, and senators supported slavery in California.
PART 2 CALIFORNIA AND THE CIVIL WAR• When President Polk announced “extraordinary” amount of gold was discovered in California, a flood of immigrants from Chile, China, Mexico, Australia, France and other countries traveled to California.• With a lack of official government in California, the miners proposed a state constitutions declaring California as a free state due to the fact that the miners did not want to compete with slave labor.• The Democratic Party in California was dominated by a group of Southern-born politicians known as the “chivalry.” William Gwin belonged to the group and served as senator for over a decade. He voted in favor of every measure of slavery. The group’s main focus was to infiltrate slavery into California.
PART 2CALIFORNIA AND THE CIVIL WAR• It was proposed to split California into two regions. Northern California would remain free, including San Francisco and the gold-mining region, while Southern California could own slaves. The hope was to have slaves work cotton, sugar, and rice fields in Southern California. This bill did not make it past the House in Congress due to the fact that the Republicans were now the largest party.• The Polk administration was looking to add Cuba to the United States, with their 400,000 slaves.• After Spain refused to sell Cuba, the Amerians tried to invade twice.• During the first attempt, the soldiers were driven back to their ships. During the second invasion, 200 were killed while the rest were captured.
PART 2CALIFORNIA AND THE CIVIL WAR• 51 of the prisoners of the second invasion faced a firing squad. Filibuster attempts were made throughout the 1850’s. Actual invasions failed, however, the balance of power tipped in favor of the North, which in turn favored those who clamored for disunion.• California played a pivotal role that led to the Civil War. The duel between David Terry and David Broderick which empowered the Republican Party was a large contributing factor.• In 1889, David Terry had a dispute with Stephen J. Field, senior justice of the United States Supreme Court. Field jailed Terry and his wife for contempt and Terry swore revenge on Field. Field’s hired bodyguard killed Terry when Terry slapped Field in a railroad station. The shot that killed Terry is credited as being the last shot of the Civil War.