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Soon after Santa Anna overturned Mexico’s democratic constitution and started a dictatorship. In the year 1853 Douglas suggested forming 2 new territories- the Kansas Territory and the Nebraska Territory. Mexican Cession land & Manifest Destiny achieved- Under the treaty, Mexico recognized the annexation of Texas and gave up a vast territory to the United States. When the Americans were still coming in the Mexican were getting mad so this caused them to start a war. Kansas Nebraska Act- The nation moved closer to war after Congress passed the Kansas-Nebraska Act in the year 1854. South Carolina and six other states secede- South Carolina was the first state to secede from the Union. The compromise also provided that the Louisiana Territory north of the southern border of Missouri would be free of slavery.
Missouri Compromise – In 1812, Senator Henry Clay persuaded Congress to adopt the Missouri Compromise. It permitted Maine to be admitted to the Union as a free state and Missouri to be admitted as a slave state. The compromise also provided that the Louisiana Territory north of the southern border of Missouri would be free of slavery. It gave southern slave owners a clear right to pursue escape fugitives into “free” regions and return them to slavery. The Missouri Compromise revealed how many sectional rivalries divided the states of the Union. The compromise was balancing the interests of the North and South. The southerners were not pleased that Congress had given itself the power to make laws regarding slavery. Many of the northerners were angry that Congress had allowed slavery to expand into another state. When President Thomas Jefferson saw that the issue was raised by the compromise he realized that it could tear the nation apart. As Jefferson was observing the bitterness of feelings about slavery posed a serious threat to national unity. In time the issue of slavery was definitely going to split the nation in two.
Mexico becomes a dictatorship – The American settlers wanted more representation in Mexico legislature. Some of the Tejanos hoped for a democratic government that gave less power to the central government. These hopes were dashed in 1833 when General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna became president of Mexico. Soon after Santa Anna overturned Mexico’s democratic constitution and started a dictatorship. Stephen Austin Urged Texans to revolve against the Mexican government. Texans declared independence from Mexico and created the Republic of Texas in 1836.
Texas has the war of independence – The Spanish governor of Texas gave Moses Austin a land grant to establish a small colony in Texas, in 1820. Thousands of Americans flooded into Texas, they soon came into conflict with the Mexican government. The new settlers were Protestant, not Catholic, also many of the settlers were slaveholders from the American South who wanted to grow cotton in Texas. But Mexico had abolished slavery. For a little while, Mexico was tolerating the violations of their laws. Then, in 1830, Mexico banned further Americans, but Americans still kept coming. Tensions were increasing as Mexico was trying to enforce its laws banning slavery and requiring settlers to worship in the Catholic Church. Mexico also began to levy heavy taxes on American imports. When the Americans were still coming in the Mexican were getting mad so this caused them to start a war.
Texas refused the request to be annexed to the US – Sam Houston became president of the new Republic of Texas. He was hoping the United States would annex Texas. But republic opinion in the United States was divided. Southerners supported annexation of Texas as a slave state. Northerners opposed this, but still hoped for western expansion. Both Presidents Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren refused to support annexation. Both of them feared that adding a slave state might spark a huge political fight that could split the Union.
Oregon boundary agreed on & Texas annex – President John Tyler favored the annexation of Texas but he was not nominated for the second term. Clay hoped to avoid the issue of annexation, but the Democratic candidate James K. Polk called for the annexation of both Texas and Oregon. At the time Oregon was joined by Britain and the United States. Shortly after Polk took office, Tyler asked Congress to annex Texas. Convection of Texan delegates quickly met and voted for annexation. The annexation of Texas had increased the tensions with Mexico.
Polk provoked a war with Mexico – Polk new that Mexican government needed money He offered money to settle the claim for the Rio Grande border. He also offered to purchase California and the rest of New Mexico. Mexico was outraged and refused the offers. They did not want to give up more land to the United States. Polk then changed his tactics. He was Hoping to provoke a Mexican attack on U.S. troops, he sent General Zachary Taylor south to the disputed land south to the Nueces. The Mexican was seeing this as an act of war. Ater Mexican troops ambushed American patrol on the disputed land, Polk asked Congress for a declaration of war. Many northerners argued that Polk had provoked the war.
Mexican Cession land & Manifest Destiny achieved – Under the treaty, Mexico recognized the annexation of Texas and gave up a vast territory to the United States. This territory was known as the Mexican Cession., which included present-day California, Nevada, Utah, parts of Wyoming, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico. In return, the United States paid $18 million to Mexico. In the Gadsden Purchase, the United States paid Mexico 10 million dollars for a narrow strip of present-day Arizona and New Mexico. Manifest Destiny was achieved.
Compromise 1850 – In September 1850 Congress finally passed five bills based on Clay’s proposal. This series of law became known as the Compromise of 1850. President Zachary Taylor had opposed the Compromise. Then Taylor died in 1850. The new president Millard Fillmore supported the Compromise and signed into the law. The Compromise of 1850 was designed to end the crisis by giving both supporters and opponents of slavery part of what they wanted. To add to the Compromise they banned the slave trade in the nation’s capital. Popular sovereignty would be used to decide the question of slavery in the rest of Mexican Cession but under the terms of the Compromise. The Fugitive Slave Act was the most controversial part of the Compromise of 1850. Many of the northerners swore that they would hate the new law. Northerners were outraged to see people being accused of being fugitive slaves deprived of their freedom. An Indiana man was torn from his wife and kids and given to an owner who claimed the man escaped 19 years ago and a wealthy African American was carried back to South Carolina after living in New York for years.
Kansas Nebraska Act – The nation moved closer to war after Congress passed the Kansas-Nebraska Act in the year 1854. The act was pushed through by Senator Stephen Douglas. He wanted to see a railroad built from Illinois through the Nebraska Territory to the Pacific Coast. In the year 1853 Douglas suggested forming 2 new territories- the Kansas Territory and the Nebraska Territory. Southerners objected right away. Both of the territories were in an area closed to slavery by the Missouri Compromise. That meant that the states created from these territories would enter the Union as a free state. To have the southerners to support, Douglas proposed that slavery in the new territories be decided by popular sovereignty. The Kansas-Nebraska Act undid the Missouri Compromise. Just as Douglas hoped the southerners supported the Kansas-Nebraska Act. They were sure that Missouri would go across the border into Kansas. In time, they hoped that Kansas would enter the Union as a slave state. The northerners were outraged by the Kansas-Nebraska act. They believed that Douglas betrayed them by reopening the issue in the territories. After months of debates, the southern support the Kansas- Nebraska Act to pass in both houses of Congress. Douglas had predicted that as a result of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, the slavery question would be forever banished from the halls of Congress.
Bleeding Kansas – The Kansas-Nebraska Act left it to the whites to figure out if Kansas was going to be a free territory or a slave territory. Both proslavery and antislavery flooded into Kansas within weeks after Douglas’s bill became law. Each side was supposed to make a firm decision when it came to election day. Thousands of Missourians entered Kansas to illegally vote in the election to select a territorial legislature. Even though Kansas only had 3,000 voters, 8,000 votes were cast on election day. The antislavery settlers refused to accept these results and held a second election. Kansas now had 2 governments, each claiming the right to impose their government on the territory. A pro-slavery sheriff was shot when he tried to arrest some antislavery settlers in the town of Lawrence. John Brown, an antislavery settler from Connecticut led 7 men to a pro-slavery settlement near Pottawatomie Creek. When they were there they murdered 5 pro-slavery men and boys. These actions set off widespread fighting in Kansas. The violence was so bad that it earned Kansas the name Bleeding Kansas. The violence in Kansas spilled over into the United States Senate.
Dred Scott – Dred Scott was an enslaved person who had once been owned by a U.S. Army doctor. The doctor and Scott lived in Illinois and in the Wisconsin Territory. Slavery was illegal at the time. After leaving the army the doctor settled with Scott in Missouri. With the help of the antislavery lawyers, Scott sued for his freedom. Scott was not a free man, he said for reasons. According to Taney, Scott had no right to sue in federal court because African Americans were not citizens. Then Taney Said, merely living in free territory did not make an enslaved person free. Taney declared that slaves were property and property rights were protected by the U.S. Constitution. Taney wrote that Congress did not have the power to prohibit slavery in any territory. Supporters of slavery rejoiced at the Dred Scott decision. The decisions meant that slavery was legal in all territories. One northerner who spoke against the Dred Scott decision was an Illinois lawyer named Abraham Lincoln.
John Brown’s raid – The nation’s attention soon was captured by the actions of John Brown. After being driven out of Kansas after the Pottawatomie Massacre, Brown had returned to New England. In 1859 he and a few supporters attacked the town of Harpers Ferry in Virginia, his goal was to seize guns the U.S. Army had stored there. He thought that enslaved African Americans would support him. He would give them weapons and lead them in a revolt. Brown quickly gained control of the arms. Troops commanded by Colonel Robert E. Lee surrounded Brown’s force before it could escape. 10 of Brown’s men were killed and Brown was wounded and captured. At his trial, he sat quietly as the court found him guilty of murder and treason. Before hearing his sentence he gave a moving defense of his actions. The Bible, he said, instructed him to care for the poor and enslaved. He showed no emotion as he was sentenced to death. When the state of Virginia hanged Brown for treason on December 2, 1859, church bells across the North tolled to mourn the man who many considered a hero. Southerners were shocked people in the north were praising a man who had tried to lead a slave revolt. And more than ever many of the southerners were very convinced that the north was out to destroy their way of life.
Lincoln’s election 1860 – The Republicans chose Abraham Lincoln to be their presidential candidate. His criticism of slavery during the debates with Douglas mane him popular in the North. Northern Democrats chose Stephen Douglas as their candidate. Southern Democrats picked Vice President John Breckining of Kentucky. Some of the southerners hoped to heal the split between the North and South. Stephen Douglas was positive that Lincoln was going to win the election. The election showed how fragmented the nation became. Lincoln won in every state and Breckinridge in all the slaveholding states except for 4. Bell won Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia- all in the upper South. Douglas only carried Missouri. Although Lincoln got only 40%of the popular votes, he received enough electoral votes to win the election.
South Carolina and six other states secede- South Carolina was the first state to secede from the Union. When news of Lincoln’s election reached the state, the legislature called for a special convention. On December 20, 1860, the convention passed a declaration that “the union now substituting between South Carolina and the other state, under the name of the ‘United States Of America’ is hereby dissolved.” With the hope of accommodation all but gone, 6 more states joined South Carolina out of the Union. Not all southerners favored secession. Senator Andrew Johnson and Governor Sam Houston were among those who opposed it. In early February, leaders from the 7 seceding states met in Montgomery, Alabama, to form a new nation that they called the Confederate States of America. By the time Lincoln took office in March, they wrote a constitution and named former Mississippi Senator Jefferson Davis as their president.
Fort Sumter – Lincoln’s most urgent problem was Fort Sumter, located on an Island in the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina. The fort commander would not surrender it. The authorities of South Carolina decided to starve the fort’s 100 troops into surrender. They were cut off from supplies since late December and couldn’t hold out much longer. Lincoln didn’t want to give up the fort. Lincoln feared that sending troops might cause other states to secede. He announced that he would send food to the fort, but that the supply ships would carry no troops or guns. Confederate leaders decided to capture the fort while it was isolated. On April 12 Confederate artillery opened fire on the fort. After 34 hours the troops finally surrendered but because the fort was on fire.The Kansas-Nebraska Act left it to the whites to figure out if Kansas was going to be a free territory or a slave territory. In the year 1853 Douglas suggested forming 2 new territories- the Kansas Territory and the Nebraska Territory. Mexican Cession land & Manifest Destiny achieved- Under the treaty, Mexico recognized the annexation of Texas and gave up a vast territory to the United States. South Carolina and six other states secede- South Carolina was the first state to secede from the Union. The compromise also provided that the Louisiana Territory north of the southern.
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