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18 Cards in this Set

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Preston Brooks
a Democratic Congressman from South Carolina, known for severely beating Senator Charles Sumner on the floor of the United States Senate with a cane in response to a speech Sumner had given that humiliated Brooks' relative, South Carolina Senator Andrew Butler with sexual innuendo. Brooks was cheered across the South, but the episode was used by Northerners to depict the Southerners as violent fanatics, thus pushing the nation a step closer to Civil War.
Squatter Sovereignty
Popular sovereignty or the sovereignty of the people is the belief that the legitimacy of the state is created by the will or consent of its people, who are the source of all political power. It is closely associated to the social contract philosophers, among whom are Thomas Hobbes, John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Popular sovereignty expresses a concept and does not necessarily reflect or describe a political reality.[1] It is often contrasted with the concept of parliamentary sovereignty, and with individual sovereignty.
Benjamin Franklin expressed the concept when he wrote, "In free governments, the rulers are the servants and the people their superiors and sovereigns."[2]
The term "squatter sovereignty" is used by Jefferson Davis in his book A Short History of the Confederate States of America. This probably derogatory term referred to the influx of new citizens in order to manipulate the ultimate sovereign votes.
Popular sovereignty also can be described as the voice of the people.
Fugitive Slave Law
The fugitive slave laws were laws passed by the United States Congress in 1793 and 1850 to provide for the return of slaves who escaped from one state into another state or territory.he demand from the South for more effective Federal legislation was voiced in the second fugitive slave law, drafted by Senator James Murray Mason of Virginia, grandson of George Mason, and enacted on September 18, 1850, as a part of the Compromise of 1850. Special commissioners were to have concurrent jurisdiction with the U.S. circuit and district courts and the inferior courts of territories in enforcing the law; fugitives could not testify in their own behalf; no trial by jury was provided.
Penalties were imposed upon marshals who refused to enforce the law or from whom a fugitive should escape, and upon individuals who aided black people to escape; the marshal might raise a posse comitatus; a fee of $10 ($263 as of 2011),[13] was paid to the commissioner when his decision favored the claimant, only $5 ($132 as of 2011),[13] when it favored the fugitive. The supposed justification for the disparity in compensation was that, if the decision were in favor of the claimant, additional effort on the part of the commissioner would be required in order to fill out the paperwork actually remanding the slave back to the South.[14] Both the fact of the escape and the identity of the fugitive were determined on purely ex parte testimony. If a slave was brought in and returned to the master, the person who brought in the slave would receive the sum of $10 ($263 as of 2011),[13] per slave.
The severity of this measure led to gross abuses and defeated its purpose; the number of abolitionists increased, the operations of the Underground Railroad became more efficient, and new personal liberty laws were enacted in Vermont (1850), Connecticut (1854), Rhode Island (1854), Massachusetts (1855), Michigan (1855), Maine (1855 and 1857), Kansas (1858) and Wisconsin (1858). The personal liberty laws forbade justices and judges to take cognizance of claims, extended the Habeas corpus act and the privilege of jury trial to fugitives, and punished false testimony severely. In 1854, the Supreme Court of Wisconsin went so far as to declare the Fugitive Slave Law unconstitutional.[15]
These state laws were one of the grievances that South Carolina would later use to justify its secession from the Union. Attempts to carry into effect the law of 1850 aroused much bitterness. The arrests of Sims and of Shadrach in Boston in 1851; of Jerry M. Henry, in Syracuse, New York, in the same year; of Anthony Burns in 1854, in Boston; and of the two Garner families in 1856, in Cincinnati, with other cases arising under the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850, probably had as much to do with bringing on the Civil War as did the controversy over slavery in the Territories.
Franklin Pierce
the 14th President of the United States (1853-1857) and is the only President from New Hampshire. Pierce was a Democrat and a "doughface" (a Northerner with Southern sympathies) who served in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate. Later, Pierce took part in the Mexican-American War and became a brigadier general. His private law practice in his home state, New Hampshire, was so successful that he was offered several important positions, which he turned down. Later, he was nominated as the party's candidate for president on the 49th ballot at the 1852 Democratic National Convention.[1] In the presidential election, Pierce and his running mate William R. King won by a landslide in the Electoral College. They defeated the Whig Party ticket of Winfield Scott and William A. Graham by a 50% to 44% margin in the popular vote and 254 to 42 in the electoral vote.
His amiable personality and handsome appearance caused him to make many friends, but he suffered tragedy in his personal life. As president, he made many divisive decisions which were widely criticized and earned him a reputation as one of the worst presidents in U.S. history. Pierce's popularity in the North declined sharply after he came out in favor of the Kansas–Nebraska Act, repealing the Missouri Compromise and renewed the debate over expanding slavery in the West. Pierce's credibility was further damaged when several of his diplomats issued the Ostend Manifesto. Historian David Potter concludes that the Ostend Manifesto and the Kansas-Nebraska Act were "the two great calamities of the Franklin Pierce administration.... Both brought down an avalanche of public criticism." More importantly, says Potter, they permanently discredited Manifest Destiny and "popular sovereignty" as political doctrines.
Abandoned by his party, Pierce was not renominated to run in the 1856 presidential election and was replaced by James Buchanan as the Democratic candidate. After losing the Democratic nomination, Pierce continued his lifelong struggle with alcoholism as his marriage to Jane Means Appleton Pierce fell apart. His reputation was destroyed during the American Civil War when he declared support for the Confederacy, and personal correspondence between Pierce and Confederate President Jefferson Davis was leaked to the press. He died in 1869 from cirrhosis.
Philip B. Kunhardt and Peter W. Kunhardt reflected the views of many historians when they wrote in The American President that Pierce was "a good man who didn't understand his own shortcomings. He was genuinely religious, loved his wife and reshaped himself so that he could adapt to her ways and show her true affection. He was one of the most popular men in New Hampshire, polite and thoughtful, easy and good at the political game, charming and fine and handsome. However, he has been criticized as timid and unable to cope with a changing America."
Kansas-Nebraska Act
The Kansas–Nebraska Act of 1854 (10 Stat. 277) created the territories of Kansas and Nebraska, opened new lands that would help the settlers settle in them, repealed the Missouri Compromise of 1820, and allowed settlers in those territories to determine if they would allow slavery within their boundaries and to settle there. The initial purpose of the Kansas–Nebraska Act was to create opportunities for a Mideastern Transcontinental Railroad. It became problematic when popular sovereignty was written into the proposal. The act was designed by Democratic Senator Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois.
The act established that settlers could vote to decide whether to allow slavery, in the name of popular sovereignty or rule of the people. Douglas hoped that would ease relations between the North and the South, because the South could expand slavery to new territories but the North still had the right to abolish slavery in its states. Instead, opponents denounced the law as a concession to the slave power of the South. 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.
Know-Nothings
he Know Nothing movement was a nativist American political movement of the 1840s and 1850s. It was empowered by popular fears that the country was being overwhelmed by German and Irish Catholic immigrants, who were often regarded as hostile to Anglo-Saxon Protestant values and controlled by the Pope in Rome. Mainly active from 1854 to 1856, it strove to curb immigration and naturalization, though its efforts met with little success. Membership was limited to Protestant males of British lineage over the age of twenty-one. There were few prominent leaders, and the largely middle-class and entirely Protestant membership fragmented over the issue of slavery.
The movement originated in New York in 1843 as the American Republican Party. It spread to other states as the Native American Party and became a national party in 1845. In 1855 it renamed itself the American Party.[1] The origin of the "Know Nothing" term was in the semi-secret organization of the party. When a member was asked about its activities, he was supposed to reply, "I know nothing."
John Brown
a revolutionary abolitionist in the United States, who advocated and practiced armed insurrection as a means to abolish slavery for good. He led the Pottawatomie Massacre during which five men were killed in 1856 in Bleeding Kansas and made his name in the unsuccessful raid at Harpers Ferry in 1859. He was tried and executed for treason against the state of Virginia, murder, and conspiracy later that year. Brown has been called "the most controversial of all 19th-century Americans."[1]
Brown's attempt in 1859 to start a liberation movement among enslaved African Americans in Harpers Ferry, Virginia (now West Virginia) electrified the nation. He was tried for treason against the state of Virginia, the murder of five pro-slavery Southerners, and inciting a slave insurrection and was subsequently hanged. Southerners alleged that his rebellion was the tip of the abolitionist iceberg and represented the wishes of the Republican Party. Historians agree that the Harpers Ferry raid in 1859 escalated tensions that, a year later, led to secession and the American Civil War.
Brown first gained attention when he led small groups of volunteers during the Bleeding Kansas crisis. Unlike most other Northerners, who advocated peaceful resistance to the pro-slavery faction, Brown demanded violent action in response to Southern aggression. Dissatisfied with the pacifism encouraged by the organized abolitionist movement, he reportedly said "These men are all talk. What we need is action—action!" [2] During the Kansas campaign he and his supporters killed five pro-slavery southerners in what became known as the Pottawatomie Massacre in May 1856 in response to the raid of the "free soil" city of Lawrence. In 1859 he led a raid on the federal armory at Harpers Ferry, Virginia (in modern-day West Virginia). During the raid, he seized the armory; seven people were killed, and ten or more were injured. He intended to arm slaves with weapons from the arsenal, but the attack failed. Within 36 hours, Brown's men had fled or been killed or captured by local farmers, militiamen, and U.S. Marines led by Robert E. Lee. Brown's subsequent capture by federal forces seized the nation's attention, as Southerners feared it was just the first of many Northern plots to cause a slave rebellion that would kill millions, while Republicans ridiculed the notion and said they would not interfere with slavery in the South.[3]
Historians agree John Brown played a major role in the start of the Civil War. David Potter (1976) said the emotional effect of Brown's raid was greater than the philosophical effect of the Lincoln-Douglas debates, and that his raid revealed a deep division between North and South.[4] Brown's actions prior to the Civil War as an abolitionist, and the tactics he chose, still make him a controversial figure today. He is sometimes memorialized as a heroic martyr and a visionary and sometimes vilified as a madman and a terrorist. Some writers, such as Bruce Olds, describe him as a monomaniacal zealot, others, such as Stephen B. Oates, regard him as "one of the most perceptive human beings of his generation." David S. Reynolds hails the man who "killed slavery, sparked the civil war, and seeded civil rights" and Richard Owen Boyer emphasizes that Brown was "an American who gave his life that millions of other Americans might be free." For Ken Chowder he is "at certain times, a great man", but also "the father of American terrorism."[5] The song "John Brown's Body" became a Union marching song during the Civil War.
James Buchanan
the 15th President of the United States (1857–1861). He is the only president from Pennsylvania, the only president who remained a life-long bachelor, and the last one born in the 18th century.
Buchanan (often called Buck-anan by his contemporaries) was a popular and experienced state politician and a successful attorney before his presidency.[1] He represented Pennsylvania in the U.S. House of Representatives and later the Senate, and served as Minister to Russia under President Andrew Jackson. He also was Secretary of State under President James K. Polk. After turning down an offer for an appointment to the Supreme Court, President Franklin Pierce appointed him Minister to the United Kingdom, in which capacity he helped draft the controversial Ostend Manifesto.
After unsuccessfully seeking the Democratic presidential nomination in 1844, 1848, and 1852, "Old Buck" was nominated in the 1856 election. Throughout most of Franklin Pierce's term he was stationed in London as a Minister to the Court of St. James's and therefore was not caught up in the crossfire of sectional politics that dominated the country. Buchanan was viewed by many as a compromise between the two sides of the slavery question. His subsequent election victory took place in a three-man race with John C. Frémont and Millard Fillmore. As President, he was often called a "doughface", a Northerner with Southern sympathies, who battled with Stephen A. Douglas for the control of the Democratic Party. Buchanan's efforts to maintain peace between the North and the South alienated both sides, and the Southern states declared their secession in the prologue to the American Civil War. Buchanan's view of record was that secession was illegal, but that going to war to stop it was also illegal. Buchanan, first and foremost an attorney, was noted for his mantra, "I acknowledge no master but the law."[2]
When he left office, popular opinion had turned against him, and the Democratic Party had split in two. Buchanan had once aspired to a presidency that would rank in history with that of George Washington.[3] However, his inability to impose peace on sharply divided partisans on the brink of the Civil War has led to his consistent ranking by historians as one of the worst Presidents. Buchanan biographer Philip Klein puts these rankings into context: "Buchanan assumed leadership...when an unprecedented wave of angry passion was sweeping over the nation. That he held the hostile sections in check during these revolutionary times was in itself a remarkable achievement. His weaknesses in the stormy years of his presidency were magnified by enraged partisans of the North and South. His many talents, which in a quieter era might have gained for him a place among the great presidents, were quickly overshadowed by the cataclysmic events of civil war and by the towering Abraham Lincoln."
Dred Scott vs. Sanford
a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that people of African descent imported into the United States and held as slaves (or their descendants,[2] whether or not they were slaves) were not protected by the Constitution and could never be U.S. citizens.[3] The court also held that the U.S. Congress had no authority to prohibit slavery in federal territories and that, because slaves were not citizens, they could not sue in court. Furthermore, the Court ruled that slaves, as chattels or private property, could not be taken away from their owners without due process. The Supreme Court's decision was written by Chief Justice Roger B. Taney. The main effects of the decision in history were the rise of the Republican Party over the Whig Party,[citation needed] the subject of the Lincoln–Douglas debates, the Presidency of Abraham Lincoln,[citation needed] and the American Civil War.[citation needed]
Although the Supreme Court has never overruled the Dred Scott case, the Court stated in the Slaughter-House Cases of 1873 that at least one part of it had already been overruled by the Fourteenth Amendment in 1868:[4]
The first observation we have to make on this clause is, that it puts at rest both the questions which we stated to have been the subject of differences of opinion. It declares that persons may be citizens of the United States without regard to their citizenship of a particular State, and it overturns the Dred Scott decision by making all persons born within the United States and subject to its jurisdiction citizens of the United States.[5][6]
Abe Lincoln
the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination. As president, he led the country through a great constitutional, military and moral crisis—the American Civil War—preserving the Union while ending slavery and promoting economic modernization. Reared in a poor family on the western frontier, Lincoln was mostly self-educated. He became a country lawyer, an Illinois state legislator, and a one-term member of the United States House of Representatives but failed in two attempts at a seat in the United States Senate. He was an affectionate, though often absent, husband and father of four children.
After deftly opposing the expansion of slavery in the United States in his campaign debates and speeches,[2] Lincoln secured the Republican nomination and was elected president in 1860. Following declarations of secession by southern slave states, war began in April 1861, and he concentrated on both the military and political dimensions of the war effort, seeking to reunify the nation. He vigorously exercised unprecedented war powers, including the arrest and detention without trial of thousands of suspected secessionists. He prevented British recognition of the Confederacy by skillfully handling the Trent affair late in 1861. He issued his Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 and promoted the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, abolishing slavery.
Lincoln closely supervised the war effort, especially the selection of top generals, including the commanding general and future president, Ulysses S. Grant. He brought leaders of various factions of his party into his cabinet and pressured them to cooperate. Under his leadership, the Union took control of the border slave states at the start of the war and tried repeatedly to capture the Confederate capital at Richmond. Each time a general failed, Lincoln substituted another until finally Grant succeeded in 1865. A shrewd politician deeply involved with power issues in each state, he reached out to War Democrats and managed his own re-election in the 1864 presidential election.
As the leader of the moderate faction of the Republican party, Lincoln came under attack from all sides. Radical Republicans wanted harsher treatment of the South, Democrats desired more compromise, and secessionists saw him as their enemy.[3] Lincoln fought back with patronage, by pitting his opponents against each other, and by appealing to the American people with his powers of oratory;[4] for example, his Gettysburg Address of 1863 became one of the most quoted speeches in American history. It was an iconic statement of America's dedication to the principles of nationalism, equal rights, liberty, and democracy. At the close of the war, Lincoln held a moderate view of Reconstruction, seeking to speedily reunite the nation through a policy of generous reconciliation in the face of lingering and bitter divisiveness. Lincoln was shot and killed just six days after the surrender of Confederate commanding general Robert E. Lee, marking the first assassination of a U.S. president. Lincoln has frequently been ranked by a majority of scholars as the greatest U.S. president.
John Breckinridge
an American lawyer and politician. He served as a U.S. Representative and U.S. Senator from Kentucky and was the 14th Vice President of the United States (1857-1861), to date the youngest vice president in U.S. history, inaugurated at age 36.
In the 1860 presidential election, he ran as one of two candidates of the fractured Democratic Party, representing Southern Democrats. Breckinridge came in third place in the popular vote, behind winner Abraham Lincoln, a Republican, and Stephen Douglas, a Northern Democrat, but finished second in the Electoral College vote.
Following the outbreak of the American Civil War, he served in the Confederate States Army as a general and commander of Confederate forces prior to the 1863 Siege of Port Hudson, Louisiana, and of the young Virginia Military Institute cadets, at the 1864 Battle of New Market in Lexington, Virginia. He also served as the fifth and final Confederate Secretary of War.
A member of the prominent Breckinridge family of Kentucky, John C. Breckinridge was the grandson of John Breckinridge (1760–1806), who served as a Senator and Attorney General. He was also the father of congressman and diplomat Clifton Rodes Breckinridge and the great-grandfather of actor John Cabell "Bunny" Breckinridge.
John C Fremont
an American military officer, explorer, and the first candidate of the anti-slavery Republican Party for the office of President of the United States. During the 1840s, that era's penny press accorded Frémont the sobriquet The Pathfinder. It remains in use, and he is sometimes called The Great Pathfinder.[2][3] He retired from the military and moved to the new territory California, after leading a fourth expedition which cost ten lives seeking a rail route over the mountains around the 38th parallel in the winter of 1849.
He became one of the two U.S. Senators of the new state in 1850, and was soon bogged down with lawsuits over land claims between the dispossessions of various land owners during the Mexican-American War, and the explosion of Forty-Niners emigrating during the California Gold Rush.
During the American Civil War he was given command of the armies in the west but made hasty decisions (such as trying to abolish slavery without consulting Washington), and was consequently relieved of his command (fired, then court martialed - receiving a presidential pardon).
Historians portray Frémont as controversial, impetuous, and contradictory. Some scholars regard him as a military hero of significant accomplishment, while others view him as a failure who repeatedly defeated his own best purposes. The keys to Frémont's character and personality may lie in his illegitimate birth, ambitious drive for success, self-justification, and passive-aggressive behavior.[4][5]
Ostend Manifesto
The Ostend Manifesto was a document written in 1854 that described the rationale for the United States to purchase Cuba from Spain and implied the U.S. should declare war if Spain refused. Cuba's annexation had long been a goal of U.S. expansionists, particularly as the U.S. set its sights southward following the admission of California to the Union. However, diplomatically, the country had been content to see the island remain in Spanish hands so long as it did not pass to a stronger power such as Britain or France. A product of the debates over slavery in the United States, Manifest Destiny, and the Monroe Doctrine, the Ostend Manifesto proposed a shift in foreign policy, justifying the use of force to seize Cuba in the name of national security.
During the administration of U.S. President Franklin Pierce, Southern expansionists called for Cuba's acquisition as a slave state, but the galvanizing effect of the Kansas–Nebraska Act left the administration unsure of how to proceed. At the suggestion of Secretary of State William L. Marcy, Minister to Spain Pierre Soulé met with Minister to Great Britain James Buchanan and Minister to France John Y. Mason at Ostend, Belgium to discuss the matter. The resulting dispatch, drafted at Aix-la-Chapelle and sent in October 1854, outlined the reasons a U.S. purchase of Cuba would be beneficial to all parties involved and declared that the U.S. would be "justified in wresting" the island from Spanish hands if Spain refused to sell. To Marcy's chagrin, the flamboyant Soulé had made no secret of the meetings, causing unwanted publicity in both Europe and the U.S. In the increasingly volatile political climate of 1854, the administration feared the political repercussions of making the dispatch's contents known, but pressure from journalists and politicians alike continued to mount.
Four months after its drafting, the dispatch was published in full at the behest of the House of Representatives. Dubbed the "Ostend Manifesto", it was immediately denounced in both the Northern states and Europe. It became a rallying cry for Northerners in the events that would later be termed Bleeding Kansas, and the political fallout was a significant setback for the Pierce Administration, effectively ending any possibility of Cuba's annexation until after the American Civil War. While the Ostend Manifesto was never acted upon, American interest in the region would next surface in the 1870s, ultimately leading to Cuba's independence.
Uncle Tom’s Cabin
Uncle Tom's Cabin; or, Life Among the Lowly is an anti-slavery novel by American author Harriet Beecher Stowe. Published in 1852, the novel "helped lay the groundwork for the Civil War", according to Will Kaufman.[1]
Stowe, a Connecticut-born teacher at the Hartford Female Academy and an active abolitionist, focused the novel on the character of Uncle Tom, a long-suffering black slave around whom the stories of other characters—both fellow slaves and slave owners—revolve. The sentimental novel depicts the reality of slavery while also asserting that Christian love can overcome something as destructive as enslavement of fellow human beings.[2][3][4]
Uncle Tom's Cabin was the best-selling novel of the 19th century,[5] and the second best-selling book of that century, following the Bible.[6] It is credited with helping fuel the abolitionist cause in the 1850s.[7] In the first year after it was published, 300,000 copies of the book were sold in the United States alone. In 1855, three years after it was published, it was called "the most popular novel of our day."[8] The impact attributed to the book is great, reinforced by a story that when Abraham Lincoln met Stowe at the start of the Civil War, Lincoln declared, "So this is the little lady who started this great war."[9] The quote is apocryphal; it did not appear in print until 1896, and it has been argued that "The long-term durability of Lincoln's greeting as an anecdote in literary studies and Stowe scholarship can perhaps be explained in part by the desire among many contemporary intellectuals ... to affirm the role of literature as an agent of social change."[10]
The book, and even more the plays it inspired, also helped popularize a number of stereotypes about black people,[11] many of which endure to this day. These include the affectionate, dark-skinned "mammy"; the "pickaninny" stereotype of black children; and the Uncle Tom, or dutiful, long-suffering servant faithful to his white master or mistress. In recent years, the negative associations with Uncle Tom's Cabin have, to an extent, overshadowed the historical impact of the book as a "vital antislavery tool."[12]
Compromise of 1850
The Compromise of 1850 was an intricate package of five bills, passed in September 1850, which defused a four-year confrontation between the slave states of the South and the free states of the North regarding the status of territories acquired during the Mexican-American War (1846–1848). The compromise, drafted by Whig Henry Clay and brokered by Democrat Stephen Douglas, avoided secession or civil war at the time and reduced sectional conflict for four years.
The Compromise was greeted with relief, although each side disliked specific provisions. Texas surrendered its claim to New Mexico but received debt relief and the Texas Panhandle, and retained the control over El Paso that it had established earlier in 1850. California was permitted to be admitted to the Union as a free state, instead of being split at the Missouri Compromise Line or parallel 35° north. In addition, the South avoided the[1] Wilmot Proviso. As compensation, the South received the possibility of slave states, an issue to be determined by popular sovereignty in the new New Mexico Territory and Utah Territory (these lands were generally unsuited to plantation agriculture and were populated by non-Southerners); a stronger Fugitive Slave Act, which in practice outraged Northern public opinion; and preservation of slavery in the national capital, although the slave trade was banned there except in the portion of the District of Columbia that rejoined Virginia.
The Compromise became possible after the sudden death of President Zachary Taylor, who, although a slaveowner, had tried to implement the Northern policy of excluding slavery from the Southwest. Whig leader Henry Clay designed a compromise, which failed to pass in early 1850. In the next session of Congress, Democratic Senator Stephen Douglas (Illinois) narrowly passed a slightly modified package over opposition by extremists on both sides, including Senator John C. Calhoun of South Carolina.
Freeport Doctrine
he Freeport Doctrine was articulated by Stephen A. Douglas at the second of the Lincoln-Douglas debates on August 27, 1858, in Freeport, Illinois. Lincoln tried to force Douglas to choose between the principle of popular sovereignty proposed by the Kansas-Nebraska Act and the majority decision of the United States Supreme Court in the case of Dred Scott v. Sandford, which stated that slavery could not legally be excluded from U.S. territories (since Douglas professed great respect for Supreme Court decisions, and accused the Republicans of disrespecting the court, yet this aspect of the Dred Scott decision was contrary to Douglas' views and politically unpopular in Illinois). Instead of making a direct choice, Douglas' response stated that despite the court's ruling, slavery could be prevented from any territory by the refusal of the people living in that territory to pass laws favorable to slavery. Likewise, if the people of the territory supported slavery, legislation would provide for its continued existence.
Douglas's actual words were:
The next question propounded to me by Mr. Lincoln is, Can the people of a Territory in any lawful way, against the wishes of any citizen of the United States, exclude slavery from their limits prior to the formation of a State constitution? I answer emphatically, as Mr. Lincoln has heard me answer a hundred times from every stump in Illinois, that in my opinion the people of a Territory can, by lawful means, exclude slavery from their limits prior to the formation of a State constitution. Mr Lincoln knew that I had answered that question over and over again. He heard me argue the Nebraska bill on that principle all over the State in 1854, in 1855, and in 1856, and he has no excuse for pretending to be in doubt as to my position on that question. It matters not what way the Supreme Court may hereafter decide as to the abstract question whether slavery may or may not go into a Territory under the Constitution, the people have the lawful means to introduce it or exclude it as they please, for the reason that slavery cannot exist a day or an hour anywhere, unless it is supported by local police regulations. Those police regulations can only be established by the local legislature; and if the people are opposed to slavery, they will elect representatives to that body who will by unfriendly legislation effectually prevent the introduction of it into their midst. If, on the contrary, they are for it, their legislation will favor its extension. Hence, no matter what the decision of the Supreme Court may be on that abstract question, still the right of the people to make a Slave Territory or a Free Territory is perfect and complete under the Nebraska bill. I hope Mr. Lincoln deems my answer satisfactory on that point.
In taking this position, Douglas was defending his Popular Sovereignty or "Squatter Sovereignty" principle of 1854, which he considered to be a compromise between pro-slavery and anti-slavery positions. It was satisfactory to the legislature of Illinois, which reelected Douglas over Lincoln to the Senate (this was before the addition of the Seventeenth Amendment to the Constitution). However, the Freeport Doctrine alienated many Southern Democrats. Douglas had actually stated the essence of the doctrine previous to the debate at Freeport, but its prominent public assertion at Freeport contributed (along with other political disputes) to antagonizing those in the Southern United States who were demanding ever-increasing protections for slavery, and who subsequently insisted on the repudiation of the Freeport Doctrine (i.e. the passage of a congressional Slave Code for the territories) in order to block Douglas' presidential bid in 1860. This led to the split of the Democratic party in 1860, and Douglas' loss in the 1860 presidential election.
Impending Crisis of the South
The Impending Crisis of the South is a book written by Hinton Rowan Helper, which he self-published in 1857. It was a strong attack on slavery as inefficient and a barrier to the economic advancement of whites. The book was widely distributed by Horace Greeley and other antislavery leaders, much to the vehement anger of the white Southern leaders.
The book condemns the institution of slavery, but Helper did not take what he considered to be an ineffectually sentimental or moralistic abolitionist approach (as seen in Uncle Tom's Cabin). Instead, Helper crafted an essentially empirical analysis that appealed to the self-interest of whites, rather than a sense of altruism towards blacks. Helper claimed that slavery actually ended up hurting the Southern economy overall (by preventing economic development and industrialization), and was the main reason why the South had progressed so much less than the North (according to the results of the 1850 census and other verifiable factual measures) since the late 18th century. Helper spoke on behalf of the Southern whites who were poor or of moderate means — the Plain Folk of the Old South — who he claimed were oppressed by a small (but politically-dominant) aristocracy of wealthy slave-owners.
Helper's tone was aggressive: "Freesoilers and abolitionists are the only true friends of the South; slaveholders and slave-breeders are downright enemies of their own section. Anti-slavery men are working for the Union and for the good of the whole world; proslavery men are working for the disunion of the States, and for the good of nothing except themselves." (p. 363)The Compendium version appeared in July 1859; it was an abridgement that kept the statistics but watered down some of the confrontational rhetoric, for use in Republican Party campaigning. This version met with fierce opposition in the South and many places banned it. It widened the gulf between North and South, especially through the protracted December 1859 – January 1860 political struggle about electing John Sherman to the speakership of the House. Historians agree it helped sharpen sectional political differences in the period immediately preceding the American Civil War.
Lecompton Constitution
The Lecompton Constitution was the second of four proposed constitutions for the state of Kansas (it was preceded by the Topeka Constitution and followed by the Leavenworth and Wyandotte).[1] The document was written in response to the anti-slavery position of the 1855 Topeka Constitution of James H. Lane and other free-state advocates.[1] The territorial legislature, consisting mostly of slave-owners, met at the designated capital of Lecompton in September 1857 to produce a rival document.[1] Free-state supporters, who comprised a large majority of actual settlers, boycotted the vote. Buchanan's appointee as territorial governor of Kansas, Robert J. Walker, although a strong defender of slavery, opposed the blatant injustice of the Constitution and resigned rather than implement it.[2] This new constitution enshrined slavery in the proposed state and protected the rights of slaveholders. In addition, the constitution provided for a referendum that allowed voters the choice of allowing more slaves to enter the territory.
Both the Topeka and Lecompton constitutions were placed before the people of the Kansas Territory for a vote, and both votes were boycotted by supporters of the opposing faction. In the case of Lecompton, however, the vote was boiled down to a single issue, expressed on the ballot as "Constitution with Slavery" v. "Constitution with no Slavery." But the "Constitution with no Slavery" clause would have not made Kansas a free state; it merely would have banned future importation of slaves into Kansas (something deemed by many as unenforceable). Boycotted by free-soilers, the referendum suffered from serious voting irregularities, with over half the 6,000 votes deemed fraudulent.[3] Nevertheless, both it and the Topeka Constitution were sent to Washington for approval by Congress.
A vocal supporter of slaveholder rights, President Buchanan endorsed the Lecompton Constitution before Congress. While the president received the support of the Southern Democrats, many Northern Democrats, led by Stephen A. Douglas, sided with the Republicans in opposition to the constitution.[4] A new referendum over the fate of the Lecompton Constitution was proposed, even though this would delay Kansas's admission to the Union. Furthermore, a new constitution, the anti-slavery Leavenworth Constitution, was already being drafted.[1] On 4 January 1858, Kansas voters, having the opportunity to reject the constitution altogether in the referendum, overwhelmingly rejected the Lecompton proposal by a vote of 10,226 to 138.[4] And in Washington, the Lecompton constitution was defeated by the federal House of Representatives in 1858. Though soundly defeated, debate over the proposed constitution had ripped apart the Democratic party, paving the way for Abraham Lincoln's election in 1860. Kansas was admitted to the Union as a free state in 1861.