The Compromise Of 1850: The Causes Of The Mexican-American Civil War

1113 Words 5 Pages
The outbreak of the Civil War was brought on by a number of issues, acts and debates throughout the 1850’s and early 1860’s. However, the event that was the kickoff for these major turning events in history was the Mexican-American War. It was a national debate regarding whether slavery should enter the country, when the United States needed to determine what to do with the land they gained from the war. After the war, leaders in the 1850s began to compromise. Their compromises did nothing to help solve the issue, all it seemed to do was intensify the issue.
The early 1850’s had a large impact on the outbreak of the Civil War. In the Compromise of 1850, the slave trade in Washington DC was banned, the boundary between Texas and Mexico was
…show more content…
The Compromise also strengthened the Fugitive Slave Act, an act that forced Northerners to capture and return runaway slaves to the South. This contributed to the Civil War because the North was angry they had to capture and return slaves, and the South was frustrated that there were now more free states than slave states. Following the Compromise of 1850 was a novel titled Uncle Tom’s Cabin, written by Harriet Beecher Stowe. Stowe was appalled by the Fugitive Slave Act, which passed as a result of the Compromise of 1850. In her book, Stowe depicted the slaves as actual human beings, with feelings and emotions. The advertisement for Uncle Tom’s Cabin says it is “The Greatest Book of the Age” (Document B). The novel showed the harsh realities of slave life, and ended up portraying Southerners in a bad light. The book didn’t sit well with the South; they thought it was unfair, and characterized them as too intense. However, the book swelled the abolitionist movement in the North, who ended up detesting slavery even more. This caused tensions between the North and South, helping contribute to the Civil War. In 1854, Stephen Douglas proposed to split up the Nebraska territory, …show more content…
Stephen Douglas, a politician and leader of the Democratic party, was in favor of slavery. He resorted to popular sovereignty, which eventually caused Bleeding Kansas. Douglas also stirred up trouble during the Dred Scott case. He continued to support and push on with popular sovereignty, without directly saying that the Court was wrong with their decision. When James Buchanan tried to get Kansas admitted as a slave state, the people of the state rejected this on account of popular sovereignty, and became a free state. This decision made Stephen Douglas and James Buchanan enemies. The political cartoon titled “Douglas Hatches a Slavery Problem” shows each issue that Douglas destroyed, such as the Dred Scott case and free Kansas (Document D). The issue of popular sovereignty and Stephen Douglas further pushed for Civil War. Tying in with Stephen Douglas was the Dred Scott court case. Dred Scott was an African American who sued for his freedom on the basis that he lived on free soil, and was therefore free. However, the court decided that because Scott was a black slave, and not a citizen, he could not sue in federal court. As a result, African Americans were no longer citizens in both the North and South. This case also dictated that there was no such thing as a free state. The court case was immensely important and gained popularity quickly- Dred Scott and his wife even appeared on the front

Related Documents