3 United States Civil War Causes Course And Effects 1840 77

Cotton Economy and slavery; conditions of enslavement; adaptation and resistance such as the Underground Railroad

(Jake Hodges)

Cotton Economy and Slavery

-plantations and small farms
-staple crops such as cotton
-1/3 of the nations population lived in the south, but less than 10% of the nations manufactured goods came from the south.
-few immigrants settled in the south because slaves were in most of the positions the immigrants fill in the north.
-Mississippi, Louisiana, and South Carolina’s populations were more than ½ slaves
-Alabama and Florida, African Americans are about ½ the population.
- Although blacks wanted the end of slavery, Whites thought that with its restriction the south would descend from power.

Adaptation and Resistance

-personal liberty laws in 9 northern states.
-forbade the imprisonment of runaway slaves and guaranteed them a jury.
-underground railroad
-free African Americans and white abolitionists developed a secret
network of people who would aid fugitive
slaves in their escape.
-Uncle Tom’s Cabin
-In response, the north increased its protests against the fugitive slave act.

Causes of the American Civil War

(Isaac Ordway)
-• The economies of the North and the South were incredibly different. The North relied on immigration labor to work in the large industrial sector, while the agricultural economy of the South relied on slave labor to run the huge scale plantation system.
-• Debate over whether or not slaves constituted as real people was very threatening to the South because slaves represented a necessary resource for their economy and countless millions in assets and investments.
-• With the addition of States to the Union, the North and South struggled over whether they would be issued as slave or free states, something that could offset a very delicate balance of power in Congress. The Wilmont Proviso in 1850 declared that new states such as California, Utah, and New Mexico would all enter the Union without slavery.
-• It is also important to note the cultural, religious, and demographic differences of the North and South, a gap which only widened with the slave debates.
-• Another issue was States Rights vs. Federal Government. The South believed in powerful states rights and a very limited federal government while the North relied on the Federal Government heavily and thought of states as the smaller parts of a whole.
-• Abolitionist movement became more and more aggressive leading up to the 1860’s, gaining popularity in the North and parts of the South
-• Lincoln’s election in 1860 resulted in the “Declaration of the Causes of Secession” from South Carolina, who had already seceded from the Union along with other States
-Nullification crisis: this ordinance declared, by the power of the State itself, that the federal Tariff of 1828 and the federal Tariff of 1832 were unconstitutional and therefore null and void within the sovereign boundaries of South Carolina. The tariff rates were reduced, but the states’ rights doctrine of nullification had been rejected by the nation.

Reasons for, and effects of, westward expansion and the sectional debates—Chapters 9 and 10
Allison Bailey

  • By the mid-19th century, the United States is beginning to move from a self-sufficient, rural economy towards specialization and industrialization. The Northeast especially is being changed by the rise of textile mills and the factory system. This led to a market revolution, in which people bought and sold goods rather than making everything themselves.
  • All of these new developments were powered by capitalism and entrepreneurs
  • Inventor-entrepreneurs created new technology—the telegram made it possible to communicate instantly over large distances
  • Better and faster transportation became essential for agriculture and industry
  • Regions were connected—West sold grain and livestock to the East and to Europe, South exported cotton to North and England, East manufactured textiles and machinery
  • New technology was less advanced in the South
  • Heavy investment in canals and railroads turned the Northeast into the center of American commerce—huge rise of manufacturing
  • As the North industrializes, people begin to move to the fertile soils of the Midwest—steel plow and mechanical reaper were two inventions that enabled farming in this region
  • Most of the South remained agricultural and relied on crops like cotton, tobacco, and rice, Southerners found Northern factories to be filthy, even southerners who wanted to build factories lacked the capital, since their money was tied up in land and the slaves who worked the land, South remained dependent on their slaves
  • Americans begin to believe in “Manifest Destiny”—their destiny to spread all the way to the Pacific Ocean
  • As Americans move west, new land is opened up—new territories are established and these territories eventually apply for statehood
  • North industrializes rapidly, is connected by railroads, immigrants work in larger and large numbers, most voters are opposed to slavery. Immigrants fear the expansion of slavery because they do not want to compete with slaves or have the status of white workers reduced because they cannot compete with slave labor
  • Southern economy relies on staple crops and uses rives for transportation, in some states slaves are the majority. Whole of South relies upon slave labor
  • The issue of slavery and new states begins to be debated in Congress
  • South argues for new states to be slave states while the North argues for new states to be free states
  • Everyone tries to maintain the balance between free and slave states

The crisis of the 1850s- Chapter 10
Allison Bailey

  • Wilmot Proviso of 1846 begins the large conflicts
  • Wilmot Proviso closed new territory to slavery
  • South opposed the ProvisoCalifornia, which had grown during the gold rush, was applying for statehood—its constitution forbid slavery, South was alarmed—thought slavery would be allowed in CA because most of it was south of the Missouri compromise line
  • Henry Clay creates the compromise of 1850, Stephen Douglas pushed the compromise through Congress
  • Terms: CA admitted as a free state, Utah and New Mexico granted popular sovereignty on slavery issue, Texas-New Mexico border resolved with Texas receiving $10 million (not important), slave trade banned in Washington D.C., stricter fugitive slave act put in place.
  • Some Northerners resist Fugitive Slave Act-Underground Railroad, personal liberty laws
  • Kansas Nebraska Act introduced in 1854-popular sovereignty for these territories
  • Settlers poured into Kansas-both farmers and people who came over the boarder simply to vote for slavery
  • State becomes pro-slavery because of fraudulent voters, pro-slavery forces set up their own government in Lecompton, anti-slavery forces set up government in Topeka
  • Violent acts like the Sack of Lawrence and the Pottawamie Massacre occur, Brooks-Sumner Caning
  • With Democrats and Whigs divided, the Republican Party is born in 1854
  • Dred Scott Decision, Lecompton Constitution, Lincoln-Douglas Debates, Harper’s Ferry all represent the slavery issue and how it dominated American politics

Kansas-Nebraska Problem
Allison Bailey

  • Douglas wants to organize massive territory west of Missouri and Iowa
  • Pushes Kansas-Nebraska Act through Congress in 1854-grants popular sovereignty to territories even though both are north of Missouri Compromise line
  • Settlers and border ruffians movie into Kansas
  • Border ruffians win a fraudulent pro-slavery election and set up government in Lecompton
  • Abolitionists set up rival government in Topeka
  • proslavery forces burn down abolitionist town Lawrence-the Sack of Lawrence
  • Abolitionist John Brown, thinking five were killed at Lawrence, kills five men at pro-slavery town Pottawatomie Creek-the Pottawatomie Massacre
  • Bleeding Kansas

The Ostend Manifesto
Allison Bailey

* 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.
* Americans had wanted to annex the island for some time, but had not minded that the island stay in the possession of the Spanish as long as it did not pass into more powerful hands, i.e. French and British
* Cuba was of special importance to Southern Democrats, whose economic and political interests would be best served by the admission of another slave state to the Union
* When introduced in the House of Representatives, it was denounced in the Northern States, became a rallying cry for Northerners during the events of Bleeding Kansas, and was never acted upon.

Lincoln-Douglas Debates
Allison Bailey

* took place in 1858
* a series of seven debates between former House Representative Abraham Lincoln, the Republican candidate, and the incumbent Senator Stephen Douglas, a Democratic Party candidate, for a seat in the United States Senate.
* main theme of the debates was slavery, especially the issue of slavery's expansion into the territories.
* Douglas believes in popular sovereignty for territories
* Lincoln thinks slavery should not be allowed to spread
* Douglas wins the Senate seat, but Lincoln draws attention for his performance

The impact of the election of Abraham Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation
Allison Bailey

  • Lincoln wins the election of 1860 as a Republican candidate without a single southern state
  • South fears that they have lost their national voice, South Carolina secedes in 1860, other southern states soon follow suit
  • Emancipation Proclamation-Lincoln realized that slave labor built Southern fortifications and grew food for the Confederacy, so he issued the Emancipation Proclamation on Jan 1st, 1863.
  • Applied only to areas outside Union control, didn't immediately free any slaves

Jefferson Davis and the Confederacy
Allison Bailey

  • South Carolina secedes in Dec 1860. Feb 1861, delegates from all secessionist states meet in Montgomery AL and form the Confederate States of America
  • Constitution closely resembles that of the United States, except that slavery is "protected and recognized" in new territories and protects states' rights more stringently
  • Elect former senator Jefferson Davis of Mississippi president and Alexander Stephens of GA vice-president

African Americans in the Civil War and in the New South: legal issues; the Black Codes; Jim Crow Laws

(Leah Myers)

Emancipation Proclamation
- President Lincoln disliked slavery; however, he did not believe that he had the power to abolish it where it already existed.
- As the war continued, however, Lincoln did find a way to end slavery using his constitutional powers.
- He authorized the army to emancipate slaves.
- The Emancipation Proclamation was issued on January 1, 1863. It said “All persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a state the people whereof shall be…..then, thenceforward, and forever free.”
- However the proclamation did not free any slaves immediately because it included only areas behind Confederate lines that were outside of Union control. It did not apply to southern territory already occupied by Union troops or to the slave states that had not seceded.
- The emancipation also allowed African Americans to enlist in the union army.

Slave resistance
- As the union troops moved farther into confederate areas, thousands of slaves sought freedom behind the lines of the Union army.
- Those who remained on the plantations participated in sabotage, destroying property and neglecting livestock.
- Many waited for the union troops to come, welcoming the opportunity for freedom.
- Many southerners were concerned with the possibility of a slave uprising and tightened their control on their slaves by creating slave patrols and spreading rumors about union soldiers abusing runaways.
- This uprising did not occur; however, slave resistance gradually weakened the plantation system.

Black Codes
- The Civil Rights Act of 1866 gave African Americans citizenship and forbade states from passing discriminatory laws.
- These discriminatory laws were also known as black codes.
- Mississippi and South Carolina had first enacted black codes in 1865 and other southern states had followed suit.
- Black codes restricted the lives of African Americans significantly, much like slavery had.
- They prohibited African Americans from carrying weapons, serving on juries, testifying against whites, and traveling with permits.
- In some states Africans Americans were even prohibited from owning land.
- Violence was often used by whites to enforce these codes.
- Johnson vetoed both the Civil Rights Act as well as the Freedmen’s Bureau Act.

Jim Crow Laws
- Southern states passed racial segregation laws to separate whites and blacks in public and private facilities.
- These laws were known as Jim Crow laws.
- They were called Jim Crow laws after a popular minstrel song that included the lyric “Jump, Jim Crow”.
- Segregation was implemented in schools, hospitals, parks, and transportation systems.
- These laws also forbade interracial marriage as well as social and religious contact.
- The facilities that were provided for African Americans were always inferior to those for whites.

Chapter 11 is a helpful resource for learning about the civil war in the Americans.

Major Battles of the Civil War and their Impact on the Conflict: Antietam and Gettysburg; the Role of Foreign Powers

(Hannah Wichmann)

• Union General: McClellan
• Confederate General: Lee
• A Union corporal found a copy of Lee’s army orders wrapped around a bunch of cigars → revealed that Lee’s and Jackson’s armies were separated for the moment
• Fight on September 17, 1862 beside creek called the Antietam
• Clash = bloodiest single-day battle in American history
• casualties total more than 26,000 as many as in the War of 1812 and the war with Mexico combined
• instead of pursuing the battered Confederate army and possibly ending the war, McClellan did nothing (notoriously cautious)
• battle itself was a standoff but South retreated back across the Potomac into VA the next day → had lost ¼ of its men

• *considered the most decisive battle of the war
• A battle was not planned for the small town
• Barefoot Confederate soldiers led by A. P. Hill went to Gettysburg to find a supply of footwear and to meet up with General Lee
• On the way, ran into some of Union cavalry under John Buford (experienced officer from Illinois)
• Reinforcements came in
• Confederates took control of the town → Lee knew that the battle would not be won unless Northerners were forced to yield their positions on Cemetery Ridge
• Day 2: Union gained some ground, but the Confederate troops did not give up
• Day 3: Lee = determined, but beaten by Union forces → Lee gave up hopes of invading the North and led army in a long, painful retreat back to VA in the rain
• Huge losses: total casualties were 30+%
• Union losses: 23,000 men killed/wounded
• Confederacy losses: 28,000 killed/wounded
• Lee would continue to lead he Confederate troops brilliantly in the new two years of the war, but they would never recover from the loss at Gettysburg (or the loss of Vicksburg the next day)

The Role of Foreign Powers
• South attempted to gain official recognition from Britain, but Britain asserted her neutrality
• Britain was no longer dependent on Southern cotton:
- Had accumulated a huge cotton inventory just before the outbreak of the war
- Found new sources of cotton in Egypt and India
- When Europe’s wheat crop failed, Northern wheat and corn replaced cotton as an essential import
• Trent Affair
- Confederate government sent 2 diplomats, James Mason and John Slidell, in a second attempt to gain support from Britain and France
- Traveled aboard a British merchant ship, the Trent
- Ship was stopped and the two men were arrested
- Britain threatened war against the Union and dispatched 8,000 troops to Canada
- Lincoln freed the 2 prisoners → was aware of the need to just fight “one war at a time”
- Britain was relieved as the US had found a peaceful way out of the crisis
• Emancipation proclamation offered a strategic benefit:
- abolitionist movement was strong in Britain
- emancipation would discourage Britain from supporting the Confederacy

Abolitionist ideologies and arguments for and against slavery and their impact.
by: Alexander Hoare

Pro slavery arguments and figures-

-Free labor supported the southern economy. Slaves caused the south to produce and harvest so many natural resources like cotton and tobacco.
- Slaves also became skilled enough to work in the south’s industrial sector when their was a demand for more workers. This strengthened the southern, and overall economy of the country.
-Some proslavery advocates used the Bible to defend slavery, citing passages that counseled servants to obey their masters.
-Southern slave owners argued, actually benefited blacks by making them part of a prosperous and Christian civilization
-Slave owners invented the myth of the happy slave, a
cherished addition to the plantation family.
-To this image they contrasted that of the Northern wage slave, a wage-earning immigrant or free black who worked for pennies in dark and airless factories.
-George Fitzhugh, a Virginia slave owner, argued that whereas Northern mill owners fired
their workers when they became too old or sick to work, Southerners cared for their slaves for a lifetime.

Anti Slavery arguments and figures-

-By the 1820s more than 100 antislavery societies were advocating for resettlement
of blacks in Africa—based on the belief that African Americans were an inferior
race that could not coexist with white society
-White support for abolition, the call to outlaw slavery, was fueled by preachers
like Charles G. Finney, who termed slavery “a great national sin.”
-The most radical white abolitionist was an editor
named William Lloyd Garrison.
-The Liberator, in 1831 delivered an
Uncompromising message: immediate emancipation—the freeing of slaves,
with no payment to slaveholders.
-Lloyd Garrison alienated many white abolitionists because he was so angry and extreme in tone.
-David Walker, a free black, advised blacks to fight for freedom rather than
to wait for slave owners to end slavery.
-Frederick Douglass was another key, freed black, abolitionist. He created the anti-slavery newspaper, the North Star.


-The debate over the future of slavery in Virginia resulted in a motion for abolition in the state legislature. The motion lost by a 73 to 58 vote, primarily because the state legislature was balanced toward eastern slaveholders rather than non-slaveholders in the western part of the state. That loss closed the debate on slavery in the antebellum (pre- Civil War) South.
- Violent slave uprisings in the Antebellum period.
-Most slave owners believed that education and privilege inspired revolt.
-In some states, free blacks lost the right to own guns, purchase alcohol, assemble in public, and testify in court.
-In some Southern cities,
African Americans could no longer own property, learn to read and write, or work independently as carpenters or blacksmiths.

Union versus Confederate: strengths and weaknesses; economic resources; significance of leaders during the US Civil War
(Deja Moss)

Strengths of the Union

-The Union enjoyed enormous advantages in resources over the South—more fighting power, more factories, greater food production, and a more extensive railroad system. In addition, Lincoln proved to be a decisive yet patient leader, skillful at balancing political factions.
-The Union’s Anaconda Plan: (1) the Union
Navy would blockade Southern ports, so they could neither export cotton nor import much-needed manufactured goods, (2) Union riverboats and armies
would move down the Mississippi River and split the Confederacy in two, and (3) Union armies would capture the Confederate capital at Richmond, Virginia.
-Ulysses S. Grant had a nickname “Unconditional Surrender” for his victories at Fort Henry on the Tennessee River and Fort Donelson on the Cumberland River.
-David G. Farragut his triumphant seize of the New Orleans port the South’s busiest port and Baton Rouge and Natchez.
-The North’s ironclad Monitor traded fire with the South’s ironclad Merrimack and won. The battle off the coast of Virginia. The ironclad ended the era of wooden fighting ships.
-Strength for the north would be the ability to mass-produce the new rifles, minie ball, and grenades, which were revolutionary war weapons.

Strengths of the Confederacy

-The Confederacy likewise enjoyed some advantages, notably “King Cotton” (and the profits it earned on the world market), first-rate generals, a strong military tradition, and soldiers who were highly motivated because they were defending their homeland.
-General Thomas J. Jackson “Stonewall Jackson” was the military leader during the Battle of Bull Run, the first victory for the South.
-Robert E. Lee was modest rather than vain (like McClellan), and willing to go beyond military textbooks in his tactics. McClellan was
indecisive and Lee’s determination and unorthodox tactics so unnerved McClellan that he backed away from Richmond and headed down the peninsula to the sea at the conclusion of the Seven Day Battles
-Lee led his troops to a victory at the Second Battle at Bull Run

Weaknesses of the Union

-The Battle of Shiloh taught both sides a Strategic lesson. Generals now realized that they had to send out scouts, dig trenches, and build fortifications. However it can be assumed that this lesson was most recognized by the Union because many of the soldiers lost their lives while asleep or while making coffee.

Weaknesses of the Confederacy

-However, the South had a tradition
Of local and limited government, and there was resistance to the centralization of government necessary to run a war. Several Southern governors were so obstinate in their assertion of states’ rights that they refused to cooperate with the Confederate government.
-The military plan was to fight defensively and to invade any northern territory if possible.
- After the success of the Battle of Bull Run many Confederacy Soldiers went home because they were confident that the war was over.
-The Confederate failure to hold on to its Ohio Kentucky frontier showed that at least part of the Union’s three-way strategy, the drive to take the Mississippi and split the Confederacy, might succeed.
-With the introduction of the rifle, minie ball, and grenades the south was at a disadvantage for producing the new weapons.

Reconstruction: Economic, social, political successes and failures; economic expansion (Morgan Grain)

“ Reconstruction was a Success”
It was an attempt to create a social and political revolution despite economic collapse and much opposition from southern whites.


  • After the Civil War, the South was in bad condition physically and economically. Buildings were charred, farms were destroyed, railroads were obsolete, property values plummeted, and bridges no longer stood. The Republican governments placed in the south created public works programs where they built roads, bridges, railroads, and established orphanages and mentally ill institutions.
  • African Americans and poor whites in the south were given the opportunity to own and till small farms. They usually practiced subsistence farming—or just growing enough to feed their own families.
  • During the war, many countries that bought cotton from the south began growing their own, which caused the prices of cotton to plummet. To sustain their economy, the south were forced to diversify their agricultural products with textile mills and tobacco-product manufacturing. This diversification helped raise the average wage in the south.


  • Congress passed the 14th and 15th amendments which helped African Americans attain full civil rights in 20th century.
  • African Americans established institutions such as schools, churches and families, which were previously denied to them. During slavery many families were torn apart, however during reconstruction many families reunited.
  • State governments were able to open school systems to all citizens with public funding. African Americans benefited from this public funding of schools the most.
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