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APUSH-13

Decade of Crisis


A.  Compromise of 1850

B.  Fugitive Slave Act and Uncle Tom's Cabin

C.  Kansas-Nebraska Act and realignment of parties

1.  Demise of the Whig Party

2.  Emergence of the Republican Party

D.  Dred Scott decision and Lecompton crisis

E.  Lincoln-Douglas debates, 1858

F.  John Brown's raid

G.  The election of 1860; Abraham Lincoln

H.  The secession crisis


Resources:

Abolitionism and Antislavery
Resource Type: E-Seminar

Relevant pages:
Introduction
The Rise of Abolition: The Appeal To Public Opinion
The Expansion Issue: The compromise of 1850
The Expansion Issue: The Kansas-Nebraska Act
The Expansion Issue: Political Polarization
The Road To War: The Dred Scott Decision
The Road To War: The Lincoln-Douglas Debates.
The Road To War: John Brown's Raid
The Road To War: The 1860 Election
timeline

Relevant texts:
Excerpt from Dred Scott v. Sanford
John Brown's final address
Excerpt from "Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union"

Relevant transcripts:
The South did not believe in states' rights; the South believed in slavery.
Professor Foner discusses the Dred Scott decision.
Professor Foner discusses the debates.
The reason the South seceded was concern over the security of slavery.

Relevant interactive tools:
Geography of Slavery
Geography of Slavery
Sectional tensions were further heightened in 1859, when abolitionist John Brown led an armed assult at Harpers Ferry, Virgina (now West Virginia), hoping to spark off a slave insurrection.
Sectional tensions were further heightened in 1859, when abolitionist John Brown led an armed assult at Harpers Ferry, Virgina (now West Virginia), hoping to spark off a slave insurrection.


The Civil War
Resource Type: E-Seminar

Montgomery, Alabama, Code on Segregation
Resource Type: Primary Source
This piece of municipal legislation mandates the separation of races on city bus lines.

Brown v. Board of Education: Denial of Equal Protection
Resource Type: Primary Source
This is an excerpt of the 1954 Supreme Court decision rendered in Brown v. Board of Education, which declares separate facilities for blacks and whites as unequal.

Sunshine and Shadow in New York
Resource Type: Primary Source
Sunshine and Shadow in New York, a mid-nineteenth-century publication, depicts New York City as two polar societies, one affluent and vibrant, and one poor and diseased.

Bleeding Kansas
Resource Type: Primary Source
In the summer of 1856, advocates of Free States flocked to Kansas in anticipation of the popular sovereignty vote.

A House Divided
Resource Type: Primary Source
Abraham Lincoln accepts the Republican Party's nomination for U.S. senator from Illinois. Lincoln ran against Stephen A. Douglas, the proponent of popular sovereignty.

National Democratic Party Platform of 1860
Resource Type: Primary Source
In 1860, the Democratic Party split along sectional lines, leaving the Southern Democrats as the dominant party of the South. In the 1860 presidential election, the Southern Democrats won every state of the Deep South, the first states to secede.

Crittenden's Proposed Amendment
Resource Type: Primary Source
Abraham Lincoln has been elected President and the threat of secession hangs over the Union. What is Crittenden's plan?

Response to the Crittenden Amendment
Resource Type: Primary Source
This editorial responds to Crittenden's proposal to amend the Constitution.

Mississippi's Declaration of Secession
Resource Type: Primary Source
The first state to secede was South Carolina, doing so on December 20, 1860. Before the end of February, all the states of the Deep South (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas) had seceded.

Lincoln's Letter to Horace Greeley
Resource Type: Primary Source
President Abraham Lincoln responds on August 22, 1862, to the publisher Horace Greeley, who three days earlier criticized the government for not making emancipation a key war aim. What Greeley did not know and what Lincoln in his letter does not divulge is that a draft of the Emancipation Proclamation was on Lincoln's desk as he wrote this letter to Greeley.

Compromise Between the North and South
Resource Type: Classroom Simulation
In this dramatic simulation students will explore the possibility of an eleventh-hour compromise between the North and the South on the eve of the Civil War (1861–65). Students will understand how mounting tensions in the 1850s eventually led to the outbreak of war.

Decisions of Slaves to Leave the Plantation: Should I Stay or Should I Go?
Resource Type: Classroom Simulation
In this simulation students will examine the very complex decision that slaves faced regarding whether to leave the plantations in the early years of the Civil War and whether to join the Union forces. Students will understand how a single decision gravely affected the lives of slaves, their families, the outcome of the war, and even the period of Reconstruction.

General Benjamin Butler to General Winfield Scott
Resource Type: Primary Source
Two Union generals discuss emancipation.

Calhoun on the Compromise of 1850
Resource Type: Primary Source
John C. Calhoun became the South's most powerful advocate as senator from South Carolina for most of the period from 1832 to 1850.

Republican Party Platform of 1856
Resource Type: Primary Source
While the Democrats endorsed popular sovereignty to decide the issue of slavery in the Territories, the Republicans took the stand put forth here.

The Master-Slave Relationship
Resource Type: Document-Based Question
The recent scholarship on slavery explores the complex relationship between master and slave and re-examines the historical agency of slaves. In reading the slave narratives provided in this DBQ, students can assess how slaves tried to retain their dignity in the worst of circumstances.

The Rise of Abolition: The Appeal To Public Opinion
Resource Type: Primary Source
Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811–96).

The Master-Slave Relationship
Resource Type: Document-Based Question
The recent scholarship on slavery explores the complex relationship between master and slave and re-examines the historical agency of slaves. In reading the slave narratives provided in this DBQ, students can assess how slaves tried to retain their dignity in the worst of circumstances.

Ran Away
Resource Type: Primary Source
This broadside promised a reward for the return of a fugitive slave.

Republican Party Platform of 1856
Resource Type: Primary Source
While the Democrats endorsed popular sovereignty to decide the issue of slavery in the Territories, the Republicans took the stand put forth here.

Who's Who
Resource Type: Primary Source
Dred Scott (1795–1858).

The Road To War: The Dred Scott Decision
Resource Type: Primary Source
Dred Scott. Wood engraving (1887).

The Master-Slave Relationship
Resource Type: Document-Based Question
The recent scholarship on slavery explores the complex relationship between master and slave and re-examines the historical agency of slaves. In reading the slave narratives provided in this DBQ, students can assess how slaves tried to retain their dignity in the worst of circumstances.

Dred Scott Decision
Resource Type: Primary Source
The following excerpt is from the majority decision in the case of Dred Scott v. Sandford. Written by Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, it addresses the question of African American citizenship and slavery in the territories.

The Expansion Issue: The Kansas-Nebraska Act
Resource Type: Primary Source
Stephen A. Douglas (1813–1861).

Who's Who
Resource Type: Primary Source
John Brown (1800–59).

Who's Who
Resource Type: Primary Source
John Bell (1797–1869).

Who's Who
Resource Type: Primary Source
Abraham Lincoln (1809–65), two weeks before the final Lincoln-Douglas debate (October 1, 1858).

Abraham Lincoln (1809-65)
Resource Type: Primary Source
President of the United States (1861–65) during the Civil War. Although not an abolitionist, Lincoln denounced slavery as morally wrong and firmly opposed both the Dred Scott decision and the expansion of slavery into the territories. Nominated for president by the Republican Party in 1860, he won the election but with a minority of the vote. Lincoln's victory provoked the secession of Southern states, which in 1861 led to the outbreak of the Civil War. In 1863 Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, declaring free the slaves in states that were "in rebellion" (but not freeing slaves in slaveholding states that had remained in the Union). The Gettysburg Address, which he made in 1863 at the dedication of the soldiers' cemetery at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, would become one of the most quoted of modern speeches. Lincoln was reelected in 1864 but was assassinated the following spring, only days after Lee's surrender had effectively marked the end of the Civil War.

Why Did the South (Excluding the Border States) Secede?
Resource Type: Point-Counterpoint
The cause of the Civil War is hotly debated and contested by historians. Some disagree with Eric Foner's thesis and assign to slavery a lesser role in causing the Civil War. Two interpretations that predate Foner are worth mentioning: the economic one, put forth by Charles and Mary Beard; and the political one, proposed by Avery Craven and James G. Randall, which maintains that the war was caused by a "blundering generation" of 1850s leaders, who missed the opportunity to compromise.

Conclusion
Resource Type: Primary Source

Who's Who
Resource Type: Primary Source
James Buchanan (1791–1868).

John J. Crittenden (1786-1863)
Resource Type: Primary Source
U.S. senator, U.S. attorney general, and governor of Kentucky. Crittenden was known for his calming and conciliatory demeanor; as senator he attempted to forge a compromise to avert the Civil War. His "Crittenden Compromise," proposed in December 1860, would have prohibited slavery north of the 36 30' line but allowed it to continue south of that, and would have prevented Congress from abolishing slavery in the District of Columbia and from regulating the interstate transportation of slaves. The compromise was rejected in the House and Senate. In July 1861, Crittenden proposed another resolution, which declared that the war would not interfere with the institution of slavery, and this was approved by both houses of Congress.

Crittenden's Proposed Amendment
Resource Type: Primary Source
Abraham Lincoln has been elected President and the threat of secession hangs over the Union. What is Crittenden's plan?

Response to the Crittenden Amendment
Resource Type: Primary Source
This editorial responds to Crittenden's proposal to amend the Constitution.

Mississippi's Declaration of Secession
Resource Type: Primary Source
The first state to secede was South Carolina, doing so on December 20, 1860. Before the end of February, all the states of the Deep South (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas) had seceded.

Lincoln's Letter to Horace Greeley
Resource Type: Primary Source
President Abraham Lincoln responds on August 22, 1862, to the publisher Horace Greeley, who three days earlier criticized the government for not making emancipation a key war aim. What Greeley did not know and what Lincoln in his letter does not divulge is that a draft of the Emancipation Proclamation was on Lincoln's desk as he wrote this letter to Greeley.

Southern Society: Religion and Slavery
Resource Type: Document-Based Question
Using this DBQ, students will examine the paradoxical role of religion in the lives of slaves in the antebellum South. Different kinds of religion are explored as students confront the ways in which religion served to liberate or to oppress slaves.

Stringfellow's Biblical Justification for Slavery
Resource Type: Primary Source
In his 1860 book, Thornton Stringfellow explains what he sees as the biblical justification for slavery.

The Master-Slave Relationship
Resource Type: Document-Based Question
The recent scholarship on slavery explores the complex relationship between master and slave and re-examines the historical agency of slaves. In reading the slave narratives provided in this DBQ, students can assess how slaves tried to retain their dignity in the worst of circumstances.

Why Did the South (Excluding the Border States) Secede?
Resource Type: Point-Counterpoint
The cause of the Civil War is hotly debated and contested by historians. Some disagree with Eric Foner's thesis and assign to slavery a lesser role in causing the Civil War. Two interpretations that predate Foner are worth mentioning: the economic one, put forth by Charles and Mary Beard; and the political one, proposed by Avery Craven and James G. Randall, which maintains that the war was caused by a "blundering generation" of 1850s leaders, who missed the opportunity to compromise.

General Benjamin Butler to General Winfield Scott
Resource Type: Primary Source
Two Union generals discuss emancipation.


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