Civil War Essay

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Gregory Robinson Jr
World Studies
Civil War Essay
2/9/13

In the antebellum period there were many things that we could say were the main causes of the war but the tree that I say that caused the war would be when the Mexican war ended, the Fugitive Slave Act, John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry, and one of the most important ones was the election of Abraham Lincoln. With the end of the Mexican War, America was given western territories. This caused a problem as these new territories would be admitted as states as either would they be free or slave? To deal with this, Congress passed the Compromise of 1850 which basically made California free and allowed the people to pick in Utah and New Mexico. This ability of a state to decide whether it would allow slavery was called popular sovereignty. This was controversial because the south thought that any land that was acquired in the war should be slave because of what the Missouri Compromised Act applied but popular sovereignty made the decision. The Fugitive Slave Act was passed as part of the Compromise of 1850. This act forced any federal official who did not arrest a runaway slave liable to pay a fine. This was the most controversial part of the Compromise of 1850 and caused many abolitionists to increase their efforts against slavery. This act increased the Underground Railroad activity as fleeing slaves made their way to Canada. This benefited the south mostly when this was instated as an official bill. The north thought that this was unfair because if they made it up to the free territory then they should be able to have their freedom. The north couldn’t really hide them because if they were caught hiding a slave then they would face serious punishments. John Brown was a radical abolitionist who had been involved in anti-slavery violence in Kansas. On October 16, 1859 he led a group of seventeen including five black members to raid the arsenal located in Harper's Ferry, Virginia. His goal was to...
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