Events Leading to the Civil War

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The 1850's were a turbulent time in American history. The North and South were seeing total different views on the issue of slavery. The North saw slavery as immoral and that it was unconstitutional. The south on the other hand saw slavery as their right. The South viewed African Americans as lower human beings which justified slavery. "The 1850's was a time of attempted compromise when compromise was no longer possible." This quote best describes this time period, because Americans were trying to compromise their views to prevent a large conflict, but there were many events which made a compromise impossible.

The Fugitive Slave Act was part of the Compromise of 1850. This act required that authorities in the North had to assist southern slave catchers to retrieve and return slaves to their owners. Southerners favored this act because they saw no slavery in the territories to the west, by the passing of the Fugitive Slave Act it would help preserve slavery in the south. This act allowed southern slave owners to get their slaves back when they escaped to the North that is why this act was important and critical to southern survival. The view of this act by the North was the opposite, especially from those who were black, they feared this act. The blacks in the North were terrified that this act would make it so they could be ushered back to the south even if they were innocent. This led to the creation of resistance groups in the North.

Dred Scott was a slave. His master was an army surgeon who was based in Missouri. In the early 1830's and 1840's his master and him traveled to Illinois and the Wisconsin territory. It was in 1846 that Scott sued his master's widow for freedom. His argument was that the state of Illinois and the Wisconsin territory barred slavery. The case made it all the way to the Supreme Court, where five out of nine justices were from slave states. The final ruling on the case was that Scott was denied his freedom. The...
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