1. The Mexican War Ended - 1848
When the Mexican War ended, America was ceded western territories. This caused a problem on whether these new territories would be admitted as slave states or free states. 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. The ability of a state to decide whether it would allow slavery or not was called popular sovereignty.
2. Fugitive Slave Act - 1850
The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 was passed as a 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 enraged abolitionist and caused their efforts against slavery to increase since it was one of the most controversial parts of the Compromise of 1850. This act increased the activity as fleeing slaves made their way to Canada.
3. Uncle Tom's Cabin Was Released
Uncle Tom's Cabin or Life Among the Lowly was written in 1852 by Harriet Beecher Stowe. Stowe was an abolitionist who wrote this book to show the evils of slavery. This book heavily impacted the views Northerners had on slavery. It gave them more hope and desire towards the abolition, and even Abraham Lincoln recognized that this book was one of the events that led to the outbreak of the Civil War.
4. Dred Scott Decision
In 1857, Dred Scott lost his case proving that he should be free because he had been held as a slave while living in a free state. The Court ruled that his petition couldn’t be seen because he did not own property. But it went further, to state that even though he had been taken by his 'owner' into a free state, he was still a slave because slaves were to be considered property of their owners. This decision furthered the cause of abolitionists as they increased their efforts to fight against slavery.
5. John Brown Raided Harper's Ferry/ Abraham Election as President
John Brown was a radical