The Union in Peril North vs South • The North and South had developed into two different cultural and economic regions. – South- the South was dependant on slavery because of its plantation economy. – North- Very industrial; the Northern opposition to slavery grew more intense. • It worsened as new territories and states were admitted to the Union. – Supporters saw it as an opportunity to create more slave states – North remained equally determined that slavery should not continue. Issues of Slavery in Territories • California: California had grown fast because of the gold rush. They applied for statehood in Dec 1849. Their constitution forbade slavery… this angered many southerners. • Problem: Most of California lay south of the Missouri Compromise of 36,30 parallel, which meant that it was open to slaves. Compromise of 1850 • For the North, the compromise provided that California would be admitted to the Union as a free state. • For the South, the compromise proposed a new and more effective fugitive slave law. • For both sides, a provision allowed for popular sovereignty, the right to vote for or against slavery, for residents of the New Mexico and Utah territories. • 1st the senate rejected the proposed compromise in July. • 8 months after the initial effort, the Compromise of 1850 became law. Underground Railroad • Traveling to escape was terrible: – Traveling on foot every night, most times without food for days, meant going through rivers and forest with no guidance or light. • Begin to develop a secret network of people who would hide fugitive slaves. The system they had was called the Underground Railroad. “Conductors” on the routes would hide fugitives in secret tunnels and false cupboards, provided them with food and clothing, and then escorted them to the next station. • Most stayed in the North and some went all the way to Canada. Underground Railroad • One of the most famous conductors was Harriet Tubman. She escaped to Philadelphia. She became a conductor after the Fugitive Slave Act was passed. She made 19 trips back to the south and helped 300 slaves to freedom… including her parents Underground railroad Code Words • Abolitionist = a person who demanded immediate emancipation of slaves • Agent = coordinator, plotting course of escape, making contacts • Drinking gourd = Big Dipper and the North star • Freedom train or Gospel train = code name for the Underground Railroad • Heaven or Promised land = Canada • Preachers = leaders, speakers underground railroad • Shepherds = people escorting slaves • Station = place of safety and temporary refuge, safe- house • Station Master = keeper of safe-house • Stockholder = donor of money, clothing, or food to the Underground Railroad Underground Railroad Code Phrases • “The wind blows from the south today”= warning of slave bounty hunters nearby • “A friend with friends” = A password used to signal arrival of fugitives with Underground Railroad conductor • “The friend of a friend sent me” = a password used by fugitives traveling alone to indicate they were sent by the underground railroad network • Load of Potatoes, Parcel, or Bundles of Wood = fugitives to be expected Underground Railroad Houses Kansas-Nebraska Act • Kansas and Nebraska were above the 36 30 parallel, which meant that it was closed to slavery. Stephen Douglass introduced a bill in Congress that would divide the area into two territories: Nebraska in the North and Kansas in the South. However, if it passed it would repeal the Missouri Compromise and establish popular sovereignty for both territories. – Northerners saw it as a plot to turn the state into slave states. – Southerners strongly defended the proposed legislation. It became law in 1854. Republican Party • Opponents of slavery in the territories formed a new political party, the Republican Party. • They were united in opposing the Kansas- Nebraska Act and in keeping slavery out of the territories. • It took in all the other parties, mostly from the North. • They hoped to resurrect the Missouri Compromise. Abraham Lincoln • Lincoln believed that slavery was immoral • However, Lincoln also believed that slavery should not be abolished unless an amendment was passed. He said that popular sovereignty was an empty phrase. Abraham Lincoln • 1860 election- • Lincoln pledged to halt the further spread of slavery and also tried to reassure Southerners that a Republican administration would not interfere with their slaves or with them about their slaves. • Southerners viewed him as an enemy. • Lincoln won with less than half of the popular vote and no electoral votes from the south Southern Secession • Lincoln’s victory convinced Southerners that they had lost their political voice in the national government. South Carolina led the way, seceding from the union on Dec 20, 1860. Mississippi followed, as did Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas. Confederacy • Feb 1861- delegates from the secessionist states met in Montgomery, Alabama where they formed the Confederate States of America (the Confederacy). • They also drew up their own constitution that “protected and recognized” slavery in the new territories. The Confederacy elected Jefferson Davis of Mississippi as president.