The Civil War Essay Research Paper CIVIL — страница 8

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interested in acquiring Cuba where slavery was legal and the government was negotiating for its sale to America by Spain. Though this failed, it was publicized and the northerners thought that the southerners were trying to acquire a new slave state and insisted that there was a southern conspiracy. Southerners were also interested in areas in the South American continent where slave states might be carved out. A southern adventurer, William walker led an expedition to Nicaragua in 1855, where he was dictator for some time and tried to raid Honduras as well. All these incidents were seen by the northerners as a move by the southerners to extend slavery and avoid abolition. *The expansion of American business was spreading from an early time. In 1819 missionaries went to Hawaii

where they established connections, which later helped in annexation. In 1830, china was being opened up and commercial treaties were being signed. In 1853, commodore Perry led a naval expedition to Japan, which led to the signing of a commercial treaty. In the Canadian border, there was a conflict between England and America over the fishing rights of the Americans. In 1854, the problem was solved through the reciprocal treaty, which gave the privilege to Canadians for passage of goods from and to the United States without the custom duties in exchange for American fishing rights. * The transcontinental railroad question was also being discussed and the route for the railroad was to be decided. The northerners wanted a northern route for the railroad, which would run through

Chicago or st. Louis while the south wanted a route through New Orleans along the Mexican border till Los Angeles. In 1854, senator Douglas (Ill.) presented the Kansas-Nebraska bill, which recommended the repeal of the Missouri compromise with the issue of slavery to be decided by popular sovereignty in the new regions to be created- Kansas and Nebraska. This bill was strongly backed by the pierce administration and was passed despite huge opposition and hostile public opinion. The bill did not specify when popular sovereignty should be applied to the territory. While the southerners felt that slavery should be allowed and only when admission was sought, then popular sovereignty should be exercised, Douglas believed that the first settlers should decide and that the earliest

elections were important. Utah, New Mexico and Nebraska were not being discussed by the southerners as possible slave states because the region was too arid. But Kansas was situated close to the slave state of Missouri and the soil was suited to slavery. Northern anti-slavery states set up aid societies to help northerners to settle in Kansas hoping to make it a free state. The settlers were mainly against both slavery and slaves and had no sympathies with either the abolitionists or the southerners. In the election of 1855 in Kansas, many Missourians came and voted for slavery electing pro slavery candidates. The government formed was pro slavery and supported by the pierce administration. While the abolitionists formed their own government and drafted a free state constitution,

the pro slavery government established a slave state and drafted a constitution. Initial hostility between the two governments in Kansas escalated into full-scale violence and Kansas was referred to as ?bleeding Kansas?. John brown, a northern abolitionist further worsened the situation when he led a band of armed men and killed 5 proslavery inhabitants of Kansas in 1856. In 1859, he captured an arsenal in Virginia and hoped to lead an attack to free the slaves in the south. Though he was caught and executed, he was martyred by the north and vilified by the south further deepening the rift between the two sections. In 1856, senator Charles Sumner who was a radical anti slavery proponent was talking of violence in Kansas, accused senator butler of South Carolina. Butler?s nephew,

Preston brooks beat Sumner unconscious later. This act of violence shows the deep feeling of the two sides. The north, infuriated by the passing of the Kansas-Nebraska bill and the fugitive slave bill passed many personal liberty laws, which made the capture of fugitive slaves very difficult. ?Uncle Tom?s Cabin? was a book written by Harriet Beecher Stowe and first published in 1852. It greatly increased the resurgence of anti-slavery feeling, with its emotional force and dramatic effectiveness. It was an extremely influential book and fuelled the abolitionists? fervor and broadened their public support. The formation of the Republican Party by the combination of Whigs and democrats and the free soilers all of whom were anti slavery occured during this time. Their support base