What were happening n the United States prior to Lincoln getting elected?

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  • 1 decade ago
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    For space constraints, I will focus on the political developments and main points, and not write a tome.

    As one reader mentioned the Whig Party did die; its last presidential candidate was in 1852, President Pierce. Essentially, the Whig Party ended because it was a national party and the United States became very sectional in the 1830s to the Civil War. It is fair to say the United States became separated by an industrial, anti-slavery North and slave farming and nonindustrial South. Of course, that is overgeneralization but it gives needed basic understanding.

    Historians have hammered in recent decades that slavery was not as unprofitable and inefficient as thought. Nevertheless, the North far surpassed the South in population,industry, railroads, and even was close to Dixie's farm output. When an anti-slavery movement developed in the North, the South grew paranoid about it. The region became ready to fight for slavery, while it still by its view had the chance to perserve it.

    While other factors stirred the North on slavery, the Dred Scott v. Sandford case was the biggest. The Supreme Court in that pernicious ruling stated that slavery could be barred no where in the United States, including Northern states. That really energized the Republican Party, which was clearly dedicated to stop the SPREAD of slavery. Southerners misunderstood many Republicans, such as Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln did not want slavery to spread out of the South, but was willing to leave it as it was.

    Basically Northerners and Southerners came into great conflict. Congressmen of the era in session actually had guns and knives! One strong Northern opponent of slavery was severely injured by a caning from a pro-slavery Southern representative,.

    Tensions mounted and possible compromises and efforts at peace failed in the heated atmosphere. The country split. The Democratic Party, which has been a national party, divided into a Southern and Northern faction in 1860. Because of the great population growth the anti-slavery Republican Party won in 1860 with Abraham Lincoln in a very heated, divisive atmosphere. Before the election, the South could have kept the status quo, but the Fireaters stirred the region into secession. Lincoln was in a difficult position in that he would have essentially had to cave into the South to prevent war. That would have destroyed his political credibility with the Republican Party.

    The key conclusion, which unfortunately must leave important factors out, is the main happening in America before Lincoln's election that a Civil War had become an inevitable conflict by 1857.

    Source(s): Teaching, taking Civil War classes
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    There was a power struggle between the north and the South in Congress. The two factions were the strict Constitutionalist South versus the more liberalized north. Many in the north so hated the South they wanted a dissolution of the union and called it "...a pact with Hell". They wished to leave the South and form a northern confederation of states that didn't have to trade with the South. This all changed when the northern industrialists discovered that the tax monies collected from the South could pay for northern internal improvements. This led to the Morrill Tax Act which attempted to draw as much money from the South as possible...... up to 80% of the national tax burden. When the South balked, the Congress eventually repealed the act.

    Meanwhile, northern abolitionists were attempting to incite slave rebellions in the South by sending both inflammatory pamphlets as well as people bent on causing trouble to the Southern states. The Southern states petitioned congress to force the abolitionists to cease before someone got hurt or killed. Congress refused to act which emboldened the radical abolitionists to more outrageous behavior. Ultimately, the Southern states had had enough and began to secede from the union for their own welfare. This further enraged the northern states because the South had planned to charge a lower import tax than did the northern states. this would have dried up all the business in New York, Boston and Baltimore harbors and sent the trade to Charleston, S.C., Savannah, Ga, and New Orleans La. The industrialized north would have ceased to control trade in the North Atlantic and the political as well as the economic power would have swung to the Southern Confederacy causing the U.S. gov't to lose power and clout.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    If you mean just prior to the Civil War, the Whig party died and the Republican party was born. Lincoln didn't campaign as an abolitionist. He said, paraphrasing, "If I could save the Union by allowing slavery, I would. If I could keep the Union together by abolishing slavery, I would do that."

    However people in the South were convinced that Lincoln was at the head of a vastly sinister Republican/abolitionist conspiracy that wanted to ruin the South, prevent it from expanding, and tear there slaves away from them. So they attacked first.

    Cash was scarce. Most people got paid in local bank notes, which were denominated in dollars but were only as good as the cash the banks had on hand. There was a great deal of movement to Oregon and California and then to Kansas. Abolitionists from New England settled in Kansas and fought the slave owning families in Kansas on a legal front and by physical attacks. The Jayhawkers (as they were called) constantly crossed the Missouri border to cause devastation and havoc in the slave owning counties , mostly in Jackson and Clay counties. The people there organized guerrilla bands to murder, destroy and burn down as much of Kansas as they could. In a very real sense the Civil War began on the border of Kansas and Missouri.

    Source(s): "The Devil Knows How to Ride", a biography of the infamous guerrilla William Quantrill.
  • the nation was divided over the issue of slavery. the north wanted to abolish it and of course the south wanted to keep. The U.S. was expanding westward and there was intense debate over whether slavery should be legalized in new states added to the union.

    1850--Compromise of 1850

    1854--Kansas Nebraska Act is passed

    1857--U.S. Supreme Court rules in the Dred Scot decision

    1859--John Brown and Harper's Ferry

    of course there is a lot more to whats going on, these are just a few key events and there are definitely others, but hopefully this helps a little at least in getting started. all these events center around the issue of slavery

    Source(s): here's a time line of the 1850's website http://americasbesthistory.home.att.net/abhtimelin...
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  • 1 decade ago

    Lincoln/Douglas presidential debates?

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago


  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    It was really nice. There were no zoning laws and you could own as many slaves as you wanted.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    White people kicking Black people buts.

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