Exacerbating tensions, the old Whig political party was dying.Many of its followers joined with members of the American Party (Know-Nothings) and others who opposed slavery to form a new political entity in the 1850s, the Republican Party.Within two years it was a nationwide and worldwide bestseller.Tags: Essays On James Joyce ArabyHow To Make A Business Plan ProposalShould School Start Later In The Morning Persuasive EssayPerceptions Of Health EssayInterview Questions For Problem SolvingResearch Papers On SlaveryScholarship For WomenOwl Purdue Process Essay
Abolitionists fought to have slavery declared illegal in those territories, as the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 had done in the territory that became the states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin.
Advocates of slavery feared that if the institution were prohibited in any states carved out of the new territories the political power of slaveholding states would be diminished, possibly to the point of slavery being outlawed everywhere within the United States.
When the Republican candidate Abraham Lincoln won the 1860 presidential election, Southern fears that the Republicans would abolish slavery reached a new peak.
Lincoln was an avowed opponent of the expansion of slavery but said he would not interfere with it where it existed.
Slavery was interwoven into the Southern economy even though only a relatively small portion of the population actually owned slaves.
Slaves could be rented or traded or sold to pay debts.
States’ Rights The Missouri Compromise The Dred Scott Decision The Abolitionist Movement Abolitionist John Brown John Brown’s Raid On Harpers Ferry Slavery In America Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Harriet Beecher Stowe Uncle Tom’s Cabin Secessionism Abraham Lincoln’s Election Explore articles from the History Net archives about Civil War Causes » See all Civil War Causes Articles The Northern and Southern sections of the United States developed along different lines.
The South remained a predominantly agrarian economy while the North became more and more industrialized.
One abolitionist in particular became famous—or infamous, depending on the point of view—for battles that caused the deaths of pro-slavery settlers in Kansas. Ultimately, he left Kansas to carry his fight closer to the bosom of slavery. Brown was swiftly tried for treason against Virginia and hanged.
On the night of October 16, 1859, Brown and a band of followers seized the federal arsenal at Harper’s Ferry, Virginia (now West Virginia), in what is believed to have been an attempt to arm a slave insurrection. Southern reaction initially was that his acts were those of a mad fanatic, of little consequence.