Initial Post Instructions 200 words
For the initial post, pick three (3) of the leading causes of the American Civil War:
The Compromise of 1850
The Fugitive Slave Law 1850
Uncle Tom’s Cabin 1852
The Kansas Nebraska Act 1854
The Dred Scott Case of 1857
The Lincoln Douglas Debates 1858
Then, address one (1) of the following for your selections:
Based on the historical facts given in this module, assess if the American Civil War was inevitable.
Analyze if the United States Supreme Court can settle legal and moral issues through judiciary review. In your response, provide a documented example of a modern parallel of a legal or moral issue settled by the United States Supreme Court.
Must use this book chap 12 &14 https://cnx.org/contents/p7ovuIkl@9.1:gMXC1GEM@7/Introduction
& one outside source!
The 100 word response to this post:
The events that were some of the most important causes of the Civil War are the Kansas Nebraska Act, the Dred Scott Case, and the Lincoln Douglas Debates.
The Kansas Nebraska Act was issued after a debate concerning whether or not slavery was legal in Kansas. This new land that sat west of Missouri was just claimed by the Union and considered a free state in 1846. The government was pushed to decide what the purpose of this land would be. “Northern farmers wanted the federal government to survey the land to put it up for sale. Promoters of a transcontinental railroad were also pushing for this westward expansion” (Corbett, 2018). Southerners opposed this new free state and felt that if they wanted to expand westward then they had every right to bring their slaves with them. The Kansas Nebraska act was brought to the government by Illinois Democratic senator, Stephen Douglas. This new bill would provide unity in the Democratic party and it would bring balance and appease both parties slavery opinions. This act separated the states of Kansas and Nebraska. It “applied the principle of popular sovereignty, dictating that the people of these territories would decide for themselves whether to adopt slavery” (Corbett, 2018). Besides giving more power to the inhabitants of these new states, the Kansas Nebraska Act also “gave rise to the Republican Party, a new political party that attracted northern Whigs, Democrats who sunned the Kansas Nebraska Act, members of the Free-Soil Party, and assorted abolitionists” (Corbett, 2018). Slavery was a constant debate across the nation. As new territories arose, old debates were brought up again. The federal government wanted to stay out of it in order to appease everyone. They felt that if the people in each state has the power to decide, then everyone was happy.
Dred Scott provided a vast area of debate between the Northerners and Southerners. Dred Scott had a small percentage of African blood, which at that time meant he was still a slave. To my understanding, his current “owner” let him live a freeman’s life. Scott was able to get married, have kids, travel on his own, and live on his own. After the passing of his owner, he was inherited and was forced back into slavery. “The Dred Scott case emerged from the efforts of a single man to free himself, his wife, and his two children from the institution of slavery” (MacDonnell, 2022). Scott was not able to sue in a court of law because according to the federal government, Scott and his family were considered slaves. They were not free people so the case was not legitimate.
The Lincoln-Douglas debates mainly discussed the issue of slavery. This was the first time that political debates took place. Douglas was representing the Democratic party, whereas Lincoln was representing the newly founded Republican party. Democrats were primarily pro-slavery whereas Republicans were primarily anti-slavery. I believe that is why the debates were so focused on the issue of slavery. Douglas and Lincoln were both born Northerners but their policies regarding slavery differed greatly. “Lincoln claimed that slavery was morally wrong, and that the Declaration of Independence…applied to African Americans” (Kauffman, 2009). Lincoln did not want to force the southern states to completely abolish slavery; he felt that was unconstitutional (Kauffman, 2009). However, Lincoln believed that newly formed states and claimed territories could not legalize slavery. Basically this meant that slavery could not be abolished in the southern states, but it also could not be established in new states. Slavery was not going to grow under Lincoln’s policies. Douglas ended up winning the seat, but Lincoln’s opinions and policies could now be spread throughout the country and his beliefs would win in the end.
In my opinion, the Civil War was inevitable. Debates were too great and opinions differed too much. Neither side wanted to budge nor did either want to compromise. In my opinion, Lincoln’s slavery policy was the closest to a compromise that the country would ever get. However, Lincoln’s policy was not good enough for the southerners. Southerners wanted slavery to be legalized everywhere. Northerners did not want slavery to be legal anywhere. There was no compromise so they turned to war to solve the problem.
Corbett, P. S. [et al] (2018). U.S. history. OpenStax, Rice University. https://cnx.org/contents/p7ovuIkl@9.1:gMXC1GEM@7/Introduction (Links to an external site.)
Kauffman, J. (2009). Lincoln-Douglas debates. In Lincoln-Douglas Debates. New York: Facts On File. Retrieved July 25, 2022, from online.infobase.com/Auth/Index?aid=239824&itemid=WE52&articleId=592448.
MacDonnell, F. (2022). Overview: Dred Scott–The Constitution, slavery, and the future of America. In Dred Scott: The Constitution, Slavery, and the Future of America. New York: Facts On File. Retrieved July 25, 2022, from online.infobase.com/Auth/Index?aid=239824&itemid=WE52&articleId=534053.
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