The American Of The Civil War Essay

The American Of The Civil War Essay

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Stephen Douglas, a mid-19th century senator hailing from Illinois, inadvertently had an incredibly important role in the dissolution of America mere years prior to the Civil War. Known for the significant role played in the creation of the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, Douglas argued for the instillation of popular sovereignty, or a people’s right to make decisions for a state, in both territories to decide the existence of slavery in Kansas and Nebraska. During a senate election race against Abraham Lincoln, Douglas, solidifies support of popular sovereignty, “Hence, no matter what the decision of the Supreme Court may be on that abstract question, still the right of the people to make a Slave Territory or a Free Territory is perfect and complete under the Nebraska Bill.” ("Stephen A. Douglas: Freeport Doctrine (1858)”). Popular sovereignty amounted to be a pivotal presence in the two territories as the Union began to deteriorate.
From the ratification of the American Constitution in 1787, tensions existed between the diverse regions formulating America. These tensions can be attributed to regional variation, economic differences, and conflicting views on America’s ‘peculiar institution’. The aforementioned tensions, however, did not risk boiling over with the Constitution and Missouri Compromise of 1820 in place. Friction grew as two major pieces of legislation during this time, The Compromise of 1850 and The Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, introduced popular sovereignty to an increasingly unstable situation as culminating events led to growing hostility. Finally, the rising abolitionist movement in the North placed pressure on the already frangible matter, driving the country into Civil War. The expansion of popular sovereignt...


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...e broken, and every bondman set free! Let Southern oppressors trembleólet all the enemies of the persecuted blacks tremble… ("William Lloyd Garrison: The Liberator (1831).”)

Similar ideals became quite common as Garrison’s seemingly fanatical views on slavery became the status quo for abolitionists country-wide barely 25 years later.
The new generation of abolitionists that adopted abolitionists such as Garrison’s viewpoints rallied behind certain events and literature in the final 10 years prior to the Civil War. One book in particular became a point of renewal for the abolitionist cause. Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe inspired many members of the abolition movement by describing the horrors faced by those enslaved in the South. “Talk of the abuses of slavery! Humbug! The thing itself is the essence of all abuse!” (“Uncle Tom’s Cabin”). The book gave

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