The Coming of the Civil War

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Can you name the major events between 1850 and 1861 leading to the outbreak of the American Civil War?

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DescriptionEventDate
Senator Henry Clay submits this series of laws to the US Congress in order to avoid conflict over the role of slavery in Western Expansion.January 29, 1850
This state, the first carved from the Mexican cession of 1848, is admitted into the Union; it is the 31st state.September 9, 1850
This law, the second of its kind, forced Northern citizens to assist in the recapture of escaped slaves; it was one of the laws included in Answer #1.September 18, 1850
This newspaper, considered to be generally anti-slavery, is founded; it will go on to be the most celebrated newspaper in American history.September 18, 1851
Uncle Tom's Cabin is published; it was written by this woman, the daughter of a famed preacher and temperance leader.March 20, 1852
This abolitionist delivers a famous speech in which he uses the themes of the Fourth of July to indict slavery as un-American.July 4, 1852
Franklin Pierce is elected President of the United States, to date the only President from this state.November 2, 1852
This small land purchase is agreed upon with Mexico: it is the last major territorial acquisition in the contiguous United States.December 30, 1853
Stephen Douglas, a Senator from Illinois, creates an act regulating the status of slavery in these two territories, which would become the 34th and 37th states, respectively.May 30, 1854
This political party, formed in response to a perceived bias in favor of slave states in American politics, holds its first convention in Jackson, Michigan.July 6, 1854
This college, in Lewiston, ME, is founded by a group of abolitionists.March 16, 1855
Anti-slavery settlers hold a constitutional convention in this Kansas city, one of the pivotal events leading to large scale violence in that territory.October 23, 1855
The American Party, also called the Know-Nothings, nominate this former President as their candidate in the 1856 presidential election.February 18, 1856
DescriptionEventDate
After a speech against pro-slavery attacks on Free Soilers in Kansas Territory, this senator is beaten with a cane wielded by Senator Preston Brooks oin the floor of the Senate.May 22, 1856
This abolitionist leads a raid on pro-slavery settlers at Pottawatomie Kansas, killing 5 in cold blood.May 24, 1856
James Buchanan defeats Answer #15 and this man, the nominee of the Party in answer #11, to become the 15th President of the United States.November 4, 1856
The Supreme Court rules against this slave in a decision that denies Blacks citizenship and refutes the idea that the federal government can declare any territory slave-free.March 6, 1857
A series of debates between Stephen Douglas and a young former Congressman for the office of Senator begins in this state.August 21, 1858
John Brown begins a raid on this town, which houses a Federal armory; his goal is to begin a massive slave uprising which will wipe away slavery.October 16, 1859
This man, most recently a lawyer after serving a term as a Congressman from Illinois, is nominated for President by the party in question #11.May 18, 1860
After the candidate in #22 is elected president, this southern state officially secedes from the United States, the first to do so.December 20, 1860
Five more states join the state in #23 and secede; together they form this new country.February 8, 1861
This man is elected President of Answer #24.February 29, 1861
Alexander Stephens, the new Vice President of the country in #24, gives this famous speech which declares that slavery is the basis of the new nation.March 21, 1861
This fort, in Charleston Harbor, is bombarded by rebel troops; the event marks the opening of the American Civil War.April 12, 1861

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