American history I: final exam review



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The Republican Party

  • Founded in 1854 by a mixture of former Whigs, Free Soilers, and anti-slavery Democrats

  • Created in direct response to the Kansas-Nebraska Act

  • Number one goal became to contain the spread of slavery to the South and not allow it to spread to new states or territories

  • The “Know-Nothings” (Also called The American Party)

  • Nativist party that opposed immigration and was fiercely anti-Catholic

  • Initially successful, but short-lived since its members were divided over slavery

  • Election of 1856

  • Republicans nominated explorer John C. Fremont

  • Democrats nominated career politician and moderate James Buchanan

  • Know-Nothings nominated former president Millard Fillmore

  • American voters elected the Democrat, rather than either of the candidates from the two upstart parties

  • The Presidency of James Buchanan (1857-61)

  • Only unmarried President

  • Believed that South could only be kept in the Union through concessions and compromise, but this infuriated Northern supporters

  • Failed to successfully deal with increasingly violent sectionalism

  • Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857)

  • Dred Scott was a slave who sued for freedom on the grounds that his master, an Army officer, carried him into territories where slavery was illegal

  • Southern-dominated Supreme Court under Chief Justice Roger Taney ruled that since persons of African ancestry were not citizens of the U.S. but were instead private property, they were not protected by U.S. laws and could not sue in U.S. courts

  • The Court also overturned the Missouri Compromise as unconstitutional, ruling that Congress could not pass laws that denied citizens their right to private property (slaves) without “due process” (5th Amendment)

  • Kansas & the Lecompton Constitution

  • President Buchanan encouraged Kansas to apply for statehood, which would force them to decide the slavery issue there and end the violence

  • A Constitutional Convention was called in the territory’s capital of Lecompton, but was boycotted by abolition supporters, who believed it was a trap

  • The result was a state constitution that allowed slavery in Kansas

  • Congress refused to admit Kansas under the Lecompton constitution in 1858 – Kansas would not become a state until 1861

  • The Lincoln-Douglas Debates (1858)

  • Republicans ran Abraham Lincoln against Democrat Stephen Douglas for U.S. Senate in Illinois

  • The 2 men participated in a series of public debates centered on slavery

  • Lincoln opposed the spread of slavery, Douglas promoted popular sovereignty

  • Douglas argued the Freeport Doctrine – that the Dred Scott decision was correct, but that states wanting to keep slavery out only needed to refuse to pass any laws which would enable slavery

  • Douglas won re-election, but Lincoln won national attention for himself & the Republican Party

  • John Brown (1800 – 1859)

  • Businessman who experienced bankruptcy, the death of his wife and a number of his children before becoming an ardent abolitionist

  • Moved to Kansas in 1856 and participated in the murder of 5 pro-slavery settlers (The Pottawatomie Massacre) and the more organized fighting between abolitionist and pro-slavery forces

  • When fighting died down in Kansas, Brown returned east

  • John Brown’s Raid on Harper’s Ferry (Oct. 16-18, 1859)

  • Brown mounted an attack on the federal armory at Harper’s Ferry, VA in an effort to seize weapons with which to arm slaves and start a rebellion

  • Brown took the armory, but local slaves did not rebel and no support came

  • Brown’s forces were defeated by U.S. Marines led by Col. Robert E. Lee and Brown was captured, tried and hung for treason

  • South Turns Against the Republicans

  • After John Brown’s Raid, Southerners became convinced that abolitionists were determined to destroy the Southern way of life

  • The Republican Party was closely tied to the abolitionist cause

  • Southern leaders vowed that they would rather dissolve the Union than tolerate a Republican-led government

  • The Election of 1860

  • Northern Democrats who favored popular sovereignty nominated Stephen Douglas

  • Southern Democrats who demanded federal protection of slavery nominated John Breckinridge

  • Republicans nominated Abraham Lincoln

  • South Carolina Secedes

  • When Lincoln won the election, the South was outraged

  • On Dec. 20, 1860, South Carolina seceded from the Union

  • President Buchanan declared secession to be illegal but hesitated to use military force to stop it

  • U.S. forces in South Carolina retreated to the safety of Ft. Sumter in Charleston Harbor

  • South Carolina was quickly followed in secession by Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas

  • The Presidency of Abraham Lincoln (Republican, 1861-65)

  • Lincoln had to decide whether to let the South leave the U.S. or use military force to make them stay – he chose to fight

  • Although anti-slavery, Lincoln was willing to offer protections for Southern slavery to keep the Union whole

  • The Crittenden Compromise

  • Sen. John Crittenden of Kentucky proposed amending the U.S. Constitution to forever guarantee slavery where it already existed, and reinstating the Missouri Compromise line

  • Most Republicans refused to support the compromise

  • Jefferson Davis

  • Feb. 1861: Secessionist states declared themselves to be an independent nation, the Confederate States of America

  • The Confederates wrote a new constitution and elected former Mississippi senator Jefferson Davis as their President

  • Ft. Sumter

  • April 1861: Lincoln announced that he intended to reinforce and resupply the Union troops at Ft. Sumter

  • The South demanded that Ft. Sumter surrender; when the fort refused, it was bombarded with cannon-fire for 33 hours (this marks the official beginning of the U.S. Civil War)

  • April 13, 1861: Ft. Sumter surrendered to South

  • The Upper South Secedes

  • Lincoln began to build an army to fight the secessionist

  • This prompted states in the “Upper South” to secede in support of the Confederacy

  • Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina, & Tennessee all left the Union to join the Confederacy

  • The Border States Must Decide

  • Lincoln needed the remaining 4 slave states (Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri) to stay in the Union

  • Delaware freely committed to the North, even voting to abolish slavery

  • Lincoln imposed martial law in Maryland (in order to protect Washington D.C.)

  • Kentucky sided with the North after Confederate forces invaded the state

  • Missouri voted to stay with the North

  • The Civil War (1861 – 1865)

  • Who had the military advantage?

  • NORTH

  • ¾ of US Navy’s officers and nearly all of its sailors were New Englanders

  • Nearly all of the U.S. Navy’s warships were stationed in the North, so not seized by South during secession

  • All but one major shipyard was in the North

  • SOUTH

  • 1/3 of the U.S. Army’s officers resigned to join the Confederacy, including Robert E. Lee

  • 7 of the 8 military colleges in US were in the South, so there were many more trained soldiers in the South

  • Who had the manpower advantage?

  • NORTH

  • Pop. = 22 million

  • More population meant there were enough men to fight AND work in industry and farming

  • Additionally, immigrants from Europe all came into northern ports!

  • SOUTH

  • Pop. = 9 million (3 million of which were slaves!)

  • Less population meant that nearly every able-bodied white male would have to fight; women would have to contribute to war effort through farming and managing slaves

  • Who had the manufacturing advantage?

  • NORTH

  • 80% of U.S. factories were in the North

  • Over 90% of clothes, shoes, and iron were made in the North

  • Nearly 100% of guns and gunpowder were made in the North

  • SOUTH

  • Had only 1 iron works which could make proper cannons

  • Had NO gunpowder manufacturing

  • South did move quickly to build factories to make weapons and gunpowder, but still relied on Europe for many other goods

  • Who had the transportation advantage?

  • NORTH

  • Had 2/3 of railroads, plus turnpikes and the National Road, plus the Great Lakes and connected canals and waterways for moving food and materials around the North

  • SOUTH

  • Had only about 1/3 of railroads in US

  • Had only one major east-west rail line for moving food and materials around the South

  • Depended on the Mississippi River

  • Who had the financial advantage?

  • NORTH

  • Already had an established treasury to print money

  • Received revenues from tariffs

  • Most powerful banks which could loan money to the government through the purchase of bonds were in the North

  • Gold and silver fields of the West stayed in the Union

  • By war’s end, inflation in the North was at 80% (high, but not unreasonable)

  • SOUTH

  • Most Southern planters were “cash poor” & already in debt

  • Southern banks were small, had little cash to buy bonds

  • With Southern ports blockaded by Union warships, South could not rely on tariffs or trade with Europe for revenue

  • South began to print paper money, but it had little value

  • By war’s end, inflation = 9000% (outrageously high!)

  • North’s Strategy for Winning

  • The Anaconda Plan

  • Blockade Southern ports and use gunboats to seize control of the Mississippi River – this would isolate and divide the South, strangling their access to resources

  • Would take time, but be less costly in lives

  • Keep Europe out of the war

  • South’s Strategy for Winning

  • Choose battles carefully and avoid large, risky encounters

  • Wage a defensive war of attrition – make the war as expensive in lives and resources for the Union as possible. This will make the war unpopular and force them to negotiate

  • If necessary, pull European powers (esp. Great Britain) into the war – their textile factories depended on Southern cotton

    • New Technologies

    • Rifles

    • When war started, most soldiers still using slow-loading muskets which fired round balls

    • Over the course of the war, they were replaced by faster firing, more accurate rifles which fired conoidal bullets called minié balls

    • Steam-powered “ironclads”

    • Both sides began using “ironclads” – warships covered in sheets of iron armor

    • First battle: March 9, 1862 (Battle of Hampton Roads) between the USS Monitor and CSS Virginia (a captured Union warship formerly named the USS Merrimack)

    • Battle was indecisive since neither ships’ cannon could break enemy’s armor

    • Submarines

    • Both sides developed submarine technology, but the South was the only side to actually put one into action

    • The CSS Hunley sank a northern ship blockading Charleston Harbor on Feb. 18, 1864; unfortunately, the Hunley also sank in the attack

    • The War

    • Europe and the War

    • Britain and France depended on Southern cotton for their textile mills, but were reluctant to anger U.S. by recognizing the CSA

    • Both decided on a “wait and see” approach; if the South could prove itself in battle, then European powers would show public support

    • The Trent Affair (November 1861)

    • CSA sent representatives James Mason & John Slidell to Europe via Cuba; they boarded the British ship Trent, but US Navy intercepted the Trent and arrested Mason & Slidell

    • Britain protested and threatened war; Lincoln ordered the two diplomats released to ease tensions

    • Divisions in the Republican Party

    • Most Republicans wanted to see a total end to slavery

    • Pres. Lincoln placed preserving the Union ahead of ending slavery – if he could put the country back together, he would tolerate slavery

    • Divisions in the Democratic Party

    • War Democrats: supported the use of military force to restore the Union, opposed ending slavery

    • Peace Democrats: opposed the war, wanted to see Union restored through negotiation

    • Republicans hated the Peace Democrats – considered their opposition to the war to be treason

    • Republicans nicknamed the Peace Democrats “Copperheads” after a venomous snake

    • First Battle of Bull Run (July 21, 1861) also known as the First Battle of Manassas

    • First major battle of the war

    • Union forces badly defeated just outside Washington DC

    • South did not press its advantage due to disorganization

    • Made it clear to the North that the war would not be quickly won

    • North captured New Orleans (April 29, 1862)

    • US Navy under David Farragut attacked and captured New Orleans, a port vital to the South because it controlled both the Gulf of Mexico and the mouth of the Mississippi River




    • The Draft (Summer 1862)

    • US Congress passed militia law which required states to use conscription (the draft) if necessary to field enough soldiers

    • Hurt the poor because the rich could buy out of the draft for $300 or hire a proxy (a substitute) to serve for them

    • Opposed by Democrats, led to riots in strongly Democratic districts

    • CSA would also use conscription to force men into service

    • Lincoln Suspends Habeas Corpus

    • After anti-conscription riots, Lincoln suspended the requirement that a person could not be imprisoned without being charged and given a trial

    • Anyone who aided the South or resisted the draft could be imprisoned indefinitely without trial

    • Lincoln was heavily criticized

    • CSA would also suspend habeas corpus, for the same reasons

    • Legal Tender Act of 1862

    • As worried citizens withdrew gold and silver from US banks, created a financial crisis

    • US government created a national paper currency which came to be known as “greenbacks”

    • CSA also began to print and use paper money

    • Grant’s Western Campaign

    • Ulysses Grant’s forces were put in charge of securing the West (mainly Kentucky and Tennessee)

    • Grant won major victories, but only because he was willing to make sacrifices – large numbers of Union casualties

    • McClellan’s Peninsular Campaign

    • McClellan attempted to end the war by landing forces near Fort Monroe, VA and pushing up the peninsula between the James and York Rivers to attack the Confederate capital of Richmond, VA

    • The campaign bogged down and Lincoln ordered the return of Union forces to Washington D.C. to protect the US capital.

    • Second Battle of Bull Run (Aug. 28-30, 1862)

    • Confederate forces defeated (but did not destroy) the Union Army, opening the way for the South to invade the North

    • Battle of Antietam (September 17, 1862)

    • Lee secretly planned to invade the North, but his plans were discovered and Union forces met his at Antietam Creek, MD

    • Bloodiest single day of the war

    • Lee was defeated, but escaped south with his army still intact

    • The Emancipation Proclamation (January 1, 1863)

    • Lincoln issued an executive order freeing all slaves in any state which was in armed rebellion, but not in states which had stayed in the Union!

    • This encouraged free blacks to enlist in the Union Army, because it gave them a moral objective for fighting – to free the slaves in the South

    • Siege of Vicksburg (May 15 – July 1, 1863)

    • After a two month siege by Grant’s forces, Vicksburg, MS surrendered, giving the Union total control of the Mississippi River and permanently dividing the South

    • Battle of Gettysburg (July 1-3, 1863)

    • In an effort to move the war out of the South, Lee marched into Pennsylvania; he hoped to destroy public support for the war in the North by bringing the war to their towns and farms

    • Battle was bloody – nearly 8000 dead and 27,000 wounded

    • Confederate forces were defeated and turned back to Virginia

    • The South would not be able to invade the North again and would be on the defensive from this point forward

    • The Gettysburg Address (November 19, 1863)

    • Lincoln delivered his speech 4 months after the battle, at the dedication of the National Cemetery in Gettysburg

    • One of the most famous speeches in US History – even though it was only about 2 minutes long

    • Sherman’s “March to the Sea” (Nov.-Dec. 1864)

    • After capturing the key railroad town of Atlanta, GA, Sherman marched his men across Georgia to the port of Savannah

    • Along the way, Sherman practiced a “scorched earth” campaign, burning or destroying nearly everything he came across – plantations, railroads, crops, businesses, and factories

    • Election of 1864

    • Democrats ran George McClellan

    • Republicans ran Abraham Lincoln with a VP candidate who was a War Democrat (Andrew Johnson) to broaden their appeal

    • Lincoln won with the help of some major Union battle victories

    • Appomattox Courthouse (April 9, 1865)

    • Lee, who saw victory as hopeless, surrendered to Grant in order to avoid needless deaths

    • 2 weeks later, the last major Confederate force surrendered in Durham, NC

    • The war was over

    • The Aftermath of War

    • The South In Ruins

    • Towns and cities had been burned or damaged

    • Land value had fallen due to the destruction

    • Confederate money was now worthless

    • Bridges, railroads, manufacturing had been destroyed

    • Slaves freed, so laborers now had to be paid

    • Lincoln’s Plan For “Reconstruction”

    • Lincoln sought peace rather than punishment

    • In Dec. 1863, Lincoln had issued the “Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction”:

      • Gave a general pardon to all Southerners who took an oath of loyalty to the US and who accepted an end to slavery

      • Once 10% of the voters in a state had taken the oath, the state would be readmitted to the Union and could organize a new government and elect members of Congress

    • Radical Republicans’ Goals

    • Led by Thaddeus Stevens & Charles Sumner

    • Wanted to prevent any former leaders of the Confederacy from returning to U.S. Congress

    • Wanted to increase the Republican Party’s power in the South

    • Sought to guarantee African-Americans political equality and voting rights

    • The 3/5ths Compromise?

    • African-Americans were no longer slaves, so they now each counted as a whole person in the census

    • This increase in census population meant the South gained about 15 more seats in the House of Representatives

    • Republicans needed African-Americans in the South to be able to vote (and to vote Republican) to maintain control of Congress.

    • The Wade-Davis Bill

    • Required the majority of adult white males in a state to take an oath of loyalty to the U.S. for the state to be readmitted

    • Each state must also abolish slavery, reject all debts acquired as part of the Confederacy, and not allow former Confederate officials or military officers the right to vote or hold public office

    • The Bill was supported by moderate Republicans who thought Lincoln too soft and the Radicals too harsh

    • Lincoln pocket-vetoed the Bill

      • Pocket veto = an automatic veto of a bill, occurring when Congress adjourns within the ten-day period allowed for presidential action on the bill and the president has retained it unsigned

    • The Freedmen’s Bureau

    • The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands was created by Congress, with Lincoln’s approval, in 1865 as the first federal relief agency

    • The Bureau provided clothing, medical attention, meals, legal advice, education, and even some land to freed blacks

    • When the Bureau came up for renewal in 1866, Pres. Johnson vetoed the renewal bill, but his veto was over-ridden

    • Still, the Bureau lacked popular support (some believed it did too much, others, not enough) and was shut down in 1872

    • Lincoln Assassinated (April 14, 1865)

    • Lincoln was shot and killed while watching a play at Ford’s Theater in D.C.

    • Assassin John Wilkes Booth escaped capture for 12 days but was hunted down and killed by Union soldiers

    • Booth was an ardent Southerner who was angered by Lincoln’s support of voting rights for African-Americans

    • Booth’s Conspiracy

    • Booth had conspirators who were supposed to assassinate Vice-President Andrew Johnson and Sec. of State William Seward, but they failed

    • Despite Booth’s death, 8 others were tried for their roles in the assassination conspiracy; 4 were sentenced to death and hanged July 7, 1865, the others were sent to prison, where one died, but were later pardoned in 1869

    • The Presidency of Andrew Johnson (Democrat, 1865 – 1869)

    • First president to come to office due to assassination

    • A Southerner (born in Raleigh, NC) who had served as the U.S. Senator from Tennessee prior to the war

    • Democrat who had been chosen to run with Lincoln (a Republican) to ensure Lincoln’s re-election

    • After leaving the Presidency, he briefly returned to the U.S. Senate in 1875
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