Period 1: 1491–1607 Key Concept 1

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Key Concept 5.2: Intensified by expansion and deepening regional divisions, debates over slavery and other economic, cultural, and political issues led the nation into civil war.
I. The institution of slavery and its attendant ideological debates, along with regional economic and demographic changes, territorial expansion in the 1840s and 1850s, and cultural differences between the North and the South, all intensified sectionalism. (ID-5) (POL-3) (POL-5) (POL-6) (CUL-2) (CUL-6)
A. The North’s expanding economy and its increasing reliance on a freelabor manufacturing economy contrasted with the South’s dependence on an economic system characterized by slave-based agriculture and slow population growth.
B. Abolitionists, although a minority in the North, mounted a highly visible campaign against slavery, adopting strategies of resistance ranging from fierce arguments against the institution and assistance in helping slaves escape to willingness to use violence to achieve their goals.

C. States’ rights, nullification, and racist stereotyping provided the foundation

for the Southern defense of slavery as a positive good.
John C. Calhoun, minstrel shows
II. Repeated attempts at political compromise failed to calm tensions over slavery and often made sectional tensions worse, breaking down the trust between sectional leaders and culminating in the bitter election of 1860, followed by the secession of southern states. (POL-2) (POL-6) (PEO-5) (ID-5)
A. National leaders made a variety of proposals to resolve the issue of slavery in the territories, including the Compromise of 1850, the Kansas–Nebraska Act, and the Dred Scott decision, but these ultimately failed to reduce sectional conflict.
B. The second party system ended when the issues of slavery and antiimmigrant nativism weakened loyalties to the two major parties and fostered the emergence of sectional parties, most notably the Republican Party in the

North and the Midwest.

C.Lincoln’s election on a free soil platform in the election of 1860 led various Southern leaders to conclude that their states must secede from the Union, precipitating civil war.

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