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Pre-War and Secession

Many of the events that led up to the secession of the Southern States, and catapulting this country into its most devastating war.

Bleeding Kansas
Bleeding Kansas was the name given to the violence that occurred in the Kansas territory between 1854-58 when anti- and pro-slavery forces fought for control of the territory. Learn more about this event in American History.

Fugitive Slave Act of 1850
Read the text of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850.

Compromise of 1850
The Compromise of 1850 was a group of five bills that were intended to stave off sectional strife that would eventually lead to the Civil War.

Wilmot Proviso
The Wilmot Proviso was an inflammatory piece of legislation in the 1840's that was proposed by David Wilmot of Pennsylvania.

Civil War Timeline
This nice little timeline from the History Place is easy to read, and includes several photos that are "clickable" for a larger view.

Dred Scott Decision--Chronology
On March 6, 1857, Chief Justice Roger B. Taney read the majority opinion of the Supreme Court, which was that black people were not citizens of the United States and, that Congress had no authority to ban slavery from a federal territory. From Washington University (MO.) site.

The Crittenden Compromise
The Crittenden Compromise was perhaps the last-ditch effort to resolve the secession crisis of 1860-61 by political negotiation. Authored by Kentucky Senator John Crittenden it was an attempt to resolve the crisis by addressing the concerns that led the states of the Lower South to contemplate secession.

Causes of the Civil War
Jim Epperson's site shows how the causes were many, involving many thoughts, documents and decisions. Look through them all, and you will find a very thorough work here.

Declaration of Causes of Secession
Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina and Texas give their causes for secession. A lengthy text site, but then, they had a lot to say.

Party Platforms and Secession Documents
Want to find out about the causes of the Civil War from the primary source documents? Here are the 1856 and 1860 Republican Platforms along with four state Declarations of Causes of Secession and more.

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