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The Sectional Crisis

Chapter 14:
The Sectional Crisis

The Sectional CrisisThe violence of “Bleeding Kansas,” the caning of Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts by Representative Preston Brooks of South Carolina, and John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry and its aftermath demonstrated the growing sectional conflict of the 1850s and foreshadowed the violence on the battlefield between armies of the North and the South. (Image: Scott Foresman Addison Wesley, Picture Research Dept.)

Review the Chapter


Each primary source document listed below has its own introduction and review questions.

Abraham Lincoln, "A House Divided" (1858)

Abraham Lincoln, Charleston (Illinois) Debate (October 7, 1858)

Abraham Lincoln, Debate at Galesburg, Illinois (1858)

Daniel Webster, Speech to the U.S. Senate in Favor of the Compromise of 1850 (March 7, 1850)

Frederick Douglass, Independence Day Speech (1852)

George Fitzhugh, Slavery Justified (1854)

George Frederick Holmes, Critique of "Uncle Tom's Cabin"
Southern Literary Messenger, XVIII (December, 1852).

Harriet Beecher Stowe, from Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852)

Henry Clay, Speech before the U.S. Senate (January 29, 1850)

John Brown's Address before Sentencing (November 2, 1859)

John C. Calhoun, Proposal to Preserve the Union (1850)

Opinion of the Supreme Court for Dred Scott v. Sanford (1857)

South Carolina Declaration of the Causes of Secession (December 24, 1860)

Stephen A. Douglas, Debate at Galesburg, Illinois (October 7, 1858)

The Fugitive Slave Act (1850)

The Land Acts (1862, 1873, 1894)

The Treaty of Fort Laramie (1851)

William Lloyd Garrison on John Brown's Raid (1859)


Click on a link below to view the image and read a detailed caption.

1860 Election - Cartoon

1860 Presidential Election Banner (Republican)

A Young Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln, February 27, 1860

Dred Scott

Franklin Pierce - Portrait

Frederick Douglass

Henry Clay - Daguerreotype

Hypocrisy of Fugitive Slave Act - Cartoon, 1851

John Brown, ca. 1850

Martin Van Buren and Abolitionism - Cartoon

Poster Warning Escaped Slaves

President Abraham Lincoln

Stephen Douglas

Stephen Douglas

Storming of the Engine House by the U.S. Marines, 1859

The United States Senate, 1850 - Painting

Uncle Tom's Cabin Theater Poster, ca. 1850

Verdict of the People - Painting, after 1855

Young Frederick Douglass


Select a audio clip to hear. You will need the latest Quicktime Player plug-in to listen to the audio. To determine if you have the latest Quicktime Player Plug-in and to download it if you do not, go to the Browser Tune-up.

Battle Hymn of the Republic


These maps and their captions illustrate and describe important historical aspects of this period.

Interactive Map: The Compromise of 1850 and the Kansas-Nebraska Act

Atlas Map: The Compromise of 1850 and Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854

Map Workbook Activity: The Compromise Of 1850 And The Kansas-Nebraska Act

America Past and Present, Take Notes and Answer Analysis Questions

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