The Road to Disunion1780-1860
SS8H6The student will analyze the impact of the Civil War andReconstructionon Georgia.
a. Explain the importance of key issues andevents that led to the Civil War; include slavery, states' rights, nullification, Missouri Compromise, Compromise of 1850 and the Georgia Platform, Kansas-Nebraska Act, Dred Scott case, election of 1860, the debate over secession in Georgia, and the role of Alexander Stephens.b. State the importanceof key events of the Civil War; include Antietam, Emancipation Proclamation, Gettysburg, Chickamauga, the Union blockade of Georgia's coast, Sherman's Atlanta Campaign, Sherman's March to the Sea, and Andersonville.c. Analyze the impact of Reconstruction on Georgia and other southern states, emphasizing Freedmen's Bureau; sharecropping and tenant farming; Reconstruction plans; 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments to the constitution; Henry McNeal Turner and black legislators; and the Ku Klux Klan.
SS8E1The student will give examples of the kinds of goods and services produced in Georgia in different historical periods.SS8E2The student will explain the benefits of free trade.a. Describe how Georgians have engaged in trade in different historical time periods.
Southerners were concerned about the federal government telling them whattodo.Could the federal government force states to obey federal laws?Did the federal government have the right to decide how the territories would be governed?Did each state have the right to determine which federal laws to obey and which to ignore?
Tariff of Abominations
tariff: a tax on imported goodsabomination: something greatly disliked or horrible.sectionalism: is loyalty to the concerns of your own region or section of the country.nullification: the right reject a federal law.The Tariff of Abominationswas the term used in the south to describe the tariff enacted by Congress to protect northern manufacturers from British product sales in the United States.
Georgia and Nullification
TheGeorgiaLegislature released the following statement by CharlesSydnor:“We abhor the doctrine of Nullification as neither a peaceful, nor a constitutional remedy, but, on the contrary, as to tending to civil commotion and disunion.”
The Issue of Slavery
Upsetting the political balance in new states was an issue: slave vs. free state.Slavery in the Constitution: mentioned as “other persons”; outlawed slavery in 1808.Three-Fifths Compromise: counted every 5 slaves as 3 people for representation.
In 1819 the there was a balance of power in Congress: 11 free states and 11 slave states when Missouri asked to enter the Union. Each side argued against allowing Missouri to enter and give the other a political advantage. Henry Clay proposed a two part solution (compromise): Maine admitted as a free state and Missouri admitted as a slave state. He also proposed that all land above the 36⁰30’ line of latitude in the Louisiana Territory be free states. This would cause problems later.
Critics of Slavery
Abolitionists were people who were opposed to slavery and demanded an end to slavery.American Anti-Slavery Society (AASS)Frederick Douglass: a freed slave with persuasive abolitionist speech and writing skills.Southern slave holders saw these groups as real threats to their way of life.
Defenders of Slavery
Southerners defended slavery as “necessary to their economy” and believed that slavery was OK because the bible did not condemn slavery.Some argued that Africans could not care for themselves and needed to be protected and guided.George Fitzhugh wrote a book that the people working for the ‘free-system” in northern factories were worse off than slaves living in factories.
Representative David Wilmot proposed a law that would forbid slavery in any territory acquired during the War with Mexico.It did not pass, but caused greater conflict between the north and south.John C. Calhoun (SC) argued that allowing slavery was a constitutional right.Robert Toombs (GA) warned that if northern politicians blocked the expansion of slavery, he would support “disunion”.
Compromise of 1850
Admitted California as a free state (15/15 at this time)Abolished slavery in the District of Columbia.Created a stronger fugitive slave law.Let the territories of New Mexico and Utah decide for themselves about slavery.Calhoun again warned that the North's interests were being favored over the South's and the final result would be the end of the Union.The Georgia Platformsupported the Compromise of 1850 and the Union, but secession remained a topic of conversation in Georgia and the South.
Fugitive Slave Act:This new law required the return of escaped slaves, no matter their capture and that those who helped slaves to escape be fined and imprisoned as well.The Underground Railroad:A network of safe houses and hiding places for escaped slaves to make their way to Canada or Florida.Dred Scott Case:DredScott, a slave, filed a lawsuit contending that because he lived in a free state at one time ( Minnesota), he and his family should be free. The courts ruled against him and determined that slaves had no legal standing in the courts, were not “citizens”, and that “once a slave-always a slave.”. This was viewed as a victory for the south.
This act allowed states in these two territories to decide for themselves about slavery. This is called “popular sovereignty”. (Kansas, Nebraska, Montana, South and North Dakota.)Each side sent people to these territories to support their position on slavery and violence broke out between the pro-slavery and anti-slavery factions. This came to be referred to as “Bleeding Kansas”.
Election of 1860
The Republican Party was created in response to the disagreement between Northern Democrats and Southern Democrats over the issue of slavery.Douglas supported popular sovereignty and Lincoln felt that “this government can not endure permanently half slave and half free.”In 1860 there were more than 400,000 slaves in Georgia. Many felt that the election of a Republican threatened the institution of slavery.
Election of 1860
Northern and Southern Democrats split over the issue of slavery.Northern democrats split off into a new party called the RepublicanParty.Lincoln/Douglas debates for the IllinoisSenate. Douglas believed in popular sovereignty and accused Lincoln of being an “abolitionist” while Lincoln believed that “the Union could not long endure half-slave and half-free.” Douglas won the election but Lincoln became a national figure.
Election of 1860
In 1860 there were 400,00 slaves in Georgia. Georgians wanted a candidate that would support the economy of the south (slavery).Republicans nominated Lincoln.Northern Democrats chose Douglas and Herschel V. Johnson from Georgia as VP. Southern democrats chose John Breckinridge of Kentucky as their candidate.Lincoln was elected. This caused many southern states to consider secession.
Southern States Secede
Days after Lincoln's election South Carolina’s legislature voted 169-0 to secede from the Union.(From Georgia)Alexander Stephens, Benjamin Hill, and Herschel Johnsonargued against secession and wanted to compromise. These people were called ‘cooperationists”.
All Georgians did not support secession.Each county sent delegates to Milledgeville to discuss the issue of secession.After a heated debate, a vote was taken on January 29, 1861 and Georgia delegates voted 208-89 to secede from the Union.The delegates pledged their “lives, fortunes, and sacred honor to the defense of Georgia.”Georgia was now the independent “Republic of Georgia.”
Many Georgians, particularly in the northern portion of the state, did not support secession. Those that did not support it were called “Unionists”. Many believed that secession was unpatriotic.Georgia and the South were never unanimously behind the idea of the leaving the Union.
Before Lincoln took the oath of office, these 7 states seceded from the Union. They were followed soon afterward by:North Carolina,Arkansas,VirginiaTennessee
The Confederate States of America
On February 4, 1861 delegates from the seceding states met in Birmingham, AL to organize the Confederate States of America.From Georgia, T.R.R. Cobb and Robert Toombs attended and served on the committee.The Confederate Constitution mirrored the US Constitution with the exception of slavery. The CSA Constitution specifically allowed slavery.
Government of theConfederate States of America
JeffersonDavis of Mississippi was elected President.Alexander H. Stephens from Georgia was elected Vice-President.Robert Toombs of Georgia was appointed as Secretary of State.Jefferson Davis urged all of the remaining slave states to join the Confederacy.Georgia ratified the new Constitution on March 16, 1861. ( so from 1/29/1861 to 3/16/1861 Georgia was an “independent” nation!)
The rebellion begins. The first shots of the war are fired at Fort Sumter, South Carolina on April 12, 1861.