1. Bleeding Kansas: This was a series of violent events involving abolitionists and pro-slavery elements that took place in Kansas territory where pro-slavery and anti-slavery constitutions competed. Two major places were the Pottawatomie and Lawrence.
2. Sumner-Brooks Affair: In 1856 Charles Sumner made an abolitionist speech that insulted South Carolina’s Senator Andrew Butler. Preston Brooks, Butler’s nephew, heard Sumner’s speech and on the Senate floor beat him into a coma with a cane.
3. John Brown: John Brown was a militant abolitionist that took radical extremes to make his views clear. In May of 1856, Brown led a group of his followers to Pottawattamie Creek and launched a bloody attack against pro-slavery men killing five people. This began violent retaliation against Brown and his followers. This violent attack against slavery helped give Kansas its nick name, "bleeding Kansas".
4. Dred Scott vs. Sanford: Scott was a black slave who had lived with his master for five years in Illinois and Wisconsin territory. He sued for his freedom on the basis of his long residence in free territory. The Dred Scott court decision was handed down by Supreme Court on March 6, 1857. The Supreme Court ruled that Scott was a black slave and not a citizen. Hence, he could not sue in a federal court.
5. Panic of 1857: The California gold rush increased inflation and speculation in land and railroads. It also "ripped economic fabric.” The t the North was hit harder than South because the South had cotton as a staple source of income. The North wanted free land from the government and it drove Southerners closer to a showdown. It also caused an increase in tariffs and gave Republicans an issue for the election of 1860.
6. Lincoln-Douglass Debates 1858: Lincoln dared Stephen Douglas to a series of 7 debates. Though Douglas won the senate seat, these debates gave Lincoln reputation and helped him to later on win the presidency. These debates were a forewarning of the Civil War.
7. Fort Sumter 1861: Place of the opening engagement of the Civil War. On December 20, 1860, South Carolina had seceded from the Union, and had commanded that all federal property in the state be submitted to state authorities. Major Robert Anderson focused his units at Fort Sumter, and, when Lincoln took office on March 4, 1861, Sumter was one of only two forts in the South still under Union control. Learning that Lincoln intended to send supplies to reinforce the fort, on April 11, 1861, Confederate General Beauregard demanded Anderson's surrender, which was declined. On April 12, 1861, the Confederate Army began attacking the fort, which surrendered on April 14, 1861. Congress declared war on the Confederacy the next day.
8. First Bull Run 1861: This battle happened on July 21, 1861 in Va. (outside of D.C.) People watched the battle from afar. Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson: Confederate general, held his ground and stood in battle like a "stone wall." The Union retreated and it was a Confederate victory. This battle showed that both sides needed training and war would be long and bloody. It was almost better a defeat then a victory.
9. Robert E. Lee: The General of the Confederate troops. He was prosperous in many battles but was defeated at Antietam in 1862 when he retreated across the Potomac; this halt of Lee's troops justified Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation. He was defeated at Gettysburg by General Mead's Union troops and surrendered to General Grant at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865.
10. Thomas J. Jackson: “Stonewall” Jackson. A Confederate general throughout the American Civil War, and probably the most well-known Confederate leadership after General Robert E. Lee. His military career includes the Valley Campaign of 1862 and his service as a corps commander in the Army of Northern Virginia under Robert E. Lee. Confederate pickets accidentally shot him at the Battle of Chancellorsville on…