Chapter 18 Guided Reading

Chapter #18: Renewing the Sectional Struggle – Big Picture Themes
1. The main question facing the nation was, “Will new lands won from Mexico have slaves or be free?”
2. The answer to the question was hammered out in the Compromise of 1850. It said California was to be free, popular sovereignty (the people decide) for the rest of the lands.
3. A tougher fugitive slave law was a major concession to the South, but it wasn’t enforced. This angered the Southerners.
4. The North—South rift was widened with the Kansas-Nebraska Act. It repealed the Missouri Compromise which had kept the peace for a generation. In it’s place, popular sovereignty opened the Great Plains to potential slavery. Whereas the slave-land issue had been settled, now it was a big question mark.
Stephen Douglas
Stephen Douglas took over for Henry Clay in the Compromise of 1850. Clay could not get the compromised passed because neither party wanted to pass it as a whole since they would be passing things for the opposite party as well as their own. Douglas split the compromise up to get it passed.
Franklin Pierce
Franklin Pierce was elected president in the 1852 election as the second Democratic "dark horse." He was a pro-southern northerner who supported the Compromise of 1850 and especially the Fugitive Slave Law. He also tried to gain Cuba for the South as a slave state, but was stopped because of Northern public opinion after the incident in Ostend, Belgium. He also supported the dangerous Kansas-Nebraska Act pushed for by Senator Douglas. He was succeeded in 1856 by James Buchanan.
Zachary Taylor
Commander of the Army of Occupation on the Texas border. On President Polk’s orders, he took the Army into the disputed territory between the Nueces and Rio Grande Rivers and built a fort on the north bank of the Rio Grande River. When the Mexican Army tried to capture the fort, Taylor’s forces engaged in is a series of engagements that led to the Mexican War. His victories in...