The United States And The Civil War

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` By 1860, there were nearly 4 million slaves in the United States, with about 470,000 slaves in Virginia alone . In the ten years before this, tensions between pro-slavery and anti-slavery supporters had grown, sparked by critical moments such as the strengthening of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793, the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which allowed slavery in the Northern territory, and the decision in Dred Scott v. Sandford, which, ruled on by a judges from a majority of slave states, took away blacks’ rights to become a U.S. citizen and threw out the Missouri Compromise. A great deal of controversy and political turmoil surrounded these changes, intensifying divides in the nation. “Many Southerners ignored the differences between free soil and abolitionism saw the entire North locked in the grip of demented leaders bent on civil war.” One particular event, John Brown’s Raid on Harper’s Ferry in 1859, seemed to confirm Southerners’ false perception of the North. Early morning on October 18th, 1859, John Brown laid on the floor of the federal armory office in Harper’s Ferry, Virginia. A gash in his neck caused him to bleed profusely, and “a bayonet thrust to his kidney left him nearly, but not quite, dead.” His plan to incite a major slave revolt was a complete disaster. A few days earlier, on October 16th, he and eighteen of his followers, a “small group of adventurers and militant abolitionists,” had left the Maryland farmhouse that they occupied, and headed towards Harpers

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