Waiting For The Civil War (American History Documentary) | Timeline

at 4:30 on the morning of April 12 1861 a shell exploded over Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor soon hundreds of shells were fired into the fort reducing its interior to rubble these were the opening hostile acts of the American Civil War the war would claim more than 1 million lives on countless battlefields millions more would be maimed billions of dollars in property would be destroyed one region of the country the sound would be utterly ruined hello I'm Kent Masterson Brown welcome to witnessing histories Henry Clay and the struggle for the Union how did such a cataclysmic tragedy as the American Civil War happen the seeds of that war were planted by the first English settlers on the North American continent in the early 17th century by the time of the ratification of the Constitution in 1789 those seeds had grown and between the ratification of the Constitution in the outbreak of the Civil War there were eruptions some of which nearly led to civil war and there were those who sought compromise and none of them was more notable than Henry Clay of Kentucky brought to you by Dupree & Company serves as the investment advisor to Dupree mutual funds which offers a family of no-load municipal bond funds owned and operated by the Dupree family for 70 years the firm has been an innovator in public finance the Lexington Convention and Visitors Bureau is your resource to the horse capital of the world come discover the rich heritage and history that Lexington and central Kentucky has to share you can plan your trip to the bluegrass online at visit Lex comm and the 16th college in America when it was founded in 1780 at Transylvania University we question everything so as to accomplish anything located in downtown Lexington Kentucky Transylvania University has been consistently ranked as one of the top liberal arts colleges in America this film also made possible by donations from the McConnell Center for political leadership at the University of Louisville and Michael R awadhi Winchester Kentucky what was the union that Henry Clay struggled to hold together how was it formed what was its nature and why was there a struggle for the Union with the Treaty of Paris in 1783 the American Revolution ended the Revolution had been won by thirteen United States that were strung out along the Atlantic coast from New Hampshire on the north to Georgia on the South eight years of war had Illustrated the need for cooperative action among the states in their defense from a common enemy peacetime brought about the need for a cooperative action in the regulation of commerce between those states the Articles of Confederation the first constitution of the United States had proven to be inadequate to meet those needs in the summer of 1787 delegates from twelve of the thirteen states met in Philadelphia to draft a constitution that would hopefully meet those needs that Constitution was completed on September 17 1787 and sent to the States for ratification it gave to Congress certain limited any numerated powers among them were the powers to provide for the common defense and to regulate commerce among the several states the states reserved most other powers importantly the delegates in Philadelphia created a federal government by the Constitution not a national government article 7 of the Constitution stated that the ratification of the constitution of nine states shall be sufficient for the establishment of this constitution between the states so ratifying the same some framers of the Constitution understood the document to be an agreement among the states a contract if you will and like a contract it was subject to being rescinded or canceled by one or more States if other states and/or the federal government breached his terms in this context for a state to rescind its ratification of the Constitution meant that it's seceded from the Union ratification was not easy after bitter conventions in Virginia and New York the Constitution was finally ratified by eleven States by the summer of 1789 but the votes were very narrow although slavery was common in all the United States before the Revolution by the time the Constitution was ratified the states of Virginia North Carolina South Carolina and Georgia were dependent upon it although the framers never use the terms slaves or slavery in the Constitution they agreed that a fraction of the african-american slaves would be counted for purposes of determining for each state the number of its members to the House of Representatives they also agreed that free african-americans would be fully counted the economic basis of the southern states were wholly agricultural and those states made sure that the Constitution at least allowed a fraction of the slaves to be counted for purposes of determining their house members without that minimal recognition southern states would have never ratified the Constitution there would have been no United States northern states being generally smaller in land mass and more populated and having more limited growing seasons due to climate turned increasingly to mining manufacturing and foreign trade to fuel their economies they all legally abolish slavery by the early 19th century and there were those in the northern states who sought to abolish slavery in all the states and their voices grew louder and louder with the passing years the contract nature of the Constitution and the Constitution's oblique acknowledgement that there were slaves in the southern states were two elements in the formation of the Union that created the legal chemistry for southern states to threaten secession each time the future of slavery was seriously questioned in Congress the one catalyst that would accelerate the instability of the Union was the westward expansion of the United States Kentucky was admitted to the Union in 1792 along with Vermont Kentucky settled largely by Virginians was a slave state Vermont was a free state Tennessee a slave state was admitted to the Union in 1796 and Ohio a free state was admitted in 1803 Louisiana a slave state was admitted in 1812 an Indiana a free state was admitted to the Union in 1814 Illinois a free state was admitted to the Union in 1819 and Alabama a slave state was also admitted in that year by 1819 there were eleven free states and eleven slave states as each state had two United States senators under the Constitution any attempts by the free states to limit restrict undermine or abolish slavery by legislation or constitutional amendment could be blocked in the Senate maintaining that balance of power was essential to southern states importantly slave states were not protective of the institution of slavery because all their people wanted slavery or believed in it morally many white Southerners disliked the institution of slavery many believed it to be immoral to be sure some white southerners had become heavily invested in the institution of slavery and sought to protect their investment slavery had been a fact of life in the southern states for more than 175 years before the Constitution slavery had expanded as those states had increased in population and new lands were opened to settlement those states staple crops cotton sugar tobacco and rice required vast amounts of land for their profitable cultivation and those crops particularly cotton burned out the soil to such a degree westward expansion was necessary for the survival of that economic base those crops also required large forces of labor to plant grow harvest and prepare them from market for all its evils slavery enabled agriculture to become the economic mainstay of the southern states most white Southerners in the 19th century believe that any attempts on the part of northern states and the federal government to limit or abolish slavery would be economically and socially catastrophic attempts to limit slavery would cripple their ability to expand the South's economic base abolishing slavery would set loose millions of African American slaves with no place or means to live there was no public assistance then most white Southerners believed that abolition would cause the region to descend into chaos and bloodshed abolition agitation created a crisis of fear but slavery was contrary to the very precepts of America freedom liberty the dignity of the individual and independence the framers of the Constitution recognized that stories of human beings and change being sold at auctions as families were divided being beaten and mistreated were as real as the imagery of the times portrayed it yet if slavery was to be eradicated most white Southerners argued that each slave state not the federal government should determine the timing and the means how slavery could be abolished by the states was a question for which no one could provide any ready answers by the early 19th century the American South was existing in that unenviable space between the moral wrong of slavery and the absolute fear of the consequences of abolition and fear trumped all other considerations president thomas jefferson's 1803 purchase from emperor napoleon bonaparte of france of much of the territory drained by the Mississippi and Missouri rivers known as the Louisiana Purchase provided the tipping point the Louisiana Purchase contains some 829 thousand square miles that included the present-day states of Arkansas Missouri Iowa Oklahoma Kansas Nebraska and parts of Minnesota North Dakota South Dakota New Mexico Montana Wyoming Colorado and Louisiana the burning question was when states were carved out of the Louisiana Purchase and admitted to the Union by Congress could that balance of power between slave states and free States be maintained what if the balance of power could not be maintained with the Union disintegrate in 1812 an entirely unsuspected flashpoint arose that nearly ruptured the Union a second war with Great Britain it wasn't so much the war itself that caused the problem as the embargo placed upon foreign trade by the administration of President James Madison New England relied upon that foreign trade and the embargo crippled the region economically so harmful was the embargo that Massachusetts Connecticut Rhode Island and delegates from New Hampshire and Vermont called for a convention to meet in the old Statehouse in Hartford Connecticut in 1814 to consider rescinding their ratifications of the Constitution and seceding from the Union the threat of secession from New England was blunted by another extraordinary event the defeat of a British force by General Andrew Jackson's motley American army at New Orleans on January 8 1815 a peace treaty had been signed at Ghent Belgium ending the war only days before victory though came of the price a heavy national debt that debt plunged the nation into economic depression by 1819 in the midst of the nation's economic woes the first state entirely west of the Mississippi River to be carved out of the Louisiana Purchase petitioned Congress for statehood in 1819 it was Missouri Missouri would be admitted to the Union as a slave state another slave state Alabama had just been admitted to the Union making the number of free states and slave states equal Missouri's admission to the Union as a slave state would upset the balance of power representative James Tallmadge of New York proposed an amendment to Missouri's petition prohibiting the introduction of slaves into Missouri and freeing those born in Missouri upon reaching 25 years of age the arguments over Missouri's admission and the Talmadge amendment became heated and bitter southerners argued that tonnages amendment was unconstitutional and threatened secession if it was enacted northerners argued about the evils of slavery and upheld the powers of Congress over the territory a compromise was presented to the House of Representatives it called upon Missouri to be admitted as a slave state but prohibited slavery in the Louisiana Purchase territory north of the 36 degree 30-minute parallel except within the boundaries of the proposed state of Missouri at the time that compromise was presented to the House of Representatives the Speaker of the House was 42 year-old Henry Clay of Kentucky born in Hanover County Virginia in 1777 Clay had migrated to Kentucky in 1797 after studying law in Richmond Virginia under George with a signer of the Declaration of Independence clay had spoken in favor of Kentucky nullifying the Alien and Sedition Acts enacted by Congress in 1798 the next year he married Lucretia Hart daughter of one of Kentucky's most prominent early settlers by 1806 clay was a professor of law at Transylvania University so quickly did clay rise to political prominence that he was elected United States Senator in 1806 to fill the seat vacated by John Breckinridge who became president Thomas Jefferson's Attorney General in 1807 clay was elected Speaker of the Kentucky House of Representatives he was then appointed United States Senator again in 1810 elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1811 clay was chosen speaker on the first day of his first session in Congress that had never been done before and has never been done since during his 14 years in the United States House of Representatives clay would be elected speaker six times clay was a Hotspur during the war of 1812 clay was a war hawk arguing not only fighting Great Britain but invading Canada he fought several notable duels but he became a commissioner who negotiated the Treaty of Ghent ending the war of 1812 in 1815 clay had an imperious temper and ardent competiveness that hurried him and his party into disadvantageous positions caryl shirts beyond his temperament clay had a personal stake in the great question facing Missouri's admission to the Union clay owned slaves at his estate near Lexington known as Ashland and he represented a slave state Kentucky the Missouri question troubled clay particularly troubling to him were the threats of secession and civil war that came from both sides of the question every matter of public concern has given way to the Missouri question which engrosses the whole Botts of the members and constitutes almost the only topic of conversation and it is a most unhappy question awakening sectional feelings and exasperated them to the highest degree the words civil war and disunion are uttered almost without emotion a senator said the other day that he would rather have both Civil War and disunion than fail in the resolution Henry Clay southern representatives and senators argued that slavery was recognized by the Constitution they argue that if Missouri was not admitted as a slave state its citizens would be denied express constitutional protections if Missouri was not admitted as a slave state southerners argued that the free states and the federal government would be in breach of the Constitution giving the slave states the right to rescind their ratifications of the Constitution and secede the representatives and senators from free states argued that slavery was morally wrong and that the Declaration of Independence contain the words all men are created equal they argued that if Missouri was admitted as a slave state southern interests would dominate the federal government and those interests were antithetical to northern interests only 30 years after the ratification of the Constitution the nation was on the brink of disunion and civil war hope for a compromise came about in 1820 when Maine been a part of Massachusetts applied for statehood as a free State the Senate passed the Missouri and Maine petitions in one bill admitting Missouri as a slave state and admitting Maine as a free state it then tied to the bill and amendment prohibiting the extension of slavery into the territory of the Louisiana Purchase north of the 36-degree 30-minute parallel except for Missouri the House of Representatives rejected the Senate bill a joint committee was then named from both houses with clays influence the joint committee submitted to the Senate and the house three different bills one Missouri's admission as a slave state two Maine's admission as a free state and three the limitation of slavery north of the 36 degree 30-minute parallel except for Missouri each of the three bills passed on March 2nd 1820 the Missouri question however was far from over Missouri had inserted in its own State Constitution a clause forbidding free Negroes and mulattoes from entering Missouri that violated the privileges and immunities Clause of article 4 of the United States Constitution this presented a more serious problem than Missouri's original petition for statehood accusations and recriminations flew about threatening those who advance Missouri's petition and those who opposed it both parties appealed to Henry clay clay assumed a new character there were no threats or abuse all is mild humble and persuasive he begs in treats jaws supplicates and beseeches us to have mercy upon the people of Missouri senator William Plummer of New Hampshire William Eustace of Massachusetts then resolved the house that Missouri be admitted to the Union on the condition that the offensive language be removed but clay feared Missouri would leave the Union if that resolution passed he feared Kentucky Tennessee and even Ohio would leave the Union if the Eustis resolution was adopted clay took the resolution off the House floor and sent the question to a select committee on compromise that he named himself the committee on compromise ultimately reported that Missouri be admitted to the Union upon the fundamental condition that its legislature would never enact any laws preventing any description of person from settling in Missouri who could otherwise become a citizen of any other state in the Union but the Missouri question had to wait on final resolution the nation had just come through a tumultuous presidential election in 1820 Congress met in a joint session to count the electoral votes would Missouri's votes be counted claim moved the votes of all states be counted before Missouri's he believed James Monroe would win easily making Missouri's votes perfunctory Monroe did win easily clay was honorable to himself and useful to his country in all subsequent scenes of disorder and confusion he kept his party down and thus brought the election to a close in peace if not tranquility senator William Plummer On February 22nd 1821 clay moved the House of Representatives for the appointment of a special committee of 23 members to consider the report of the Committee on compromise now gentlemen we do not want a proposition carried here by a small majority thereupon reported to the House and rejected I and for something practical something conclusive something decisive upon the question Henry clay clay then asked each member how he will vote putting each one on the spot in front of his fellow members the final vote was nearly unanimous the substance of the report finally passed both houses on August 10 1821 President James Monroe signed the bill Missouri was admitted to the Union as a slave state the nation had narrowly avoided disunion and civil war clay had shown unexampled perseverance it was written but the threat of disunion and civil war over slavery caused americans in the north as well as the south including former president thomas jefferson to shudder and fear the Missouri question was like a fire Bell in the night it awakened and filled me with terror I considered it at once as the knell of the union Thomas Jefferson although the Union trembled clay was on the rise as a national political figure his rise though was abruptly taken off track by his role in the hotly contested presidential election of 1824 in which he was one of four major candidates with a deadlock in the electoral college clay cast the deciding vote in the House of Representatives for John Quincy Adams of Massachusetts over Andrew Jackson of Tennessee clay was then named Secretary of State by President Adams bringing scorn upon him from political opponents who asserted that he had entered into a corrupt bargain with Adams to place himself in a position to run for the presidency clay did run for the presidency in 1832 advancing his American system he supported the levying of taxes for internal improvements roads canals railroads wharves and shipping lanes he advocated increasing American manufacturing among the tax measures clay supported was a high protective tariff that had been advanced by President John Quincy Adams and passed by Congress in 1828 although the tariff of 1828 protected northern manufacturing by making it more expensive to import foreign manufactured goods it crippled southern agricultural States that manufactured little and relied upon imports now conflict emerged between north and south over an issue that had nothing directly to do with slavery the old Capitol building was the site of intensely bitter arguments and recriminations the nation was coming apart again here in the old Senate chamber in January 18 30 senator robert Y Haines of South Carolina spoke for hours on nullifying the tariff and secession recalling the Hartford Convention of 1814 and the Virginia and Kentucky resolutions nullifying the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 then in front of a packed gallery in this old Senate chamber senator Daniel Webster of Massachusetts replied to Haines in a speech lasting nearly two days when my eyes shall be turned to behold for the last time the Sun in heaven may I not see him shining and the broken and dishonored fragments of a once glorious union on States the severed discordant belligerent on a land rent with civil fields are drenched it may be in fraternal blood let their last feeble and lingering glance rather behold the gorgeous ensign of the Republic not a stripy race too polluted nor a single star obscured liberty and union now and forever one and inseparable Daniel Webster those were words schoolchildren would memorize those were words Union soldiers would recall as they went to war 31 years later a convention in South Carolina passed an ordinance of nullification on November 24 1832 declaring the tariff no void and not law or binding South Carolina as a party to the Constitution claimed it had a right to protect its citizens from injury caused by other states in the federal government if the tariff was not repealed South Carolina would secede to prevent the collection of the tariff and to protect its citizens South Carolina called out its state militia to keep federal officials from collecting the tariff in the ports of the state President Andrew Jackson an ardent champion of states rights nevertheless responded to South Carolina on December 10 1832 with a proclamation asserting that disunion by armed force is treason Jackson warned of dreadful consequences and punishment in South Carolina blocks the enforcement of the tariff South Carolina dared Jackson to send a military force to stop any the nation was on the brink of Civil War again Henry Clay who had been elected to the United States Senate from Kentucky and 1831 proposed a compromise he proposed that the tariffs remain in force until March 3rd 1848 which time it would be repealed between 1832 and 1840 no high duties would be enacted Clay was willing to sacrifice a key element of his own American system to avoid disunion and Civil War he had supported Kentucky nullifying the Alien and Sedition Acts in 1798 but now sought to keep South Carolina from nullifying the tariff his opponents called him two-faced clay began to work with north eastern industrialists then with southern congressmen to find a compromise he moved among a select caucus of Senators and Representatives then Senator hane resigned from the Senate to become governor of South Carolina Andrew Jackson's vice president John C Calhoun then resigned and was quickly elected by South Carolina's legislature to fill the Senate seat just vacated by Robert Haines so that he could join the debate to defend South Carolina's nullification of the tariff On January 16 1833 the confrontation took an even more ominous turn Andrew Jackson submitted to the Congress the force bill authorizing him to call out the state militias the United States Navy and the United States Army to force the collection of tariff revenues in South Carolina the force bill was approved by the Senate on February 20 1833 clay supported the bill but southern senators walked out of the Senate chamber war seemed certain South Carolina was arming its harbors and port cities any attempt by President Jackson to send troops to enforce the tariff would be met by force play quickly met with calhoune and other members of Congress trying to find some common ground time was running out clay then offered a revised compromise on February 11 1833 here in clays own handwriting he called for a nine and a half year period of time with small reductions in the tariff then on July 1 1842 the tariff rates would drop sharply Calhoun and many of Calhoun's closest political allies were looking for some way to avoid the impending clash with federal troops yet prevail Calhoun accepted Clay's proposal and sold it to his fellow South Carolinians clays compromise passed both houses of Congress on March 1st 1833 the compromise of 1833 was the most important congressional date that ever occurred it was the most proud and triumphs a day of my life Henry Clay the nation had avoided disunion and civil war for the second time in less than 15 years clay served in the United States Senate until 1842 as a bitter opponent of Andrew Jackson he ran for the Whig nomination for the presidency in 1840 but lost a war hero William Henry Harrison who was elected president clay was nominated by the Whigs to run for the presidency in 1844 against James K pulk of Tennessee clay opposed annexing the Republic of Texas to the Union as a slave state because it would reawaken the slave issue and provoke Mexico to declare war pulk favored the annexation of Texas and his advocacy of it in the face of threats from Mexico was supported by most of the American public clay who promoted himself as the farmer of Ashland lost the election to Polk after repeated incidents over the border between Texas and Mexico the United States went to war with Mexico in 1846 in that war clay lost his favorite son Colonel Henry Clay Junior commander of a regiment of Kentucky infantry young Clay was mortally wounded at the Battle of Buena Vista as the war with Mexico ended clay faced the twilight of his political life after losing the Whig nomination for the presidency to Mexican war hero and fellow Kentucky and general Zachary Taylor in 1848 clay retired to Ashland his estate east of Lexington Kentucky clay however was soon elected to return to the United States Senate in 18-49 but clays warnings about the admission of Texas came true the slave issue came to the forefront with Texas possibly being admitted as a slave state and the stakes were higher than they had ever been there were nearly four million African American slaves living in the southern states by 18-49 clay was presented with the most difficult sectional questions ever with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo concluding the Mexican War vast lands were ceded to the United States by Mexico most were south of the Missouri Compromise line to compound the matter gold was found in California in 18-49 and the numbers of settlers entering the Mexican Cession lands were overwhelming the Capitol building was the site of rancorous arguments and recriminations again alarmed that the newly acquired territory and Texas would eventually represent slave states representative David Wilmot of Pennsylvania proposed a resolution preventing the extension of slavery into any new territory then California petitioned for admission to the Union although the Missouri Compromise line actually divided that territory the issues were extraordinarily complex should Texas be admitted as a slave state and what about the western border of Texas and should the United States absorb the debts of the Republic of Texas what about all the lands added to the United States from its war with Mexico those lands included the present-day states of California Arizona New Mexico Colorado Nevada and Utah and could Congress constitutionally deny the citizens of those territories the right to own slaves and what about the admission of California it was theoretically divided by the Missouri Compromise line should it be admitted as a free state or a slave state to complicate the matter there were other issues there was a drive in Congress to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia and there was another Drive in Congress to abolish the slave trade throughout the nation southern representatives and Senators threatened that their states would secede if either one of those measures succeeded northern Representatives in turn threatened civil war if any of those states seceded clay was ill he like John C Calhoun was suffering from tuberculosis Daniel Webster was ill they had all served in the House or Senate since the early years of the Republic clay called upon Daniel Webster for help clay introduced on the Senate floor a compromise On January 29 1850 the compromise consisted of six separate bills that call for one California to be admitted as a state without reference to slavery to territorial governments of the remaining portion of the mexican edition to be organized without congressional restriction on slavery popular vote would resolve the question in the territories three the boundary of Texas would be resolved for the debts of Texas would be assumed by the United States so long as Texas relinquished claims to any part of New Mexico v slavery would not be abolished in the District of Columbia without the consent of the people of Maryland and those living in the District of Columbia and without just compensation to slave owners six the slave trade would be abolished in the District of Columbia seven a more effective fugitive slave law would be enacted an eighth Congress would acknowledge it had no power to interfere in the interstate slave trade Cley claimed his compromise was founded upon mutual forbearance without a compromise the nation would be plunged into disunion and civil war play turned to the people for support he met daily with a caucus of Whigs and Democrats committed to preserving the Union to encourage them On February 5th 1850 clay was escorted into the Senate he was very ill and weak the galleries were packed Clay's speech was a plea for the Union the alternative was war and the extermination of Liberty if the dire evil and sad event of the dissolution of the Union shall happen may I not survived to behold the sad and heart-rending spectacle Henry Clay Senator John C Calhoun of South Carolina was then escorted into this old Senate chamber he was so ill and weak he could not speak at all himself Senator John Mason of Virginia read Calhoun's remarks Calhoun reminded everyone of all the anti slave agitation over the years he then listed all the efforts to restrict slavery to the states where it existed in the current debate denying white southerners the right to expand westward like northerners disunion is all that is left for us John C Calhoun Calhoun would die on March 31st Senator Daniel Webster then spoke in favor of Clay's compromise on March 7 a position that cost Webster much of his own anti-slavery constituency in Massachusetts I go for honorable compromise whenever it can be made money itself is the struggle continuing throughout our whole existence into the Great destroyer finally triumphs all legislation all government all society is formed upon the principle of mutual concession politeness comity courtesy upon these everything is based compromises have their recommendation that if you concede anything you have something conceded to you in return Henry Clay the Senate finally voted to approve a special committee to consider clays proposed compromise clay was presented with a report of the committee on May 8 1850 it was much the same as Clay's original proposed compromise the report was reduced to an omnibus bill the bill was defeated it was a crushing defeat for clay civil war loomed clay left Washington DC he briefly returned to Kentucky to be with his wife Lucretia clay was very ill young senator Steven a Douglas of Illinois stepped into the limelight he believed that if clays proposals were introduced as separate bills the compromise had a chance of passage in clays absence Douglas said about trying to advance clays compromise measures one bill at a time miraculously the Congress passed each one of the original clay proposals as separate bills introduced by Senator Douglas in August and September 1850 clay came back to Washington DC to see his last and most impressive compromise enacted by Congress war had been avoided for the time being finally on June 29 1852 clay died in Washington DC Claes remains were returned to Kentucky first to Louisville and finally to his home in Lexington a long procession led clays last earthly remains to the Lexington cemetery there they were finally buried a little-known former one-term congressman from Illinois Abraham Lincoln remarked that clay was his beau ideal of a statesman a native Kentuckian Lincoln would be elected as a Republican president of the United States in November 1860 Lincoln had been publicly critical of slavery and he was supported by outspoken abolitionists like William Seward of New York salmon P chase of Ohio and other Republicans who were quickly elevated to cabinet positions fearful of the policies of the incoming Lincoln administration South Carolina finally rescinded its ratification of the Constitution and seceded from the Union in December 1860 Alabama Mississippi Florida Georgia Louisiana Texas Tennessee Arkansas North Carolina and Virginia followed South Carolina out of the Union in the winter and spring of 1861 in the years between the compromise of 1850 and the election of Lincoln there had been bloodshed over the organization of the territories of Kansas and Nebraska there had been bloodshed in Missouri there had been violent confrontations between members of Congress all of the violence had been over the question of slavery in the new territories all the voices of moderation and compromise were gone the nation was completely polarized all trust between the North and the South was gone in the midst of all the chaos Chief Justice Roger B Thani from this bench issued the opinion of the Supreme Court in 1857 in a case brought by a Missouri slave named Dred Scott who had entered a free state Illinois seeking emancipation taani opined that Scott was not a citizen so he couldn't bring the lawsuit and the Missouri Compromise line which Scott argued gave him his freedom once he crossed it and entered a free state was unconstitutional abolitionists were outraged then John Brown a fanatic who had led bloody reprisals against white slave owners in Kansas tried to instigate a slave uprising in Virginia by raiding the United States armory at Harpers Ferry in October 1859 to seize the weapons made there Brown was captured and hanged dying and martyrdom too many in southern states the fear of federally enforced abolition reached crisis proportions in the end the conflict between North and South free states and slave states proved to be irrepressible among white Southerners fear finally trumped all other considerations as they almost did during the tariff crisis of 1833 southern guns finally opened up on a federal garrison holding Fort Sumter in the entrance to Charleston Harbor on April 12 1861 the Civil War began in a touch of complete irony the federal garrison that was fired upon was commanded by Major Robert Anderson a Kentuckian who had been a slave of yet Henry Clay's efforts had forced all conflict for more than 40 years were those 40 years necessary for the Union to survive a civil war had secession occurred earlier would the nation have survived we will never know the answers to those questions but Clay's efforts at compromise in and of themselves must be regarded as among the most notable achievements of any American ever elected to public office

47 thoughts on “Waiting For The Civil War (American History Documentary) | Timeline

  • When you attempt to take people's property and their rights away, there will be a fight. Owning chattel was legal and Constitutional. It was just like owning a horse or a dog today. Owners took great care of their negro property so they would be content and productive. Yet a bunch of creeps sticking their nose into other people's business wanted to take negro property away from their fellow citizen along with their countrymen's Constitutional and civil rights. You have no right to steal someone's dog or horse and tell them they can never have another. The capture of pygmy animals from the wilderness of Africa and the attempted domestication of them was sound thinking before mechanical agriculture. Just as oxen and mules were well suited for pulling wagons and other loads, so the negro was adaptive to agricultural tasks of planting, weeding, and harvesting in the South where 2 or more crops are grown each year.

    The negro was once valuable and profitable, but now are extremely unprofitable and shunned.

  • 3:44 – This is troubling. "The McConnell Center is an endowed institution created in 1991 by U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell, and the University of Louisville." [The] McConnell Center at the University of Louisville seeks to identify, recruit and nurture Kentucky's next generation of great leaders." https://louisville.edu/mcconnellcenter/about

  • Just imagine if the Union had won the war ? The CSA wouldn't  be here. The whole history of the world would have been very different .

  • American word from korean…
    A~ name means Mixed bloodline Of the korean father..<<A-Bu ge..
    Chi(~eus) name means Mixed bloodline of the korean mother..<<Eu mo(mer)ni..Eu=Chi,Bari,Siri=fish…
    A= Hill a,,=half god..
    Chi=fish=Eu=Symbol of god's bodyguard=half god..

    me=falcon by korean,,,ri=town,,,can=khan….
    American word= Falcon town khan's mixed bloodline…
    me-Chi= falcon tribe mother's mixed bloodline….>>manchester word's origin…

    half the korean tribe= A+Chi>> Arch,,Archaeology,Architecture,,Archery words…

    Originally God tribe of this planet were the korean….

    A+Chi's history >> Archaeology= Korea history…

    Fun or mad sound ??? ㅋㅋㅋㅋ…..
    All Pyramids's real master=The korean or Half the korean…

  • To blot out and censor the. images of the horrors of war does not make a good documentary..
    I am done and out of this as of 6:00 in!

  • How do you call it "witnessing hystory" , when you censor the damn program? What a half-baked extrapolation we have here…

  • This is a weak attempt to show the Civil war was fought to free the slaves. The Civil war was fought to save the union of the United States of America due to economics. The south economy was slaves, free labor, cotton and high profit. The north economy was industrial and a paid wage to free workers. Abraham Lincoln even said if he could save the union without freeing the slaves he would. The slave issue to the white southerners was about money. To the white northerners it was about man power and wining the Civil war. Nothing was given to the Negro. The Negro chose to fight and die in the Civil war for his freedom. Also welfare or “ Relief” as it was called after the Civil war was started for the widows of the south after their husbands and sons and all their men folk were killed off after the war. Today there are more poor white folk on ware fare than Negroes.. ✌🏾

  • ………sad how we are in a time where truth about history is at everyones fingertips and people still watch videos like this and never conducts any research themselves. Sorry but this video is biased and wrong about many things.

  • The people that owned slaves were well within the legal framework. Stealing slave owners valuable property was also a crime. A slave was more valuable than a car is for most people today.

  • Dont blurr out the dead..YOU BLUR OUT THE SACRIFICE made by those MEN..THUMBS DOWN to this P.C LIBERAL VERSION…when you erase HISTORY…YOU ERASE THESE MEN!!

  • You lost me in the first 38 seconds. #1, Ft. Sumpter wasn't reduced to rubble until massive Union bombardment destroyed it in 1863-64; instead the woodwork in the interior caught fire and became a smoky ruin. #2, the accepted death toll is now 700-750,000 KIA or DOW between 4/61-8/66.

  • For some reason James Buchannan seams to get little coverage on the events leading up to the Civil War. His involvement in Dred Scott and the Kansas Nebraska Act gets very little discussion

  • More nonsense stating that the US defeated the British in 1812 war then sighting the Battle of New Orleans which was fought after the a treaty had been signed to justify that statement. When the war was over, nothing had changed except that the White House was a ruin

  • That was a great story. The commercials were super annoying though. I get it, thats how you guys can afford to make programs like this but the way they just cut the narration off mid sentence every time was bothersome.

  • 3:27 – How appropriate that "Transylvania" University is a Liberal Arts College. The professors bite the students on the neck and they become foaming SJWs…..

  • "All the voices of moderation and compromise were gone" [@ 52:41]. Sound familiar? The problems faced by Americans of that era were far greater than those we face today. The leaders of that era, men such as Daniel Webster and Henry Clay, understood something we have lost in recent years. The necessity for compromise in politics. It was only when the two sides refused to compromise that civil war resulted. "The nation was completely polarized" [@ 52:47]. The 1850's thus provide a clear and unambiguous lesson for the politicians of today.

  • Ashland, Wisconsin, was named after Clay's estate "Ashland" because in the 1850s many influential Southerners were making investments in northern townsites.

  • Don't understand the ignorance of some who consistently believe the USA, is headed for "Another," Civil War. Must be watching too much MSNBC. Probably the same people that get anxiety attacks every time someone posts an "End of world," video.

  • Clay and his filthy Masonic union will be dissolved and fully eradicated in martial law and civil chaos by Nov. 2020 or Nov. 2024, take your pick on the dates.

  • This is a fantastic documentary that goes a long way to explain clearly the various complex factors that led ultimately to Civil War. My only criticism is why skim over the events 1850-61? Despite that I now have a far greater understanding of the causes of the Civil War. Thank you.

  • Fascinating documemtary!! Unfortunately thd current Senate majority leader Mitch McConnel llacks understanding of the importance of compromise as Henry Clay, even though the McConnell Ctr at the University of Louisville. underwrote the documentary!!

  • Where are the voices of reason now? Within our borders now grows a separation, the overpopulated concrete, steel jungles of the cities trying nonstop to enforce their edicts upon the whole. Distinctly two different cultures and ideologies, where the I’s see little similarities of the others policies and beliefs. Yes, two separate worlds that are bound for, I dare say another clash of the sword, with the evil tying of the tongues of censorship, there can be no compromise.
    Where there are no voices of reason and the willingness to compromise, the divide continues to grow and amplify.
    Although eyes always see differing views, thank you for the opined information you’ve disseminated for us to digest. Sound as if Clay was quite an arbiter.

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