Lecture 8: Dred Scott, Bleeding Kansas, 1855-58

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Professor Blight continues his march through the political events of the 1850s. He continues his description of the aftermath of the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, describing the guerilla war that reigned in the territory of Kansas for much of 1856. The lecture continues, describing the caning of Senator Charles Sumner on the floor of the US Senate and the birth of the Republican party. The lecture concludes with the near-victory of Republican candidate John C. Fremont in the presidential election of 1856, and the passage of the Dred Scott decision in 1857.

Reading assignment:

Bruce Levine, Half Slave and Half Free: The Roots of the Civil War, Introduction, chapters 7-10

William Gienapp, Civil War and Reconstruction: A Documentary Collection, part 1, pp. 40-55

Michael P. Johnson, Abraham Lincoln, Slavery, and the Civil War, Introduction and parts 1-3, pp. 1-80