By the 1850s, what did the North feel about slavery?

1 Answer
Aug 22, 2017

They felt that slavery was a threat to become legal and dominant throughout the nation.


The Dred Scott decision threatened the north. The Supreme Court ruled that an Africa American was property not a person. Having lived in a free state did not make Mr. Scott free or give him access to the rights of citizenship or personhood.

The implication was that a southern slave owner could bring his slaves into a free state start up a plantation and his slaves would remain slaves. This meant that there was no longer a clear division like the Mason Dixon line that divided the free states from the slave states. All states were now potentially slave states.

As Abraham Lincoln wrote a nation divided against itself cannot stand, its will either become all free or all slave. The north feared that with the Dred Scott decision it would become all slave.

The civil war in Kansas before the Civil War also threatened the North. The pro slavery forces came across the border and rigged the election of a pro slavery government in Kansas approved by a pro southern president. The North began to feel that slavery had to be eliminated before slavery took over the entire nation.

Stephen Douglas's popular sovereignty won him the senate seat against Abraham Lincoln but was rejected in the presidential electrons of 1860. The North had rejected compromises like Douglas's and wanted an end to slavery.