Scott's anti-slavery reputation undermined his support in the South, while the Party's pro-slavery
platform depressed turnout in the North, and Scott's opponent was a Mexican–American War veteran as
well. Pierce was elected in an overwhelming win, leaving Scott with the electoral votes of only
Matthew C. Perry (1794-1858) 1850s
Perry was a commodore of the United States Navy and commanded a number of ships.
He served in several wars, most notably in the
War of 1812
. He played a
leading role in the
opening of Japan
to the West with the
Convention of Kanagawa
Perry was very concerned with the education of naval officers and
helped develop an apprentice system
that helped establish the curriculum at the
United States Naval Academy
With the advent of the
, he became a leading advocate of modernizing the US Navy and came
to be considered
The Father of the Steam Navy
in the United States.
Kansas-Nebraska Act, 1854
Created the territories of
Stephen A. Douglas
The availability of tens of millions of acres of excellent farmland in the area made it necessary to create a
territorial infrastructure to allow settlement. Railroad interests were especially eager to start operations
since they needed farmers as customers. Four previous attempts to pass legislation had failed. The solution
was a bill proposed in January 1854 by Senator Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois.
Since early in the 1840s the topic of a
had been discussed. While there were
debates over the specifics, especially the route to be taken, there was a public consensus that such a
railroad should be built by private interests financed by public land grants.
Several proposals in late 1852 and early 1853 had strong support, but in the end they failed because of
disputes over whether the railroad would follow a northern or a southern route.
The initial purpose of the Kansas–Nebraska Act was to open up many thousands of new farms and make
feasible a Midwestern
. The popular sovereignty clause of the law led pro- and
anti-slavery elements to flood into Kansas with the goal of voting slavery up or down, resulting in
Ostend Manifesto, 1854
A document written in 1854 that described the rationale for the United States to purchase
Spain while implying that the U.S. should declare war if Spain refused.