Just the Facts: America's Documents of Freedom 1848-1857
Educators from noted American universities share their insights on: Seneca Falls Declaration of Sentiments (1848), Married Women s Property Act (1848), Treaty of Fort Laramie (1851), Gadsden Purchase (1853) and Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857).‚Äö√†√∂‚Äö√Ñ¬¢‚Äö√†√∂‚àö¬ßSeneca Falls Declaration of Sentiments (1848)‚Äö√†√∂‚Äö√Ñ¬¢‚Äö√†√∂‚àö¬ß -- Women‚Äö√Ñ√∂‚àö√ë‚Äö√†√ª‚Äö√á¬®‚Äö√ë¬¢s rights activists met in Seneca Falls, New York, and demanded equal rights ‚Äö√†√∂‚Äö√Ñ¬¢‚Äö√†√∂‚àö¬ßfor women.‚Äö√†√∂‚Äö√Ñ¬¢‚Äö√†√∂‚àö¬ß Their declaration quotes from the Declaration of Independence: "We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men and women are created equal...."‚Äö√†√∂‚Äö√Ñ¬¢‚Äö√†√∂‚àö¬ß The Seneca Falls document laid the groundwork for future women‚Äö√Ñ√∂‚àö√ë‚Äö√†√ª‚Äö√á¬®‚Äö√ë¬¢s rights movements. ‚Äö√†√∂‚Äö√Ñ¬¢‚Äö√†√∂‚àö¬ßMarried Women‚Äö√Ñ√∂‚àö√ë‚Äö√†√ª‚Äö√á¬®‚Äö√ë¬¢s Property Act (1848) --‚Äö√†√∂‚Äö√Ñ¬¢‚Äö√†√∂‚àö¬ß This act granted women one small step toward equality.‚Äö√†√∂‚Äö√Ñ¬¢‚Äö√†√∂‚àö¬ß New York state passed a law allowing married women to own property, file lawsuits, and retain their earnings. Other states followed, but equality on a national level was slow in coming. ‚Äö√†√∂‚Äö√Ñ¬¢‚Äö√†√∂‚àö¬ßThe Compromise of 1850 (1850) --‚Äö√†√∂‚Äö√Ñ¬¢‚Äö√†√∂‚àö¬ß New states were being admitted to the union.‚Äö√†√∂‚Äö√Ñ¬¢‚Äö√†√∂‚àö¬ß Would they be slave states or free states?‚Äö√†√∂‚Äö√Ñ¬¢‚Äö√†√∂‚àö¬ß This compromise temporarily defused the controversial issue but also created the Fugitive Slave Act, which proved to be very divisive.‚Äö√†√∂‚Äö√Ñ¬¢‚Äö√†√∂‚àö¬ß Treaty of Fort Laramie (1851) ‚Äö√†√∂‚Äö√Ñ¬¢‚Äö√†√∂‚àö¬ß--‚Äö√†√∂‚Äö√Ñ¬¢‚Äö√†√∂‚àö¬ß Representatives of the Great Plains Indian tribes and the U.S. government met in Laramie, Wyoming, and signed this treaty, which required each Indian tribe to remain in a defined territory, not attack westward-moving settlers, and allow the U.S. to build roads and forts in Indian territory. Gadsden Purchase (1853) ‚Äö√†√∂‚Äö√Ñ¬¢‚Äö√†√∂‚àö¬ß--‚Äö√†√∂‚Äö√Ñ¬¢‚Äö√†√∂‚àö¬ß In a transaction that facilitated building of the southern transcontinental railroad, the U.S. paid Mexico $10 million for land lying in the southwestern corner of New Mexico, which defined the final boundaries of the continental United States. ‚Äö√†√∂‚Äö√Ñ¬¢‚Äö√†√∂‚àö¬ßDred Scott v. Sandford (1857) ‚Äö√†√∂‚Äö√Ñ¬¢‚Äö√†√∂‚àö¬ß--‚Äö√†√∂‚Äö√Ñ¬¢‚Äö√†√∂‚àö¬ß In this U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Dred Scott, a slave, was denied his freedom. The high court ruled that slaves were non-citizens who had no rights.‚Äö√†√∂‚Äö√Ñ¬¢‚Äö√†√∂‚àö¬ß The hostilities between pro-slavery and abolition forces were escalating over this volatile issue.