THE COMPROMISE OF 1850. As the name suggests, this legislation, brokered by "The Great Compromiser," Henry Clay, failed to completely satisfy either the North or South. Southerners were unhappy that the New Mexico and Southern California territories were not granted slavery status, and Northerners were upset at the strengthening of the Fugitive Slave Act.
THE KANSAS-NEBRASKA ACT OF 1854. This legislation provided voters of the two states to decide for themselves whether to allow slavery within its borders. It particularly angered anti-slavery supporters in the North, and it served as a basis for the formation of the new Republican Party.
RISE OF ABOLITIONISM. The abolition movement signified a growing trend of anti-slavery popularity that horrified Southern slave owners. John Brown's Raid, and his martyrdom by abolitionists, only further angered Southerners, who realized that their right to own slaves was nearing an end.
THE ELECTION OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN. Lincoln's election was the last straw for Southern states, who believed that Lincoln would soon introduce legislation to abolish slavery in all states.