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Kansas-Nebraska Act


Sidney Johnston

on 30 November 2012

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Transcript of Kansas-Nebraska Act

Act By; Sidney
Jasmeen What was it? Contribution to the Civil War: Roots of the problem contin.. Reasons for the Kansas-Nebraska Act Roots of the Problem: Reasons contin.. The Kansas-Nebraska Act repealed the Missouri Compromise, allowing slavery in the territory north of the 36° 30´ latitude. Introduced by Senator Stephen Douglas of Illinois, the Kansas-Nebraska Act stipulated that the issue of slavery would be decided by the residents of each territory, a concept known as popular sovereignty. After the bill passed on May 30, 1854, violence erupted in Kansas between pro-slavery and anti-slavery settlers, a prelude to the Civil War. The Kansas-Nebraska Act was a major step on the road to Civil War. Opposition to it changed the political landscape across the nation. And it also had a profound effect on one particular American, Abraham Lincoln, whose political career was revived by his opposition to the Kansas-Nebraska Act. Allowing for many territories to be opened. The Kansas Nebraska Act opened those territories for settlement. To decide whether or not to allow slavery, popular sovereignty was used. This caused pro-slavery southerns and anti-slavery Northerns to flood into Kansas to swing the vote in their favor. Soon, violence occurred between the two groups and the result is what became know as “Bleeding Kansas.” This increased the tensions between the north and south that would eventually boil over and started the Civil War. The issue was settled for a time by the Missouri Compromise. That piece of legislation, passed in 1820, simply took the southern border of Missouri, and essentially extended it westward on the map. New states to the north of it would be "free states," and new states to the south of the line would be "slave states."
The Missouri Compromise held things in balance for a time, until a new set of problems emerged following the Mexican War. With Texas, the southwest, and California now territories of the United States, the issue of whether new states in the west would be free states or slave states became prominent. Things seemed to be settled for a time when the Compromise of 1850 was passed. Included in that legislation were provisions bringing California into the Union as a free state and also allowing residents of New Mexico to decide whether to be a slave or free state. The man who devised the Kansas-Nebraska Act in early 1854, Senator Stephen A. Douglas, actually had a fairly practical goal in mind: the expansion of railroads.
Douglas, a New Englander who had transplanted himself to Illinois, had a grand vision of railroads crossing the continent, with their hub being in Chicago, in his adopted home state. The immediate problem was that the huge wilderness to the west of Iowa and Missouri would have to be organized and brought into the Union before a railroad to California could be
built. Southerners did not want to bring in a single large state that would be free. So Douglas came up with the idea of creating two new territories, Nebraska and Kansas. And he also proposed the principle of “popular sovereignty,” under which the residents of the new territories would vote on whether slavery would be legal in the territories. Contribution Contin.. Unintended Consequences The provision in the Kansas-Nebraska Act calling for "popular sovereignty," the idea that residents of the new territories would vote on the issue of slavery, soon caused major problems.

Forces on both sides of the issue began arriving in Kansas, and outbreaks of violence resulted. The new territory was soon known as Bleeding Kansas. Opposition to the Kansas-Nebraska Act Opponents of the Kansas-Nebraska Act organized themselves into the new Republican Party. And one particular American, Abraham Lincoln, was prompted to re-enter politics.
Lincoln had served one unhappy term in Congress in the late 1840s, and had put his political aspirations aside. But Lincoln, who had known and sparred in Illinois with Stephen Douglas before, was so offended by what Douglas had done by writing and passing the Kansas-Nebraska Act that he began speaking out at public meetings. On October 3, 1854, Douglas appeared at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield and spoke for more than two hours, defending the Kansas-Nebraska Act. Abraham Lincoln rose at the end, and announced that he would speak the next day in response.
On October 4, Lincoln, who out of courtesy invited Douglas to sit on the stage with him, spoke for more than three hours denouncing Douglas and his legislation. The event brought the two rivals in Illinois back into nearly constant conflict. Four years later, of course, they would hold the famed Lincoln-Douglas debates while in the midst of a senate campaign. And while no one in 1854 may have foreseen it, the Kansas-Nebraska Act had set the nation hurtling toward an eventual Civil War. Work Cited: "Our Documents - Kansas-Nebraska Act (1854)." Welcome to OurDocuments.gov. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Nov. 2012.

"Kansas-Nebraska Act." United States American History. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Nov.

"Kansas-Nebraska Act." ThinkQuest : Library. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Nov. 2012. Duncan, Dayton. The West: an illustrated history for children. Boston: Little, Brown, 1996. Print. Ward, Geoffrey C., Ken Burns, and Ric Burns. The Civil War. New York: Vintage Books, 19941990. Print. Davis, Kenneth C., and Matt Faulkner. Don't know much about American history. New York: HarperCollins, 2003. Print. Douglas Economic and Political Influences. North Vs. South How was it economic?
How was it political? What were the views of each side? How did each feel about the expansion of slavery?
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