The Kansas-Nebraska Act was a turning point in American history. Read about what happened next in this blog post.
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The Kansas-Nebraska Act
The Kansas-Nebraska Act, passed in 1854, was one of the most controversial pieces of legislation in American history. The Act repealed the Missouri Compromise, which had forbidden slavery in any territory north of the 36º 30′ line. The new law allowed settlers in Kansas and Nebraska to decide for themselves whether or not to allow slavery in their territories. The Act also led to the founding of the Republican Party.
What was the Kansas-Nebraska Act?
The Kansas-Nebraska Act was a bill that was passed by the United States Congress in 1854. The bill created the territories of Kansas and Nebraska, and it opened up new lands for settlement in the American West. The bill was a victory for proponents of westward expansion, but it was also a major setback for the cause of slavery.
The Kansas-Nebraska Act was a direct result of the California Gold Rush, which began in 1848. Thousands of Americans moved to California in search of gold, and the population of the state exploded. This sudden growth made California’s admission to the Union as a free state inevitable, and it put new pressure on Congress to find a solution to the issue of slavery.
In an effort to appease both sides, Congress passed the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which allowed settlers in each territory to choose whether or not they wanted slavery. This “popular sovereignty” policy inflamed tensions between pro-slavery and anti-slavery factions, and it led directly to the outbreak of violence in “Bloody Kansas.” The situation in Kansas eventually stabilized, but by that time the damage had been done. The Kansas-Nebraska Act haddeepened divisions between North and South, and it paved the way for the Civil War.
What were the consequences of the Act?
The Kansas-Nebraska Act resulted in the opening of Kansas Territory to white settlement and cataclysmic violence between proslavery and antislavery forces within the territory. The Act also fueled sectional tensions between the North and the South, ultimately contributing to the outbreak of the Civil War.
The Aftermath of the Act
The Kansas-Nebraska Act was one of the most controversial laws of the 19th century. The law allowed for the expansion of slavery into new territories and led to the outbreak of the Civil War. Let’s take a look at the aftermath of the Act and how it changed the United States.
The outbreak of violence in Kansas
The outbreak of violence in Kansas was a direct result of the Kansas-Nebraska Act. The act had allowed for popular sovereignty in the territories, which meant that the residents of those territories would get to decide for themselves whether or not to allow slavery. However, many proslavery settlers from Missouri began illegally crossing into Kansas in an attempt to sway the vote in favor of slavery. This led to a lot of violence, and “bloody Kansas” became a rallying cry for abolitionists.
The Dred Scott decision
On March 6, 1857, the Supreme Court issued its decision in the Dred Scott case. Dred Scott was a slave who had been taken by his owner from Missouri (a slave state) to live in Illinois (a free state) and then in the Wisconsin Territory (where slavery was barred by the Missouri Compromise of 1820). After his owner’s death, Scott sued for his freedom, claiming that he should be considered a free man because he had lived in free territory.
The Court’s decision, written by Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, denied Scott his freedom and ruled that slaves were not citizens of the United States and therefore could not sue in federal court. The Court also ruled that the Missouri Compromise was unconstitutional, thus opening all federal territories to slavery. This decision outraged abolitionists and intensified sectional tensions between North and South.
The election of 1860
The election of 1860 was one of the most consequential in American history. In the four-way race, Republican Abraham Lincoln won with just 39.8% of the popular vote. His victory led to southern states seceding from the Union and ultimately to the Civil War.