The results of “Bleeding Kansas” were disastrous. The violence that took place in the state caused many people to leave their homes and businesses. The state’s economy suffered greatly as a result of the violence.
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The events that led to “Bleeding Kansas”
The events that led to “Bleeding Kansas” began in January 1854 when Senator Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois introduced the Kansas-Nebraska Act in Congress. The act proposed organizing the western territories of the United States into new territories, Kansas and Nebraska. The bill also repealed the Missouri Compromise of 1820, which had forbidden slavery north of latitude 36°30′ in the Louisiana Purchase lands.
Pro-slavery and anti-slavery residents of Kansas Territory flooded into the territory in an attempt to influence its future status as a state. The situation became violent, with both sides engaging in vigilante justice and murder. On May 21, 1856, pro-slavery forces sacked Lawrence, Kansas, in what has become known as the Sacking of Lawrence.
On August 16, 1856, anti-slavery partisan John Brown led a small group on a raid against pro-slavery settlers in Pottawatomie Creek, Kansas. Five men were killed in what came to be known as the Pottawatomie Massacre. The violence continued until early January 1859, when territorial governor James W. Denver finally managed to disband the territory’s legislature and bring some measure of peace to the area.
In January 1861, following a referendum in which over 10,000 votes were cast (even though only 3% of eligible voters participated), Kansas was admitted to the Union as a free state.
The violence that characterized “Bleeding Kansas”
The violence that characterized “Bleeding Kansas” ultimately resulted in over 50 deaths, the pinnacle of which was the infamous raid on Lawrence by pro-slavery forces led by Sheriff Samuel Jones. This raid, which resulted in the destruction of much of the town, further served to enflame passions on both sides and ensured that “Bleeding Kansas” would be remembered as one of the most violent episodes in pre-Civil War America.
The aftermath of “Bleeding Kansas”
The aftermath of “Bleeding Kansas” was a series of bloody confrontations between pro-slavery and anti-slavery forces in the Kansas territory. The violence culminated in the sacking of Lawrence by a pro-slavery mob, and the outbreak of the Civil War.