Discover the answer to the question, “When Was Bleeding Kansas?” and learn about the events that led to this bloody conflict.
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The violence in “Bleeding Kansas” began in 1854
The violence in “Bleeding Kansas” began in 1854 with the fight over whether or not Kansas would be a slave state. This quickly escalated into a series of skirmishes and eventually full-blown battles between pro-slavery and anti-slavery forces. The fighting reached its peak in May of 1856 when anti-slavery forces destroyed the town of Lawrence, Kansas in retaliation for the sacking of Osawatomie by pro-slavery forces. Bleeding Kansas ended in 1861 with the outbreak of the Civil War.
The violence was caused by the Kansas-Nebraska Act
The violence in Kansas was caused by the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which was passed by Congress in May 1854. The act opened up the western territories to white settlement and created the territories of Kansas and Nebraska. It also repealed the Missouri Compromise, which had forbidden slavery in the western territories.
Kansas became a battleground between pro-slavery and anti-slavery settlers, and violence broke out almost immediately. Pro-slavery settlers set up their own government in Lecompton, while anti-slavery settlers set up their own government in Topeka. Both sides elected their own representatives to the territorial legislature, and both sides sent delegates to Congress.
The violence reached a peak in May 1856, when pro-slavery forces, led by Senator David Rice Atchison and Sheriff Samuel Jones, invaded Lawrence, a stronghold of the anti-slavery movement. They destroyed homes and businesses, and killed two men. This event became known as the sack of Lawrence.
The violence continued until early 1858, when a new territorial governor, James W. Denver, was appointed by President Buchanan. Denver managed to restore some peace to the territory and called for new elections to the legislature. In January 1859, Congress admitted Kansas as a state with slavery bans in its constitution
The Kansas-Nebraska Act allowed for popular sovereignty
The Kansas-Nebraska Act was passed by the United States Congress on May 30, 1854. The Act allowed for popular sovereignty, which meant that the settlers in each territory would decide whether or not slavery would be allowed. This Act repealed the Missouri Compromise, which had been used to keep a balance of free and slave states.
The Kansas-Nebraska Act led to the creation of the territories of Kansas and Nebraska, and it also led to Bleeding Kansas. “Bleeding Kansas” is the term used to describe the violence that broke out in Kansas Territory over the issue of slavery. Pro-slavery settlers from Missouri crossed into Kansas and tried to force slavery on the people who had settled there. Anti-slavery settlers from Pennsylvania and New England came to Kansas to try to stop the pro-slavery settlers. The violence reached its height in 1856 when pro-slavery settlers sacked Lawrence, a town that was anti-slavery.
“Bleeding Kansas” was a prelude to the Civil War
In the 1850s, the issue of slavery had divided the United States into two factions: the pro-slavery faction, which was primarily located in the South, and the abolitionist faction, which was primarily located in the North. The two factions were not able to come to a compromise on the issue, and as a result, tensions between them began to rise.
One of the first major conflicts between these two factions occurred in Kansas. At that time, Kansas was a territory (an area that was not yet a state), and it was unclear whether it would eventually become a slave state or a free state. This issue led to a lot of violence in Kansas, which became known as “Bleeding Kansas.”
The violence in Kansas eventually spread to other parts of the country, and it became one of the major causes of the Civil War.