What Was the Kansas-Nebraska Act?

In this video, there is a discussion of the facts and issues surrounding the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, authored by Stephen Douglas. The Nebraska territory was divided by this act into Nebraska and Kansas. It was also stipulated that slavery in these territories would be decided by popular vote of those living in those territories. This was a very hot issue during the sectional crisis of the mid 1800’s leading up to the Civil War. The Kansas-Nebraska Act effectively nullified the Missouri Compromise of 1820 which decreed that they had to be free states because they were both North of the Mason-Dixon line. The passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act drove opposition Northerners to form the Republican Party. They didn’t like the effective repeal of the Missouri Compromise. Kansas attempted to word its constitution to be pro-slavery, but it fell apart under congressional review and entered the union as a free state in 1861. Nebraska did not enter the union until after the Civil War in 1867, making all of this moot.

Sectional Crisis: The Kansas-Nebraska Act

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Last updated: 03/26/2018
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