The Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854

Topics: Compromise of 1850, Slavery in the United States, American Civil War Pages: 2 (428 words) Published: October 25, 2011
The Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 was a controversial legislation that opened Kansas and Nebraska to white settlement, repealed the Compromise of 1850, and led opponents to form the Republican party. This piece of legislation was introduced in Congress that revived the issues of the expansion of slavery. The Compromise of 1850 was a series of measures passed by Congress to resolve sectional tensions. Congress admitted California to the Union as a free state. And organize the territories of New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, and Utah without mention of slavery. It also paid Texan $10 million to relinquish land claims in New Mexico and abolished the slave trade in the District of Columbia (but not slavery) while enacted a law requiring the return of fugitive slaves. (Martin 369)Douglas who pushed the Compromise of 1850, and then stated he “would never make a speech of slavery again” also proposed that the area west of Iowa and Missouri (which was set aside as permanent Indian reservation) be organized as the Nebraska territory to white settlers. Since Nebraska was located in the northern half of the Louisiana Purchase where the Missouri Compromise prohibited slavery, Douglas ignored both the Missouri Compromise and the statue o slavery in Nebraska territory.(Martin 373). Douglas would add a clause repealing the Missouri Compromise and that slavery would be determined on the basis of popular sovereignty.(Martin 374) With Douglas introducing the Kansas-Nebraska Act it would bring political and economic pressure to organize Kansas and Nebraska. Economically farmers agitated for new land, and a rail route through a northern route was being promoted.(Martin 374) Politically there was a northern fury to the Kansas-Nebraska Act. The Kansas-Nebraska Act brought about a dramatic realignment of the two party system. Whigs abandoned their party and joined the Democrats, while northern Democrats repudiated their own elected reps. (Martin 374) The Republican Party benefited from...
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