KansasNebraska act Essay

This essay has a total of 758 words and 5 pages.


kansasNebraska act





Kansas-Nebraska Act
The Kansas-Nebraska act (1854) was a U.S. law that authorized the creation of Kansas and
Nebraska, west of the states of Missouri and Iowa and divided by the 40th parallel. It
repealed a provision of the Missouri compromise of 1820 that prohibited slavery in the
territories north of 36 degrees and 30’ and stipulated that the inhabitant of the
territories should decide for themselves the legality of slave holding. Democratic
senator of Illinois Stephen A. Douglas pushed the Kansas-Nebraska bill.


In Garranty’s The American Nation shows evidence that Douglas had a great political
interest in the passing of this bill because he also served as the director of Illinois
central line. Therefore, it would have been in his best interest for the transcontinental
railroad to pass through the northern states or to be exact through Chicago. The facts
show that Douglas, “To win over the southerners Douglas agreed to divide the region
into two territories, Kansas and Nebraska, and then fateful concession to repeal


the part of the Missouri compromise that excluded slavery from land north of 36 degrees
30’.”(Garraty pg.402) This move could be of great help to him, because if he
should seek election for president in the future he would have the support of the south.
Muzzey author of The American Adventure also shows evidence that the Kansas-Nebraska bill
was “ a bid for southern support in the next democratic convention.” (Muzzey
pg.485) In 1852 Douglas sought for presidential nomination but had only the support of the
north, and it was necessary in those days for candidate to win southern support in order
to gain the presidency or nomination [nomination for the presidency].”(Elson pg.
573) With the issue of this bill Douglas saw his chance. Douglas “baited this bill
for Southern votes by incorporating the principle of popular sovereignty. At the
insistence of Southern leaders, he made clear that his bill would render the Missouri
compromise inoperative and void. Furthermore, the bill, as amended divided the region into
two distinct territories. Douglas miscalculated grievously. He thought that reopening
the slavery question would be a minor matter, even though he opposed
slavery.”(Morrison pg. 586) Morrison shows in this statement that raising the issue
of slavery once again was


no big thing for Douglas. He disregarded his beliefs over issues of slavery to get his
billed passed. Theirs evidence of Douglas interest to obtain southern support even on
Basset’s Short History of The United States. “[Douglas] favored a new
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