Presentation on theme: "By Vince Landis. The name Bleeding Kansas refers to the violent sectional conflicts in the American Midwest in the mid to late 1850s. Also referred to."— Presentation transcript:
by Vince Landis
The name Bleeding Kansas refers to the violent sectional conflicts in the American Midwest in the mid to late 1850s. Also referred to as Bloody Kansas or the Border War, Bleeding Kansas was a very significant event in American History illustrating the depth of the struggle between “slave” and “free” states.
Compromise of 1850 – provided temporary unity between north and south but could not remain effective forever Manifest Destiny - With the attitude that Americans were destined to expand westward, America had plans to build a transcontinental railroad. According to Senator Stephen Douglass’ wishes for an Eastern Terminal in Chicago, Nebraska would need to be organized as a territory. Kansas Nebraska Act; Popular Sovereignty
Organized Nebraska and Kansas as states and instituted popular sovereignty for deciding whether the states would be slave or free. Popular sovereignty – doctrine under which the status of slavery in a territory is determined by the inhabitants of the land It was assumed that Kansas would be slave and that Nebraska would be free as a result of the passage of the Act, but this assumption was not completely correct.
Border Ruffians were southerners living in Missouri that crossed the border to Kansas in order to help the Southerners win the elections which would decide if the state would be slave or free. Ruffians hated Northerners and they initiated the Raid of Lawrence, Kansas. They crossed the state border and looted and burned buildings of the free soil community. The Raid of Lawrence is sometimes recognized as one of the opening shots” of the Civil War.
Another notable “opening shot” of the Civil War in Bleeding Kansas was the Pottawatomie Massacre. Led by John Brown, this massacre was an abolitionist attack on a proslavery settlement. Five proslavery men were taken from their homes and hacked to death in the attack.
Raised in an antislavery home, this militant abolitionist put his life on the line to defend his cause. John Brown had a mission to abolish slavery, and he went to whatever extreme measures were necessary to accomplish this mission. John Brown emerged as a significant figure in antebellum sectional conflict and was hanged on December 2, 1859 because of his violent actions in his quest for justice.
The battle took place on August 30, 1856 when pro- slavery forces led by John Reid shot John Brown’s son. John Brown received warning that hundreds of pro- slavery soldiers were approaching the town of Osawatomie and he quickly assembled a small fighting force. This battle even went to an extreme of utilizing cannons, further illustrating how deeply divided the country had become. monument for the Battle of Osawatomie
The violence of sectional conflict was not limited to Kansas. Even Congress witnessed a violent encounter as abolitionist Charles Sumner attacked the South with his words and was attacked by Preston Brooks. Sumner delivered a speech in Congress titled “The crime against Kansas” in which he even accused senators that were advocates of slavery. In response to this, Congressman Preston Brooks beat him senseless with a cane.
With effort to win Kansas to the “slave” side or the “free” side of America, many constitutions were written for the future of Kansas. The Constitution written in the city of Lecompton was a pro-slavery document, and was one of the most significant constitutions because President James Buchanan encouraged its ratification. However, the document was not ratified and an election was organized by Congress which ultimately declared Kansas a free state.
In the conflicts and actual battles preceding the Civil war, about 55 people died total. Although the South had tried to get Kansas to become a slave state, Kansas became free in the end, reflecting a prevailing sentiment of antislavery. The murder and mayhem of Bleeding Kansas were not actual Civil War battles, but they foreshadowed the deadly conflict that was quickly approaching.
"Bleeding Kansas." America's Civil War. Blue and Gray Trail, 12 Nov 2006. Web. 25 May 2012.. "Bleeding Kansas." Antebellum People and Events. PBS, n.d. Web. 25 May 2012.. "Bleeding Kansas." United States History. Live Study Group, n.d. Web. 25 May 2012.. Kelly, Martin. "Bleeding Kansas." About.com American History. About.com Education, 2012. Web. 25 May 2012..