Presentation on theme: "Kansas Nebraska Act of 1845. Background Millions of acres of excellent farm land was still available in the United States. –Thought it necessary to begin."— Presentation transcript:
Background Millions of acres of excellent farm land was still available in the United States. –Thought it necessary to begin to settle this land. –Those involved in railroad interests especially wanted this land settled Farmers would be great customers –There were four previous attempts to draw up legislatures for this land, and each failed. –Solution: Bill proposed by Senator Stephen A. Douglas in Jan. 1854 –Douglas wanted a railroad that extended from his home city of Chicago to the West and then reaching to California. The Southern Senators, however, wanted a transcontinental one that reached from New Orleans to South Carolina. –To compromise, Douglas introduced the Kansas-Nebraska Act in 1854, where he proposed two new territories, Kansas and Nebraska.
Stephen A. Douglas Senator of Illinois Democratic party leader in the Senate Chairman of the Committee of Territories Promoter of railroads –Thus, the main reason he proposed the Kansas-Nebraska Act, in order to establish railroads. Strong believer in “popular sovereignty” –A.K.A. Grass roots democracy –Means that a state is created by and for the complete rule of the people –In the case of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, this was primarily aimed at whether there would be slavery of not.
Opposition to Kansas-Nebraska Act Act was passed on May 30,1854, signed by President Franklin Pierce. –Northern Democrats and southerners supported –The rest of the northerners hated it Organized the Republican Party- a grass roots opposition party –Repealed the Missouri Compromise Missouri Compromise of 1820 prohibited slavery in all new states north of the 36 30’ line. Since the Kansas-Nebraska Act allowed these new territories, which were in fact north of that line, to decide for themselves whether of not there would be slavery, this caused a storm of opposition from the North.
Opposition Continued… To effect the first election, which would decide whether or not the new territories would be free or slave states, pro-slavery and anti- slavery supporters packed into these territories. –Violence broke out John Brown fought against pro-slavery supporters in the Pottawatomie Massacre and the town of Osawatomie. –Each group drew up state constitutions Pro-slavery offered constitutions in two forms. Neither, of course, made slavery illegal. Anti-slavery boycotted these, and so organized one that called for a free state. The Lecompton Constitution (pro-slavery) was sent to Congress and approved. –Douglas opposed this for the fact that it did not offer to prohibit slavery as well as accept it –Northern congressmen refused to admit Kansas as a slave state Therefore, the issue was halted
Results A new anti-slavery constitution was established and on Jan. 29, 1861, Kansas was admitted to the Union as a free state. Nebraska was not admitted into the Union until after the Civil War. The Act was one of the last causes of separation between the North and the South. It pushed the nation closer towards civil war. Repealed the Missouri Compromise of 1820 by allowing for the choice of slavery in the new territories that previously prohibited it. Gave rise to the only other political party the currently exists in the U.S. today: The Republican Party.
Analysis It is important to examine every part of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, because if you look closely at the whole situation, things are not exactly as they seem. At first glance, the conflict seems to have been caused by disagreements over the issue of slavery. However, if you look more closely, you can see that the real issue was not over slavery, but of each section of the United States (the North and South) fighting to have their own kinds of governments run the whole country. After all, the north and south spent more time trying to get their constitutions approved by Congress than actually fighting for or against slavery. Thus, the real issue of the civil war was not mainly over slavery, but over differences in government.