Kansas Nebraska Act.

Essay by KylaJunior High, 8th gradeA+, June 2003

download word file, 4 pages 3.7

The Kansas-Nebraska Act, of 1854, created and destroyed American political parties and lead to the sectional differences in our nation that resulted in violence. The Kansas-Nebraska Act was a plan introduced by Stephen Douglas that would divide the remainder of the Louisiana Purchase, of 1803, into two separate territories- Kansas and Nebraska. In each territory popular sovereignty would allow voters to determine whether the state was to be a slave state or a free state. If Stephen's Act was passed, a railroad could be built from Chicago to the pacific, an idea that outraged northerners. They believed it was a terrible plot to turn Free states into a "dreary region...inhabited by masters and slaves." All across the antislavery North, citizens held protest meetings and sent anti-Nebraska petitions to Congress. But with the South's strong support along with President Pierce persuading fellow democrats to vote for it, Douglas's plan for turning Chicago into a rich city filled with California's new found wealth, was full steam ahead.

But Congress did not approve the construction of the railroad until 1862.

On July 6th, 1854 in the town of Jackson, Michigan, hundreds of people who were against the recently passed Kansas-Nebraska Act came together to form the Republican party. Douglas felt the Act would "raise a storm" and it did just that. Under pressure from Douglas and President Pierce, nearly 60 northern Democrats had voted for the Kansas-Nebraska bill, and suffered the consequences for their support. Only 7 of the northern Democrats who voted for the bill retained their seats. The others had left because of the controversy caused by the Kansas-Nebraska act. The party was hurt further by the Ostend Manifesto. In this document, three U.S. diplomats laid out a plan to buy Cuba, which allowed slavery. If Spain refused, they would take...