In 1854, councilor Stephen Douglas of Illinois suggest a invoice to organize the territory of Nebraska, a substantial area of land that would become Kansas, Nebraska, Montana and the Dakotas. Known as the Kansas-Nebraska Act, the controversial bill increased the opportunity that slavery might be prolonged into territories where it had actually once been banned. Its i intensified the bitter controversy over enslavement in the joined States, which would later on explode right into the civil War.

Stephen Douglas and Westward Expansion

The exploration of gold in California in 1849, and also California’s subsequent request to become a state, sparked a fierce fight in Congress. As California had actually banned slavery, its join to the Union would certainly upset the breakable balance in between slave and cost-free states. Through the finish of 1850, senator Henry Clay (with Douglas’ help) had persuaded Congress to accept the deteriorate of 1850. Through its terms, California gotten in the Union together a cost-free state, if the areas of Utah, brand-new Mexico, Nevada and Arizona (all got in the Mexican-American War) were left to decide because that themselves whether to permit slavery within your borders. 

Did friend know? Kansas was admitted as a totally free state in January 1861 just weeks ~ eight Southern says seceded from the union.

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Douglas hoped this idea the “popular sovereignty” would deal with the mounting conflict over the future of enslavement in the United says and permit the country to broaden westward with couple of obstacles. But the compromise of 1850 (especially the strict new Fugitive servant Act that contained) galvanized the abolitionist movement and fueled mounting debate over whether the institution of slavery must be allowed to expand along with the nation.

Introduction that the Kansas-Nebraska act in 1854

Known together the “Little Giant,” Douglas was one of the country’s most influential politicians by 1854, and also was seen as a likely future president. That was likewise a large booster the the planned transcontinental railroad, i beg your pardon would administer faster, much more reliable transportation throughout the country. Douglas want the railroad to be built along a northern route that would certainly go v Chicago and also a large area of land recognized as the Nebraska Territory, which had actually been had in the Louisiana Purchase.

Southern slaveholders and their allies in Congress opposed Douglas’ initial bill to to organize the Nebraska Territory. In 1821, the Missouri Compromise had outlawed slavery almost everywhere in the remaining Louisiana acquisition lands north of the 36º 30’ parallel, and also the 2 proposed areas lay phibìc of this line.

Douglas required proslavery votes to pass his “Nebraska Bill,” together it was known at the time.

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To get them, he included an amendment the repealed the Missouri Compromise and also created two new territories, Kansas and Nebraska. Settlers in each region would vote on the worry of whether to permit slavery or not, follow to the principle of renowned sovereignty.