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A Brief Biography of Sam Houston

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Sam Houston was a prominent political figure in the 19th century whose fame is attributed to his role of bringing Texas into the United States. Even though he was a life-long slave owner, Houston was opposed to the expansion of the institution of slavery into the west. Despite that his attitude seemed contradictory, Houston had good reasons for his resistance of the expansion of slavery. The issue of western expansion was an important topic in the middle of the 19th century, and with the admittance of new territories, there was the controversy on whether or not new western territories should be admitted to the Union as slave states or free states. Sam Houston was supportive of western expansion, but he was not supportive of the spreading of slavery. Houston’s opposition came to Congress in the form of a bill in 1854. The Kansas-Nebraska Act was proposed, and it repealed the Missouri Compromise, which put a ban on slavery above a line called the 36 °30 line. The Kansas-Nebraska Act applied a concept called “popular sovereignty”, which let the voters of each territory decide whether or not it would be admitted to the Union as a slave or a free state. Houston stood against his political party and voted against it, which outraged Southerners. Houston’s attitudes towards slavery may seem contradictory because he was, after all, a slave owner, but despite popular belief, he did not oppose the institution of slavery. Houston defended slavery as a necessity because the South
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