Essay on The Role Kansas and Nebraska Played in the Civil War

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Crash! Boom! Terrified screams and rifle shots filled the air as Margaret snatched up her baby sister into her arms as she ran around frantically in search of shelter. Finally finding a safe hiding spot behind a large rock, Margaret and her little sister watched in desperation as their small shack was ransacked by John Brown and his raiders. As the sky grew black with smoke, angry tears began streaming down Margaret’s face. Why can’t the anti-slavery settlers just leave us alone? Why are they being so violent? What have we done to them? All we want is land to settle on! Margaret wondered in disheartenment. For settlers who had rushed to claim land in Kansas and Nebraska in the stormy 1850’s, facing violent clashes had become a daily…show more content…
The long-standing compromise would have to be repealed. Many people in the North considered the Missouri Compromise a binding agreement. Even in the South, the compromise was heavily supported. (“U.S. History”) The creator of the act was Senator Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois, who wanted to see citizens be able to settle in these territories. Underlying it all, Douglas’s real desire was to build a transcontinental railroad to go through Chicago. Although opposition was intense, The Kansas-Nebraska Act was finally passed by congress on May 30, 1854. It allowed settlers in the territories of Kansas and Nebraska to decide whether slavery would be legal or not within their borders based on popular sovereignty. Territory north of the 36°30' parallel was now open to popular sovereignty as Northern leaders’ moods grew darker than the midnight sky. This sudden change in affairs largely contributed to the humongous political change that was about to happen next. The political effects of the Kansas-Nebraska Act were colossal. Before the act’s passage, the Whig party had been one of the largest political parties in America, consisting of both Southern and Northern Whigs. The Kansas-Nebraska Act initially violated the Missouri Compromise of 1820, an unceasing pact that had been strongly supported by both the North and South. The ratification of the bill conclusively split the Whig party into two; almost every Southern Whig had
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