Bleeding Kansas Analysis

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The Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 and the author, Stephen A. Douglas, introduced slavery to Kansas, sparking the violence of “Bleeding Kansas.” The Kansas-Nebraska Act allowed for settlers to choose whether the newer territories of Kansas and Nebraska would be slave states or not. In the review of the book, The Nebraska-Kansas Act of 1854, by Allen Guelzo, he states, “The Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 enjoys the dubious honor of being the only piece of legislation that caused the civil war...The result was “Bleeding Kansas,” the collapse of ‘popular sovereignty,’ and a lethal polarization of North and South” (Guelzo 1084). This act, as explained by Guelzo, created a massive rift between the North and South, a conflict that would progressively worsen and ultimately, lead to the Civil War.…show more content…
The overwhelming amount of proslavery settlers in the new territories resulted in a violent war, “Bleeding Kansas,” an event that separated the North and South for good. Stephen A. Douglas, the author of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, originally believed that power should be granted to the people, a decision that caused disaster. In the essay, “Bleeding Kansas: From the Kansas-Nebraska Act to Harper 's Ferry,” by Nicole Etcheson, she claims, “Illinois Senator Stephen A. Douglas never intended such a result...Under the provisions of the 1820 Missouri Compromise, the northern half of the Louisiana Purchase, west of Iowa and Missouri, was free territory. In 1854, Douglas revised the latest version of the bill, creating the territories of Kansas and Nebraska and replacing the prohibition on slavery with popular sovereignty - the right of the people, through their territorial legislatures, to decide whether to have slavery” (Etcheson 1). By stating that Stephen A. Douglas “never intended such a result,” the author discusses the weaknesses and chaos that resulted from a foolish
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