The 1854 Kansas-Nebraska Act was an act, which allowed new territories to decide if they were a free or slave state by popular sovereignty (Civilwar.org, Kansas-Nebraska Act). Kansas-Nebraska Act negated the Missouri Compromise. Missouri Compromise was an effort by the congress to diffuse the political rivalries triggered by the request of Missouri in 1819 for admission as a state in which supported slavery (Garraty and Foner). This was done to restore the balance of slave and free states at the time. Kansas-Nebraska Act violated the compromise that was made in the Missouri Compromise, it reignited the disagreement between the anti and pro-slavery factions, which lead to violent events.
This compromise written by Henry Clay, it brought together the states that were divided into a union. It was more of a series of laws than a compromise. Their were five bills that made up the compromise: first California entered the Union as a free state, secondly New Mexico and Utah could decide wether or not slavery was permitted within borders, thirdly the republic of Texas gave up some of land and paid 10 million dollars of debt to Mexico, fourthly slave trade became illegal in the district of colombia and lastly, fugitive slave act was created a law that required all northerners to leave all escaped and free slaves alone in the South. To wrap it all out, this compromise made an impact because it made citizens part of slavery by making them capture the runaway slaves. If a citizen was caught hiding a slave he or she were sent to jail.
Congress has always played a pivotal role in addressing the social and economic issues of the United States. This legislation has shaped the US’s economic and political situations as well as affecting the public sentiment of America’s society. Two specific pieces of legislation passed during the course of the US’s history that have had significant impacts on slavery and sectionalism have been the Missouri Compromise (1820) and the Fugitive Slave Act (1850). Both legislative pieces have roots stemming from the theory of manifest destiny and the country’s desire to expand itself.
The effect of the Missouri Compromise was the immediate satisfaction of the members of Congress that no national decisions about slavery, applying to every state, would be made by a majority. Similarly, the Missouri Compromise is related to the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 in which Stephen Douglass allowed the new states Kansas and Nebraska to decide amongst themselves whether slavery would be legal. Because Kansas and Nebraska were not in the Louisiana Purchase, this new act had to be created to again distribute states as free or slave. It is important because it immediately settled the disagreement over what new states would be free or slave, but highlighted the overall
This act proposed the repealing of the 36-30 line and introducing more popular sovereignty by once again giving this power of choice to the citizens of the Kansas and Nebraska territories. Though this did bring upon some problems (such as people coming from neighboring states to illegally vote on these decisions), this freedom of choice was a huge step in the legislation of slavery. Obviously, the Emancipation Proclamation and the whole abolishment of slavery in 1863 and 1865, respectively, were both huge steps in American history concerning the legal status of
The Kansas-Nebraska Act removed the provision that slavery would not extend north of the 36-30 line. The Missouri Compromise seemed to settle the issue of slavery at the time being, but it’s true issues still were on the road for civil outbreak in the future. “Further compromises and Supreme Court decisions would play a role in the great debates” over slavery and weather it should be completely abolished. Many people had feared the Missouri Compromise would break apart the union, but majority of the population had not recognized these threats for another four decades when Civil War unleased between the union and the Confederacy where the issue of slavery was ultimately
Dred Scott Decision – Was a trial between a slave and his owner. The master moved to a free state and kept a slave even though they had entered a free state. In the end, they ruled in the favor of the master. This decision stated that slaves are just property and can be moved from place to place and still be bound to the master. The significance of this is that it made the Missouri Compromise unconstitutional.
During the Civil War, different groups thought different things about why the war was being fought. The North mostly fought for reunification while the South fought to save slavery. Lincoln, who was President at the time, began the war with one set of beliefs and eventually won the war with another. Lincoln’s focus for the war changed from reunification to the abolition of slavery.
The Civil War started because of uncompromising differences between the free and slave states over the power of the national government to prohibit slavery in the territories that had not yet become states. Abraham Lincoln won the election of 1860 as the first Republican president, and pledged keep slavery from expanding in the territories (Text, 402). After Lincoln was elected, South Carolina succeeded from the Union and soon other slave states in the deep South joined. The seceded states together formed a new nation called the Confederate States of America (Text, 404).
Congress was facing many issues at one time so Henry Clay takes the opportunity to step up and creates the compromise. It addresses all the issues that congress is dealing with and on January 29 1850 he presents his creation to Congress. The four major issues facing the nation at this time were California’s admittance to America and if it would be a free state or a slave state, the border issue of New Mexico, the northerners claim that there should be no more slavery in the capital, and the issues that runaway slaves were not being returned because of the weak fugitive slave law. The bill proposed that California is admitted as a free state and the rest of congresses session they will be mute on topic of slavery. Next the federal government will pay Texas 10 million dollars for the debt it owed because it did not get the land.
This bill was introduced by Senator Stephen Douglas. He argued for popular sovereignty, which would allow the settlers of the new territories to decide if slavery would be legal there. Soon enough, on May 30, 1854, the Kansas-Nebraska Act was passed. This repealed the Missouri Compromise, which prohibited slavery north of the 36-degree parallel line. This immediately resulted in pro-slavery and anti-slavery settlers rushing into Kansas because they were hoping that their vote would influence the future of the state.
Despite all of the sectional conflicts taking place within the U.S., the Compromise of 1850 brought a new light onto the situation of slavery. It proposed that California would be a free state, but other new territories would have no limits on slavery. In addition, the slave trade, but not slavery itself, would be banned in Washington D.C. The originator of this compromise, Henry Clay, also pushed for a stronger fugitive slave law.
The Fugitive Slave Act was devastating to northerners and slaves. It proclaimed that ant slave no matter in a slave state or a free state could be returned to its slave holder. Additionally, it stated that ant personal attempting to assist slaves to escape would face intense punishment. The Fugitive Slave Act was passed in 1850 and enraged anti-slavery supporters because it hindered their ability to aid runaway slaves and it denied safety for slaves anywhere in the United States. Following the Fugitive Slave Act,
The Kansas Nebraska Act was a law passed by congress in 1854. The main reason it is passed is because Steven Douglass attempted to get a transcontinental railroad through California. He thought that the quickest process of building a railroad would be to re organize the rest of Louisiana territory into two territories (Staff, History.com Kansas Nebraska Act).He owned land in this area, and he wanted to get the railroad to go through his land (Staff, History.com Kansas Nebraska Act) . The Kansas- Nebraska Act would cancel out the Missouri Compromise. When Kansas wanted to join the union, the people of the area were able to vote if they wanted it to be slave free or pro slavery.