Kansas-Nebraska

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While there were many thing going on in the 1840s and 50s that contributed to the North South division, four major events will be identified. The Kansas-Nebraska Act, Bleeding Kansas, the Dred Scott trial and the Panic of 1857 all played a major role in the North South division and unrest leading to the Presidential election of 1860. The Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 “may have been the most important single event pushing the nation toward civil war” (McPherson 121). Author James McPherson stated that Kansas-Nebraska gave birth to the entirely northern Republican Party (121). The origin of Kansas-Nebraska can be found in the westward migration. “Settlers and land speculators had begun to cast covetous eyes on the fertile soil of the Kansas and …show more content…
Douglas would need the southern senators in order to pass the bill. His initial revision of the bill was written such that “Nebraska, when admitted as a state or states, would come in “with or without slavery, as their constitutions may prescribe”” (McPherson 123). This was not enough for the southern senators. Douglas found a clerical error in the bill that left out the key phrase “all questions pertaining to slavery in the Territories…are to be left to the people residing therein” (McPherson 123). This was still not enough to satisfy the southern senators. Douglas revised the bill again this time with an explicit repeal of the slavery ban north of the 36°30" line; this new bill was to organize Nebraska and Kansas. The new bill created serious problems for the Peirce administration, the President did not want to suffer “the political consequences” for backing the repeal of the Missouri Compromise. The division between the North and South had begun in earnest. Bleeding Kansas, so named for the violent border town confrontations between free soilers and pro-slavery men. Despite the fact that antislavery men had “lost the battle in Congress …show more content…
Scott was a slave who sued his owner for his freedom “on grounds of prolonged residence in a free state and a free territory.” (170 McPherson) The case would start small in the St Louis county court, but then would progress from the Missouri Supreme Court to federal circuit court to finally the US Supreme Court over the course of eleven years. The pro-slavery groups were anxious for the case to get tried in the Supreme Court as the Court was made up of primarily southern Justices and they felt it could give constitutional validation to the current political questions surrounding slavery. (171

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