Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Bleeding Kansas

During this time, tides were turning against the Democrats and the Whigs. A new party was rising, the Republicans, or sometimes called the "free soil" party. It was called this because they opposed the spread of slavery. So the soil would be free....get it?! Huh, huh, get it?!

Another young politician from Illinois joined this party. Who was this man? This man was Abraham Lincoln.

You might want to remember Lincoln for later.

As you could probably imagine, a subject as controversial as slavery would result in some high tensions. Things got pretty violent and Kansas became known as "Bleeding Kansas".

Both pro slavery and anti slavery people were rushing to the new territory to have an affect on popular sovereignty.

The first election for the question of slavery took place in November of 1854. 1700 armed Missourians crossed into Kansas and threatened violence if they couldn't vote.

Because fear is a good motivator, a pro slavery delegate was elected.

Other fraud with the voting occurred so both sides decided to set up their own governments in Kansas.

This obviously will not work.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Kansas Nebraska Act

During this time, a senator from Illinois named Stephen Douglas was rising in prominence. He was just a little guy at 5'4, they called him "The Little Giant". Not to be confused with the football movie starring Devon Sawa.

A big issue that was dividing the North and the south...besides slavery, was a railroad. A railroad was to be built to connect California to the rest of the nation, but....where should the railroad begin?

The South thought New Orleans should be the location.

The North however, thought this was a terrible idea. They were afraid that the railroad would be used to transport slaves.

So Douglas thought that the city should be Chicago! He knew though that if he wanted it in Chicago something would have to be done to make the southerners happy. There was also that pesky little problem of the land to build the railroad on was not officially open yet.

This land was the Kansas and Nebraska Territories, Douglas introduced a bill that would open up these territories and the issue of slavery would be left to popular sovereignty, also known as, it would be up to the people.

But wait....

Remember the Missouri Compromise?! It banned slavery north of the southern boarder of Missouri. Both the Kansas and Nebraska Territories are north of the southern boarder of Missouri!!! OMG!

The South thought this was just a dandy idea, but they wanted more. They wanted the entire Missouri Compromise's limit on slavery repealed. The bill was passed in 1854. So, did the railroad go from Chicago to California?

No...in the shuffle of this bill the whole Railroad was forgotten until 1862.

The North was pretty unhappy about the Kansas Nebraska Act, in fact, they were irate.

So irate they threw chairs..

(I have no historical proof of this)