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 They wanted the entire Missouri Compromise's limit on slavery repealed.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? 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)

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