Kansas-Nebraska Act

(1854) this bill was originally designed to enable settlers to move west to the land we know today as Kansas and Nebraska, and for the building of a Midwestern transcontinental railroad. Yet, the bill also allowed “popular sovereignty,” that is, it allowed the people living in those territories to decide whether slavery was allowed within their borders. Soon pro- and anti-slavery advocates flooded the land with the goal of voting slavery up or down, ultimately leading to violent political confrontations known collectively as “Bleeding Kansas” – the most significant event to presage the Civil War.

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