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The Kansas-Nebraska Act was passed in 1854 and was one of the many pre-cursors to the American civil war. The Act caused controversy because it allowed the territories to vote for/against slavery, which was previously prohibited. See the fact file below for more information on the Kansas-Nebraska Act or download the entire 15 page premium worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home learning environment.
• The Kansas-Nebraska Act was passed by congress on May 30, 1854 and defined the separate territories of Kansas and Nebraska.
• The Act was proposed by Senator Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois.
• The initial aim of the Act was to build a transcontinental railroad across the Midwest to promote easier access to the farmland for both farmers and their customers.
• Because the Act established Kansas and Nebraska as separate territories, it meant that each of them could decide whether slavery was allowed or disallowed in their area. Prior to this, slavery was prohibited in this territory by the Missouri Compromise of 1820.
• ‘Popular sovereignty’ is the phrase used to describe the idea that citizens could decide whether slavery was allowed or not.
• The Kansas-Nebraska Act was one of the main contributors towards the end of the Missouri Compromise.
• As a result of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, thousands of pro-slavery people began to move to Kansas just so they could vote for slavery (something they couldn’t do in their home territories.)
• However, people who were against slavery also moved to Kansas, and the two groups of people soon clashed. A small civil war broke out between the for/against groups, which was later referred to as ‘Bleeding Kansas’ due to the high death toll.
• The Kansas-Nebraska Act divided the nation into people who agreed with slavery and those who wanted to ban it. The people who were pro-slavery were generally from the South, and the anti-slavery group was from the North.
• As a result of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, a new anti-slavery constitution was created by Abraham Lincoln (a congressman at the time). This led to slavery being completely outlawed throughout the United States by the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution.
• Kansas officially became a state in 1861, and Nebraska followed in 1867.
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Link will appear as Kansas-Nebraska Act Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, December 9, 2016
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