The Kansas-Nebraska Act was proposed by Stephen A. Douglas in the year 1854. It was a bill meant to settle the issue of slavery in the territories. He also proposed to repeal the Missouri Compromise and let voters in the territories vote on whether to allow slavery or not.
Picture of Stephen A. Douglas
He called this idea of letting people decide on whether to allow slavery or not popular sovereignty. Many northerners protested this bill because before it, the states would have been free states, but if the bill passed they could be voted to slave states. Southerners supported the bill because of the chance of states that would automatically be free states would have a chance to be a slave state.
Shows how north and south had different views
Luckily, for the southerners, Kansas was settled mostly by slave holding people. With the support of Northern Democrats and the backing of President Pierce, the act passed in 1854. During the voting, border ruffians (people who crossed the border of a state to vote in another state) went to Kansas to vote to allow slavery there. Kansas only had 1,500 registered voters, but over 6,000 people ended up voting for the bill.
Shows how people crossed the Missouri-Kansas border to vote for slavery
After the act was passed, Kansas established laws supporting slavery. However opponents refused to accept these laws and adopted their own constitution which banned slavery.
People in the U.S. called this madness"The Civil War in Kansas". The slave supporters attacked the town of Lawrence. In retaliation, John Brown led an attack that killed 5 slave supporters. Federal troops eventually arrived to stop the bloodshed.