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After the Missouri Compromise is violated in the institution of Kansas as a slave state, the Kansas-Nebraska act is instituted to allow voters to decide whether they want a slave or free state.
Because of this, Kansas and Nebraska became very divided over the issue of slavery. The states were home to lots of proslavery and anti-slavery settlers, and violence ensued.
In one famous event, known as the Caning of Charles Sumner, tensions over Kansas boiled over to the point where violence resulted in the Senate. Preston Brooks, a politician from South Carolina, assaulted Sumner, a Massachusetts senator.
In response to pro-slavery forces sacking the city of Lawrence, KS, John Brown and his sons killed 5 pro-slavery men, known as the Pottawatomie Massacre. Brown was hailed as a hero in the North, and an enemy to the south.
In Kansas, Brown was able to gain the support of even more pacifist abolitionist. He was also able to form his small militia, which became significant during his raid on Harper's Ferry, Virginia, where he was ultimately captured and arrested.
Many believe that the actions of John Brown, allowed the tensions between North and South to escalate further, and hastened the path to the Civil War. His actions inspired many other Northern Abolitionists, and he is still considered to be one of the most controversial figures of this time.
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