APush Kansas-Nebraska Act
Updated: 1/9/2021
APush Kansas-Nebraska Act

Storyboard Text

  • How can I connect the US without angering anyone?
  • No! It should go through the South, in Texas!
  • I think the railroad should go through the North, in Chicago.
  • What Should I do.....I know!
  • I am for Slavery!
  • I am against Slavery!
  • According to the votes, this will be a free state.
  • I am against Slavery!
  • I am against Slavery!
  • Get rid of the Missouri Line!
  • The Kansas-Nebraska Act was originally created to organize the territory of Nebraska, and create a railroad that connected the Eastern states to the Western states during the time of mass westward expansion.
  • Okay! However, it will cause much debate and disagreement.
  • Stephen Douglas proposed that the railroad take a Northern route through Chicago, while the Southern senators wanted the route to go through the newly created state of Texas. To compromise, Douglas proposed that they organize the Nebraskan territory, and give the new states the power of popular sovereignty.
  • Popular Sovereignty will help to spread slavery and encourage it!
  • Popular Sovereignty allowed each individual state to decide if they would be a slave state or a free state. This policy, however, contradicted the Missouri Compromise Line, which banned slavery North of the 36 30' degree line
  • I will vote against slavery!
  • I will vote for slavery!
  • The idea of Popular Sovereignty, however, did not satisfy a powerful group of southern senators. They wanted the Missouri line to be removed altogether. Douglas, who wanted to pass his bill, agreed to their terms, even though he knew doing so would turn the intent of the bill away from the railroad and onto slavery.
  • The bill caused many heated arguments about slavery, and Charles Sumner said that the bill would turn the states into states of "despotism, inhabited by masters and slaves." Nonetheless, the Senate agreed to pass the bill on May 30, 1854.
  • In the end, the Kansas-Nebraska Act got rid of the Missouri Line, created two new states (Kansas, Nebraska), and allowed the new states to decide whether or not they would be free states or slave states (Popular Sovereignty). However, the idea of popular sovereignty soon worked against the state, as people who did not live or plan to live in the state would go and vote on whether the state would be a free or slave state.
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