In 1820, the potential admittance of Missouri as a slave state threatened to offset the fragile balance present between abolitionist and enslaved territories; a similar dilemma later arose in 1850, when California's petition for liberal statehood yielded a series of turbulent disputes amongst Northerners and Southerners. Although these crises were eventually resolved, the United States would later be confronted with yet another Congressional hardship: the organization of Nebraska Territory.
The Missouri Compromise (1820)Missouri will be accepted as a slave state and Maine will be considered free; the use of forced labor, however, will not be permitted above the 36'30 line of latitude.
The Kansas-Nebraska Act
The Compromise of 1850 California will be admitted as a free state, and a stricter fugitive slave law will be enforced. Likewise, the northern and western boundaries of Texas will be redrawn, the slave trade will be outlawed in Washington, D.C., and the states derived from the Mexican Cession will utilize popular sovereignty in determining the legality of slavery.
Senator Stephen A. Douglas, a firm advocate of Manifest Destiny, considered the establishment of a transcontinental railroad to be vital in the civilization of North America; his objective to construct an eastern terminal in the Northern territory of Chicago, however, could solely be accomplished through a compromise with the South, and so, Douglas resolved to eliminate the 36'30 boundary and allow for the institution of popular sovereignty.
I will reorganize the Nebraska territory but must first expel the native populaces; this, however, is not an arduous task.
A transcontinental railroad is necessary in the fulfillment of Manifest Destiny, but it mustn't pass through the South!
The 36'30 line of latitude will no longer function as the border between pro- and anti-slavery territories; each state will employ popular sovereignty and will, thus, compel its own population to resolve such disputes.
The Southerners will insist on having an eastern terminal built in St. Louis, but if I repeal the latitudinal boundary set by the Missouri Compromise, I could persuade them otherwise...
My northern companions will be greatly displeased, but I cannot fathom a more effective compromise than this.
In 1856, A group of Southerners entered the city of Lawrence, which chiefly advocated the dissolution of slavery; here, the congregation proceeded to combust the Free State Hotel, raid homes, and demolish two printing presses.
Northerners emigrated from across the nation into the state of Kansas, seeking to gain a legislative majority; hundreds of pro-slave residents quickly followed, commencing a series of violent brawls that would eventually dub the territory as Bleeding Kansas.
In response, John Brown led several abolitionists to Pottawatomie Creek, where they proceeded to forcibly isolate and kill five proslavery men.