SS Storyboard
Updated: 6/9/2020
SS Storyboard
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Storyboard Text

  • I am Stephen Douglas, a Democratic politician. I want to discuss the Kansas Nebraska Act, a bill that mandated popular sovereignity.
  • In the early 1850s, American settlers wanted to move west of the Missouri River and expand into new territories.
  • To open up the new lands, I divided these territories into Kansas and Nebraska. Also, I allowed the settlers there to decide for themselves whether slavery would be legal or not. Both states ended up joining the Union as free states, although Kansas had slavery conflicts continuing into the Civil War, and Nebraska joined after the Civil War.
  • Another reason for this act or compromise was that I hoped it would lead to the creation of a transcontinental railroad to benefit my Illinois bretheren (Illinois was my home). The bill would organize the territories.
  • Unfortunately, many people, especially Northerners, opposed this, because it was a violation of the Missouri Compromise, and slaves might have been allowed above the 36°30 parallel.
  • Overall, even though I meant the best, I have some regrets about my actions, as it did contribute to the division between the North and South.
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