Monday, August 12, 2019

Landmark Decisions Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 4000 words

Landmark Decisions - Essay Example Maine was admitted as a free state, so the Senate remained equally stacked between free and slave states. Ostensibly, the line drawn at 36 degrees 30 feet of the territories acquired in the Louisiana Purchase would forever preclude slavery from existing within their boundaries. Three decades later, on May 30, 1854, Congress passed the Kansas-Nebraska Act, and the controversy over slavery in the territories was reopened. Congress tried repeatedly to organize a single territory for the area west of Missouri and Iowa, but was unsuccessful. Stephen O. Douglas of Illinois introduced a bill dividing the land into two territories. His proposal left the issue of free state or slave state up to the people. Thus, ushering in the concept of â€Å"popular sovereignty†. Paul Finkelman in Dred Scott v. Sanford, A Brief History with Documents, describes the debates, the bickering and how the displeasure fermented among the pro and anti-slavery proponents, as the residents of Kansas became vi olently divided over the free state or slave state issue. He goes on to describe how the concept of â€Å"popular sovereignty†, was proving to be a nemesis, as the pro slavery and anti slavery proponents engaged each other in many guerilla warfare battles. He speaks of how Kansas became known as â€Å"bleeding Kansas†. (Finkelman)

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