The Kansas - legislation sold Kansas into slavery, and they...

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The Kansas-Nebraska Act.  The Compromise of 1850 did not address the issue of slavery in the large unorganized  territory in the Great Plains, but with California clamoring for the construction of a  transcontinental railroad link to the East, the issue had to be addressed. Senator  Douglas, who favored a northern rail route to California that would benefit Chicago, was  the author of the Kansas-Nebraska Act. It created two territories—Kansas and Nebraska —and declared the Missouri Compromise null and void; the matter of slavery in the new  territories would be decided by popular sovereignty. Personally, Douglas assumed that  Nebraska would become a free state and that Kansas would allow slavery.  The Kansas-Nebraska Act created far more problems than it purported to solve.  Antislavery northerners, who held the Missouri Compromise sacrosanct, thought the 
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Unformatted text preview: legislation sold Kansas into slavery, and they condemned Douglas for being a dupe of southern interests. Their suspicions gained credibility with the ratification of the Gadsden Purchase at the end of 1853. President Pierce had sent James Gadsden, a railroad expert who happened to be a southerner, to Mexico to negotiate the purchase of the Mesilla Valley, the area south of the Gila River in present-day Arizona. An army survey had indicated this region to be a feasible route for a southerly transcontinental railroad, which had considerable support in the South. The treaty originally included Baja California, but opposition from free-soilers limited the purchase to the land that makes up the southern borders of Arizona and New Mexico today. The purchase completed the continental expansion of the United States....
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