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Bleeding Kansas1Bleeding KansasLuis AponteProf. Traci L. Sumner, HIST 101 B021 Spring 10American Military UniversityWeek #4
Bleeding Kansas2Abstract“Bleeding Kansas” was a term used by Horace Greeley of the New York Tribuneto describe the violent hostilities between pro and antislavery forces in the Kansas territory during the mid and late 1850s. The Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 set the scene by allowing the territory of Kansas to decide for itself whether it would be free or slave state. This decision would be based on a popular sovereignty. This paper provides a narrative of the events and key people that led Kansas to being voted a free state, ending the slavery in the state; plus why I think this is one of the most important events of the American history before 1877.
Bleeding Kansas3For many years the Great Plains area was labeled the Great American Desert, implying that the lands offered little to nothing economically speaking. The federal government relocated a number of Native American tribes to the Plains as a testimony that the area was no longer appealing to white settlers. Attitudes began to change as people traveled across the Santa Fe Trail and discovered the area’s richness. However, the most important factor that brought Kansas into the national consciousness was the conflict that occurred following the 1854 Kansas-Nebraska Act. Under the terms of the act, two territories were to be formed, Kansas and Nebraska. One would become a slave state and the other a free state. Popular sovereignty would prevail and it was assumed that slave-owning Southerners would occupy Kansas and make it a slave state, while Free State advocates would settle in Nebraska. This theory would work out as anticipated