Bleeding Kansas: A Prelude To The Civil War

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"Bleeding Kansas" was a prelude to the Civil War in that it indicated that diplomacy and legislation might not be enough to end the conflict between the North and the South over slavery. “Bleeding Kansas” arguably began with the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act which divided the Nebraska Territory into two new territories, Kansas and Nebraska, and left the issue of slavery up to popular sovereignty. This pleased Southerners since it was assumed that Kansas would become a slave state and Nebraska would become a free state, thereby maintaining the balance of slave states and free states in the Senate. However, while many of the new settlers of Kansas were pro-slavery, many also came from the antislavery North. At the first election in the new territory…show more content…
This was crucial given that this body would decide whether or not Kansas would allow slavery. In an effort to balance out the voter fraud, Territorial Governor Andrew Reeder invalidated the results from five voting districts and decided to hold a special election to redo the voting in those districts. To help prevent Kansas from allowing slavery, over one thousand New Englanders emigrated to Kansas to help sway the votes in favor of the North. While the special election resulted in eight more positions being held by antislavery delegates, the results of the new election were quickly invalidated by the new territorial legislation. This led the antislavery residents to create their own legislation and constitution. This left Kansas with two legislations, one of which had been elected illegally and one of which had not been officially elected at all. The antislavery legislature drafted the first constitution, the Topeka Constitution, in 1855, and it served as the basis for complaint against the federally backed but illegally elected

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