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Item Description
  Kansas-Nebraska Act
Author: United States. Congress
Date: May 30, 1854

Officially titled "An Act to Organize the Territories of Nebraska and Kansas," this act repealed the Missouri Compromise, which had outlawed slavery above the 36 degrees 30 minutes latitude in the Louisiana Territory and reopened the national struggle over slavery in the western territories. In January 1854, Senator Stephen Douglas introduced a bill that divided the land west of Missouri into two territories, Kansas and Nebraska. He argued for popular sovereignty, which would allow the settlers of the new territories to decide if slavery would be legal there. Antislavery supporters were outraged because, under the terms of the Missouri Compromise of 1820, slavery would have been outlawed in both territories. After months of debate, the Kansas-Nebraska Act passed on May 30, 1854. Images and document description courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration, Our Documents web site, Transcription courtesy of the Avalon Project at Yale Law School,

Location of Original: National Archives and Records Administration Call Number: Records of the Interior and Insular Affairs Committee and Its Predecessors, 1805-1988; Record Group 11; General Records of the United States Government; National Archives.
Item Number: 102844 Number of images: 2
Keywords: Kansas Nebraska Act; Missouri compromise; Slavery; United States. Congress; Westward expansion
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