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Doc of the Day: Kansas-Nebraska Act

Doc of the Day: Kansas-Nebraska Act

On May 31, 1854, Congress passed the Kansas-Nebraska Act, repealing the Missouri Compromise of 1820 and attempting to settle the question of the expansion of slavery by allowing each territory to decide the matter for itself. First reported to the U.S. Congress on January 4 by the Illinois senator Stephen Douglas, the Democratic chair of the Senate Committee on Territories and the architect of the measure, the Kansas-Nebraska Act underwent major revisions before its final passage on May 26 and approval by President Franklin Pierce four days later. Read our full coverage of the act, including in-depth analysis by the historian Martin J. Hershock of the University of Michigan—Dearborn.

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