Kansas Nebraska Act
The Kansas-Nebraska Act is passed in Congress
By 1850, there was a push to move into the land left from the Louisiana Purchase. Stephen Douglas, the senator from Illinois, had the idea to create two new territories, Kansas, and Nebraska. At this time, the territory of Nebraska covered the area of Kansas, Nebraska, Montana, and North and South Dakota. By opening these territories, the railroad would be able to travel from Illinois west, making Chicago a large railroad hub for the growing nation. Ultimately, this act repealed the Missouri Compromise of 1820. This meant land north of the line drawn to divide free and slave states was gone. He proposed the principal of “popular sovereignty” by which the residents of these new territories would be able to vote on whether slavery would be legal in their territory or not. This act was so polarizing that it broke the Democratic Party apart. The new Republican Party, the party of Abraham Lincoln, was born.