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Historic Vote #6: Kansas-Nebraska Act


vcczar
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Historic Vote #6: Kansas-Nebraska Act  

19 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you vote for or against the Kansas-Nebraska Act (see my write up in the first comment), which repeals the Missouri Compromise and allows the people to determine the status of slavery?

  2. 2. Which kind of Senator would you have been (Note: only including those that existed at the time)

    • Popular Sovereignty Democrat -- While not pro-slavery, you think the states and people should have the right to determine if they want slavery or not.
    • Pro-Slavery Southern Democrat - You would have advocate the preservation and expansion of slavery.
      0
    • Free Soil Democrat -- While supportive of the idea that the common man should determine the fate of their state's, you vehemently oppose attempts to introduce slavery and hope to abolish it.
    • Pro-Slavery, States Rights Whig - You believe the states should determine the slavery issue, but only through a legal repeal of the Compromise, such as the Kansas-Nebraska Act
      0
    • Cotton Whig -- You support slavery only as a means of production and for economic reasons. You have no real stake in slavery being in the West unless it is economically beneficial for the nation.
      0
    • Conscience Whig -- You, like the Free Soil Democrats, find slavery Satanic and barbaric. The Compromise of 1850 was as much as you were willing to compromise.
    • Independent -- You are unattached to the Democrats or Whigs, but will side with the Pro-Slavery alliance
      0
    • Independent -- You are unattached to the Democrats or Whigs, but will side with the Anti-Slavery alliance
    • Know Nothing (American Party) -- You are an anti-immigrant, anti-Catholic nationalist, but you are also anti-slavery.
      0
  3. 3. Following passage of the bill, would you have encouraged activists of your point of view to rush to the new territories to settle them so they could determine the fate of the states?

  4. 4. The Kansas-Nebraska Act, and Bleeding Kansas, killed the Whig Party. Which Party would you have joined in the lead up to the Civil War?

    • I was a Democrat, and I would have stayed as a Democrat, supporting the likes of Buchanan, Douglas and Pierce.
      0
    • I was a Whig, but I would join the Democrats as the largest party that could oppose the emerging pro-abolitionist party.
      0
    • I was a Whig, but I would join the Constitutional Union -- a moderate, pro-Union party aimed at keeping the Union harmonized through the Constitution.
      0
    • I was a Democrat, and while I'll stay as a Democrat, I support the future creation of a party that is more activist in support Slave Rights Equality.
    • I was a Free Soil Democrat and I join the new Republican Party, which I helped found as an organization to contain and hopefully abolish slavery.
    • I was a Whig opposed to slavery and I join the new Republican Party, which I helped found to maintain Whig economic policies but to make more of an emphasis in opposition to slavery and slave powers.
    • I was a Know Nothing (American Party), but I join the new Republican Party, as I prioritize the economy and anti-slavery policies more than my anti-immigrant and anti-Catholic stances)
      0
    • I was a Know Nothing (American Party), but I join the Constitutional Union Party, as I feel I'll be better able to priorities my nativist policies with this party than with the Republican Party.
      0
    • I was an Independent, but I will join the Republican Party in their attempt to curb slavery.
    • I was an independent, but I will join the Democrats, if only because I see abolitionists as radicals and I expect these radicals to take over the Republican Party
      0
  5. 5. When the Civil War breaks out, where do you see yourself?

    • I am Pro-Union and supportive of the Civil War and the abolition of slavery.
    • I am Pro-Union and supportive of the Civil War and but not of the abolition of slavery.
      0
    • I am Pro-Union and but a critic of the Civil War, but I am for the abolition of slavery.
    • I am a pro-Union, Confederate sympathizer.
      0
    • I am an anti-Union Northerner and Confederate sympathizer.
      0
    • I am a Confederate, but I am also opposed to slavery.
    • I am a Confederate, but I wish we had stayed in the Union, but not at the cost of abolishing slavery.
      0
    • I am a Confederate and activist for slave owner rights equality!
      0
    • I am an anti-Confederate Southerner who would move to the North
      0
    • I am an anti-Confederate Southerner who would leave the Country
      0
    • Other (Mention below)
      0


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You are a US Senator. It's March 1854. The President is Franklin Pierce (D-NH). 

Many Senators assumed the Compromise of 1850, as well as the earlier Missouri Compromise of 1820 had settled the slavery issue. However, by 1853, a new issue was about to light a powder keg: The plans for a Continental Railroad. 

Sen. Stephen A Douglas (D-IL) pushed for organizing the Nebraska Territory, so that the Chicago could be the eastern terminus of the new Railroad. The issue is that a terminus of Chicago that went through Nebraska would mean the RR would go entirely through free state territories, using the Free-Slave boundaries of the Compromises. Efforts by Southerners were made to have the terminus in places like Memphis and New Orleans. 

in 1853, Slavery advocate Sen. David Atchison (D-MO) said he would support a bill organizing Nebraska Territory but only if Slavery were permitted. As the bill made no reference to slavery, and the Missouri Compromise was still extant, the bill was tabled as Atchison's lead caused Slave Powers in the Senate to be more stubborn on the Railroad and territory issue.

In an attempt to compromise the Compromises, Sen. Douglas, along with Sen. Dodge (D-IA) argued that the Compromise of 1850, which allowed Popular Sovereignty in territory acquired from the Mexican War in 1848 (except for California which was made a Free State), had superseded the Missouri Compromise. Therefore, the settlers and citizens of Nebraska should be able to determine if their state is a free or slave state.

In January of 1854, Sen. Douglas authored a bill allowing the residence of Nebraska to determine the slavery issue when writing their state Constitution. However, Southern Whigs, led by Sen. Dixon (KY-W) stated that Douglas can't ignore the Missouri Compromise; therefore, the Compromise needed to be repealed. Dixon made the proposal official. 

However, Northern Whigs broke completely from Dixon. Meanwhile, Pres. Pierce opted to make the slavery issue in Nebraska a test of party loyalty for Democrats, but Pierce's cabinet (with the exception of Jefferson Davis), talked Pierce out of making the issue a loyalty test. Pierce was advised to compel the Supreme Court to rule the Missouri Compromise unconstitutional.

However, Sen. Atchison, wanting a legislative repeal--possibly because it would be quicker and more successful--forced the issue back into the Senate and the House. With this, Pres. Pierce supported a repeal and helped in making the draft of the proposal with Sen. Douglas and others. 

At the end of January, a bill was submitted to split the large Nebraska into two territories -- Kansas and Nebraska -- and repealing the Missouri Compromise, allowing the territories to becomes slave states if they so choose. 

In Response, Free Soil Democrats, led by Sen. Salmon P Chase (FS-OH), called on Northern Democrats and Independent Democrats to oppose the bill. Protests in opposition to the bill increased as Sen. Charles Sumner (FS-MA) and Sen. William Seward (W-NY) rallied forces in opposition to the bill and to slave powers.

The stage was set for a settler rush of pro-slavery activists and abolitionist activists to the new territories to determine the status of slavery in the territories. The potential for violence was high. However, after a 5 1/2 hour speech by Sen. Douglas, the bill was ready for a vote. 

How would you vote if you were a Senator in 1854?

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@Conservative Elector 2 Your responses contradict one another. 

In the final question, you oppose slavery, but in all the other questions you are supportive of slavery and are something of a slave owner rights activist in one of the questions. 

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27 minutes ago, vcczar said:

@Conservative Elector 2 Your responses contradict one another. 

In the final question, you oppose slavery, but in all the other questions you are supportive of slavery and are something of a slave owner rights activist in one of the questions. 

I don't think so. I see myself as a Senator flying under the radar more concerned to get another six years in the warm senate chamber instead of having much attentional aspirations. Personally I am against slavery very much, as it is an inhumane evil when done to innocent/unknown people. I'd hope I had released that in the 1850s as well. However, I am not the kind of person to lead a revolution so I don't see myself as a vocal abolitionist.

Being pro-Will of the People is possibly the best position to take in order to save the Union. That explains my Yes vote on the KNA (allows the people to determine the status of slavery). 

I think had been a member of the majority party at that time, because the others parties seemed to be too unorganized. My second vote is pretty straight forward: Popular Sovereignty Democrat -- While not pro-slavery, you think the states and people should have the right to determine if they want slavery or not. 

Not wanting to lead any kind of revolution also means I would not encourage anyone to move anywhere (Vote no. 3)

In Q.4. I'd wait for the construction of a viable institution like the Republicans. In former times, I wanted to live in a romantic and honorable South. However, I realized the perks of being a Northern Industrialist living a quiet life in NH or so instead of having a farm business in an unstable and war-torn south. The Know-Nothings are anti-Catholic. So I couldn't have joined them.

In Q.5 my answer seems to be perfectly articulate my position (I am Pro-Union and but a critic of the Civil War, but I am for the abolition of slavery.)

 

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I would likely be a vocal critic of popular sovereignty. After all, what are the results of it? The so called “compromises” result in more animosity, bloodshed, and open conflict. At best they buy time, and at worst they lead to Americans killing each other.

War was coming. Better to rip the band aid off early and end the barbaric practice of slavery.

(That said, I would try to manipulate the vote in Kansas. The ends justify the means to me when it means a quicker end to slavery.)

In my opinion this was the worst law in American history.

 

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