From: Karmen Lewis
Time: 9:35:06 PM
Remote Name: 126.96.36.199
Karmen L Lewis H67 Tuesday/Thursday William Cutler 4/11/00
Question for week Twelve: Define the phrase “popular sovereignty” and explain its role in the sectional crisis of the 1850’s.
Some believed the Compromise of 1850 would settle issues questioning slavery and quarreling between the North and the South. In the years to come many events proved the compromise unsuccessful. Differences between the North and South continued to grow increasingly serious. “Popular sovereignty” was the foundation of the Kansas-Nebraska Act. This term refers to the belief that people of a territory should be allowed to decide for themselves whether to have slavery or not. Much debating took place between the Northern and Southern senators. Finally in 1854, The Senate and the House of Representatives decided the people in the territories of Kansas and Nebraska could decide for themselves whether to have slavery or not. After the Kansas Nebraska Act was passed, pro-slavery and anti-slavery supporters went to Kansas and tried to affect the outcome of the first election held there after the law went into effect. As time passed, the birth of the Republican Party in 1854 and the Missouri Compromise challenged the idea of popular sovereignty. In 1860 the northern Democratic Party believed that the best answer to the slavery question was Stephen A. Douglas idea of popular sovereignty. In time, the Republicans won the election, even though in most Southern states their candidates has no place on the ballot. Eventually, however, anti-slavery settlers outnumbered pro-slavery settlers and a new constitution was drown up. Some ideas taken from: The History Place-Kansas-Nebraska Act (www.historyplace.com/lincoln/kansas.htm)