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Kansas-Nebraska Act: Primary Documents in American History

Enacted on May 30, 1854, the Kansas-Nebraska Act repealed the Missouri Compromise. This guide compiles Library of Congress digital materials, external websites, and a print bibliography related to the act.

Introduction

Officially titled "An Act to Organize the Territories of Nebraska and Kansas", the Kansas-Nebraska Act repealed the Missouri Compromise, allowing slavery in the territory north of the 36° 30´ latitude. Introduced by Senator Stephen Douglas of Illinois, the Kansas-Nebraska Act stipulated that the issue of slavery would be decided by the residents of each territory, a concept known as popular sovereignty. After the bill passed on May 30, 1854, violence erupted in Kansas between pro-slavery and anti-slavery settlers, a prelude to the Civil War.