Day 6: Kansas-Nebraska Act ( minutes)

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1 Day 6: Kansas-Nebraska Act ( minutes) Materials to Distribute Kansas-Nebraska Act Text Sheet America Label-me Map 1854 Futility versus Immortality Activity Come to Bleeding Kansas Abolitonist billboard Jawhawks and other mysterious southern college mascots. Franklin Pierce biography (optional) Background: Introduce: By 1854, the United States was ready to divide parts of the unorganized territories left over from the Louisiana Purchase into organized territories, and thus, the territories of Kansas and Nebraska were organized. Ask: What familiar conflict arose out of the formation of these two territories? Say: Correct. The issue of slavery was at the forefront of the formation of the Kansas and Nebraska Territories. Ask: Do you think another compromise was brokered to appease both the Northern and Southern constituencies? Say: in 1854, Illinois Senator Stephen A. Douglas introduced the Kansas-Nebraska Act to Congress. Actually, the Kansas-Nebraska Act was far from a compromise to those against the extension of slavery. Not only did the Kansas-Nebraska Act ensure that both territories would fall under the doctrine of popular sovereignty, but it repealed the 1820 Missouri Compromise, which ensured that slavery was prohibited north of the parallel (except for Missouri). Both Kansas and Nebraska were north of the parallel. Ask: How do you think the anti-slavery movement in North reacted? Say: Anti-slavery activists were horrified and saw the Kansas-Nebraska act as an affront to the ideals and beliefs of the Northern people. The Kansas-Nebraska Act was a leading cause of the Civil War and President Pierce s signing of the bill ultimately undermined his credibility as president. Say: Despite the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, both abolitionists and pro-slavery movements realized that the future of slavery in the territories rested upon the votes of its residents. Located in the northern plains, residents of the Nebraska Territory had little need for slavery, but Kansas would become a battleground. Pro-slavery individuals, known as border ruffians in the North, and anti-slavery Easterners, called jawhawkers in the South, rushed into the state in an attempt to affect the vote. Distribute: The America in 1854 label-me map. Here, students will see exactly where the Kansas and Nebraska Territories were located. Ask: So, what do you think happened after Kansas swelled with so many new anti-slavery and proslavery residents? Say: Predictably, violence erupted. The territory of Kansas soon gained the nickname Bleeding Kansas. During this time, the anti-slavery town of Lawrence, Kansas was sacked by pro-slavery Missourians. Radical abolitionist John Brown killed five pro-slavery Missourians at Pottawatomie, Kansas, to avenge the death of five abolitionists in Lawrence. Brown also commanded anti-slavery guerillas in several small battles in Kansas and western Missouri.

2 Say: Good leadership at the president position was crucial during this sectional conflict. Unfortunately, President Pierce s policies clearly favored the South and failed miserably to unite the nation. In fact, both Pierce and James Buchanan (the next president) are thought of as among America s least effective presidents. The 16 th president, Abraham Lincoln, is generally thought of as America s best president. Distribute: Futility versus Immortality Worksheet. Here, students must compare and contrast the presidencies of Buchanan and Pierce with Lincoln s and explain the qualities that can make good and bad presidents. Discuss: Student Responses. Distribute: Bleeding Kansas Billboard. With this activity, students must illustrate (literally) the state of Kansas bleeding, and then must make a fictional billboard attracting anti-slavery settlers to the Kansas Territory. Distribute (For Fun): Kansas Jayhawks and Other Strange College Mascots.

3 Stephen A. Douglas In 1854, Congress passed the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which organized the remaining territory acquired in the Louisiana Purchase so that such territories could be admitted to the Union as states. Probably the most important result of the Kansas-Nebraska Act was its language concerning the contentious issue of slavery. Proposed by Stephen A. Douglas, and signed by president Franklin Pierce, the bill divided the region into two territories. Territory north of the 40th parallel was called Nebraska Territory, and territory south of the 40th parallel was called Kansas Territory. The most controversial aspect of the Kansas-Nebraska Act was that each territory would decide for itself whether or not to permit slavery. This stipulation repealed the Missouri Compromise of 1820 which stated that slavery was prohibited north of As there was more support for slavery in Kansas, both pro-slavery and anti-slavery advocates organized teams of people to settle in the state. Not surprisingly, the area became a battleground for both sides, and the resulting violence caused the territory to be referred to as Bleeding Kansas, and was one of the first major causes of the Civil War. Eventually, on January 29, 1861, after much controversy, Kansas was admitted to the Union as a free state just months before the first shots of the Civil War were fired.

4 United States in 1854 Label-me Map Label the Map Above

5 Answers United States in 1854 Label-me Map Label the Map Above 1. Maine 2. New Hampshire 3. Vermont 4. Massachusetts 5. Rhode Island 6. Connecticut 7. New York 8. Pennsylvania 9. New Jersey 10. Delaware 11. Maryland 12. Virginia 13. North Carolina 14. South Carolina 15. Georgia 16. Florida 17. Alabama 18. Tennessee 19. Kentucky 20. Ohio 21. Michigan 22. Indiana 23. Illinois 24. Mississippi 25. Louisiana 26. Arkansas 27. Missouri 28. Iowa 29. Wisconsin 30. Minnesota Territory 31. Nebraska Territory 32. Kansas Territory 33. Indian Territory 34. Texas 35. New Mexico Territory 36. Utah Territory 37. Oregon Territory 38. California

6 Futility at the Top In the years leading up to the American Civil War, Presidents Franklin Pierce and James Buchanan failed to stem the rising tide of secession. Both Pierce and Buchanan were Northerners who were known to be sympathetic to the plight of the South. The greatest conflict in the history of the United States was thus left in the lap of Abraham Lincoln. Source: Presidential Rankings Pierce 14 th President Buchanan 15 th President Lincoln 16 th President Ranking: 41/43 Ranking: 43/43 Ranking: 1/43 In the 1800 s, two of the lowest ranked presidents (based on performance) were followed by the highest ranked president. What do you think were the main differences between the way Lincoln led the nation and his two predecessors? What is the difference between a great leader and a poor leader? Write your response on the lines provided. Use another page if necessary.

7 Bleeding Kansas Billboard Following the controversial Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, antislavery northern settlers rushed into Kansas in an attempt to sway the popular vote against slavery. These settlers were buoyed by political cartoons such as the example above, which shows President Franklin Pierce, among others, forcing slavery down the throat of Americans. Pretend you are an antislavery activist during this time period. Design a fictional billboard that literally represents Bleeding Kansas and that urges likeminded citizens to move to Kansas to prevent the spread of slavery.

8 Jawhawks and Mysterious Southern University Mascots Jawhawkers, was the term used to describe anti-slavery settlers who poured into Kansas in 1854 in an attempt to sway the popular vote in that territory against slavery. The town of Lawrence, Kansas, a Free State stronghold, would be sacked as a result of violence between Jawhawkers and proslavery Missourians known as Border Ruffians. To honor the Jawhawkers, the University of Kansas made its mascot a jawhawk, a sort of hybrid between a blue jay and hawk, meant to represent the antislavery settlers. Other universities in the southern United States have mysterious mascots as well. In the spaces provided below, hypothesize about the meaning of the various mascots, and render drawings that reflect how you think each mascot should appear. University and mascot What does it mean? Picture University of North Carolina TARHEELS University of Oklahoma SOONERS University of Arkansas RAZORBACKS

9 University and mascot What does it mean? Picture University of North Carolina TARHEELS University of Oklahoma SOONERS University of Arkansas RAZORBACKS The exact meaning is unknown, but one legend claims the name originates from the idea that North Carolina Confederate soldiers stuck to their ranks as if they had tar on their heels. This name refers to settlers who rushed to Oklahoma before the official land Rush of These settlers entered Oklahoma illegally and when the Land Rush was officially announced, they were already there to stake their claims. A razorback is a type of wild boar introduced into the Americas during the Age of Exploration. These animals have a reputation of being violent and wild.

10 Franklin Pierce Franklin Pierce, the 14th President of the United States, was born on November 23, 1804, in Hillsborough, New Hampshire. Pierce was more than just a career politician he was both a successful lawyer and brigadier general in the United States Army, during the Mexican American war. Following in his father s footsteps, Pierce entered politics at an early age. By the age of 24, Franklin Pierce was elected to the New Hampshire legislature. When he was only 26 years old, he was appointed Speaker of the New Hampshire legislature. Next, his political career led him to Washington, DC, as an elected representative and eventually a Senator for the state of New Hampshire. In 1853, Franklin Pierce became the 14th President of the United States. Tragedy stuck the Pierce family just two months prior to Pierce taking the office of president. Both his wife and eleven year old son were killed in a train wreck. Despite the horrendous tragedy, Pierce endured and took the office while still grieving for his wife and child. During his presidency, Franklin Pierce embraced westward expansion and supported popular sovereignty in Kansas, which allowed the citizens of Kansas to decide whether or not to allow slavery there. Pierce s stance angered many abolitionists, who referred to him as a doughface, a northern politician who sympathized with the South. During his presidency, Pierce also approved the Gadsden Purchase, which added parts of modern-day Arizona and New Mexico to the United States. Pierce s presidency, however, is remembered for its inability to stem the rising tide of secession, and its failure to solve sectional conflict. Some historians rank his presidency as among the worst of all presidents. His support in the North was further compromised as he became a vocal critic of Abraham Lincoln. President Pierce struggled his entire life with alcoholism and died at age 64, from cirrhosis of the liver.

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