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The Constitution in CongressDescent into the Maelstrom, 1829-1861$
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David P. Currie

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780226129167

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226131160.001.0001

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The Slippery Slope

The Slippery Slope

(p.195) 9 The Slippery Slope
The Constitution in Congress
University of Chicago Press

Popular conventions in Mississippi and Georgia rejected secession and agreed to respect the new compromise, and Mississippi went so far as to deny the right to secede. The Kansas–Nebraska Act effectively repealed the Missouri Compromise, which had banned slavery in parts of the Louisiana Purchase outside Missouri and north of its southern border. A bill was introduced to organize the Nebraska Territory, west of Iowa and Missouri, as early as 1844. Missouri Senator David Atchison made clear he would oppose it so long as the Missouri Compromise made slavery impossible there. After a series of amendments that were progressively more explicit as to the fate of the compromise line, the bill as enacted created two territories rather than one, promising them both statehood “with or without slavery” as their people might decide, just as Congress had provided for Utah and New Mexico in 1850.

Keywords:   Kansas–Nebraska Act, Missouri Compromise, slavery, Nebraska Territory, New Mexico

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