Lead: Born of the slavery controversy, the State of Nebraska enjoyed explosive growth after the Civil War in large part due to a policy made in Washington.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In 1854 the Congress of the United States, in response to those desiring a railroad to the Pacific Coast, an expansion in the number of states, both slave and free, and a solution to the growing number of emigrants wishing to settle in lands west of the Mississippi, passed the Kansas-Nebraska Act. The legislation enshrined the concept of "squatter sovereignty," and created two new territories which could choose whether they would be slave or free states. Nebraska would enter the Union in 1867 but first it had to grow a bit. The two factors that contributed to its expansion were the construction of the railroads and an Act passed by Congress during the Civil War.