A House Divided: Kansas’ Competing Constitutions III

Lead: One hundred and fifty years ago the Republic was facing its greatest crisis. This continuing series examines the American Civil War. It is A House Divided.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: When a territory wishes to become a state, it must among other things submit the results of a referendum requesting statehood and a constitution demonstrating that the state’s laws will be follow the United States constitution and legal system.

A House Divided: Kansas’ Competing Constitutions I

Lead:One hundred and fifty years ago the Republic was facing its greatest crisis. This continuing series examines the American Civil War. It is A House Divided.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In 1854 Congress passed the Kansas-Nebraska Act. It established the principle of majority determination.  Whoever got there first with the most in population could go a long way in determining whether a territory would enter the Union free or slave. In 1855 pro-slave partisans jumped across the Missouri border and quickly elected a pro-slavery legislature and passed a draconian slave code which proscribed the death penalty for certain types of anti-slavery activity.