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Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/Kansas-Nebraska Bill, The

KANSAS-NEBRASKA BILL, THE, an act passed by Congress in 1854, during the administration of President Franklin Pierce, for the purpose of organizing the Territories of Kansas and Nebraska. It provided, among other things, that the question of slavery should be left to the people; that questions involving the title to slaves were to be left to local courts, with the right to appeal to the United States Supreme Court; and that the fugitive slave laws were to apply to the Territories. Further, so far as this region was concerned, the Missouri Compromise of 1820, which excluded slavery from the Louisiana purchase N. of lat. 36° 30' N., except from the State of Missouri, was declared repealed. This measure disrupted the Whig party, most of the S. Whigs joining the Democrats, and led to the organization of the Republican party in 1856. It was also instrumental in bringing about the Civil War.