American History Series: Kansas Takes Steps Towards Statehood
Welcome to THE MAKING OF A NATION -- American history in VOA Special English.
Now, we continue the story of America's fourteenth president, Franklin Pierce.
Pierce was elected in eighteen fifty-two. He was a compromise candidate of the Democratic Party. He was well-liked. But he was not considered a strong leader.
The eighteen fifties were an increasingly tense time in the United States. Most of the population lived east of the Mississippi River. But more and more people were moving west. As western areas became populated, they became official territories, and then new states.
What kind of laws would these new territories and states have? Would the laws be decided by the Congress in Washington? Or would they be voted on by the people living in them?
The biggest legal question affecting western lands was slavery. This week in our series, Rich Kleinfeldt and Shirley Griffith tell more about the long disputed issue of slavery and the Kansas-Missouri bill.
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