Scroll down for the Bleeding Kansas issue guide.
It's December, 1857. Citizens in Kansas and across the United States hold contested visions of the terrritory’s future statehood, and fear that violent clashes over slavery in Kansas might foreshadow civil war between the nation’s free and slave states. Western expansion is popular and seems inevitable, but it also highlights our country’s deepening regional and political divisions. How can we shape our growing nation to heal, rather than exacerbate, the divisions among our citizens? How can we address the needs of the thousands of Americans trying to create democratic government in Kansas? How can we do this without inflaming the anxieties of millions of Americans across the country who fear that violence in Kansas could spread across the nation?
This Historic Decisions issue guide presents the following three options for deliberation:
Option 1: Stabilize the Nation
Option 2: Treat Everyone Fairly
Option 3: Let States and Territories Make their Own Decisions