“This Nebraska Business Will Entirely Denationalize the Whig Party”

Michael F. Holt

in The Rise and Fall of the American Whig Party

Published in print May 2003 | ISBN: 9780195161045
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849635 | DOI:
“This Nebraska Business Will Entirely Denationalize the Whig Party”

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On December 14, Iowa's Democratic Senator Augustus Dodge introduced a bill to organize the area west of Missouri and Iowa into a Nebraska Territory. The seemingly innocuous bill was immediately sent to the Senate's Committee on Territories, which Stephen A. Douglas chaired. What Douglas and others, including Whigs and Free Soilers, did with that measure helped transform American political life and propel the Whig party to its grave. The reaction to the Nebraska bill and the eruption of Know Nothingism together produced smashing Democratic defeats, derailed the Union party movement, and permanently eclipsed the Whig party. Many southern Whigs' support for the Kansas-Nebraska Act in the spring of 1854 reopened and deepened the sectional chasm in the national party. This chapter deals with the framing of the Kansas-Nebraska Act and its initial impact on the Whig party prior to the adjournment of Congress in August 1854.

Keywords: Iowa; Augustus Dodge; bill; Missouri; Nebraska; Stephen A. Douglas; Whig party; Free Soilers; Kansas-Nebraska Act; Congress

Chapter.  17891 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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