Even as the Union began to realize its ‘manifest destiny’ of dominion ‘from sea to shining sea’, internal contradictions began to threaten disintegration. The Kansas-Nebraska Act (1854) abolished the slavery ‘line of demarcation’ proposed by the Missouri Compromise (1830), making the position on slavery in new states a decision for their inhabitants. The Act led directly to the ‘Bleeding Kansas’ conflict where pro and anti-slavery settlers (and malcontents) rushed to the territory and fought to ‘turn’ it their way, in a prelude to the forthcoming war. Meanwhile, the Gadsden Purchase (1853) from Mexico secured a potential southern trans-continental railway route. Having plucked Mexico clean, the Federal Government and the State of Texas decided to have their own border dispute, over Greer County, which would eventually be settled in the Supreme Court. Minnesota (1858) and Oregon (1859) were admitted to the Union, leaving unorganized territory only in Dakota and Oklahoma.
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