When people going through school they learn that the American Civil War was from April 12, 1861 – May 9, 1865 (by declaration). In many respects that is right because it became a issue for the whole country at that time. People tend to forget about Bleeding Kansas and all the events that transpired at that time and led up to that time. This was not the not the only state to have issues over Free vs. Slave state.
Bleeding Kansas is defined as “the time between 1854-58 when the Kansas territory was the site of much violence over whether the territory would be free or slave. The Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 set the scene by allowing the territory of Kansas to decide for itself whether it would be free or slave, a situation known as popular sovereignty. With the passage of the act, thousands of pro- and anti-slavery supporters flooded the state. Violent clashes soon occurred, especially once “border ruffians” crossed over from the South to sway the vote to the pro-slavery side” (About.com). Trying to admit new states north/south of the Mason Dixon line was a major issue before the civil war. Most of the issues were from Missouri but people would travel through Missouri to get to Kansas to help the south. Now, this did not gain full support of the country to kick off the Civil War but like every major conflict there is always a beginning. Most people forget that the country did not just wake up one day and say lets have a war. Issues have to boil over from somewhere.
Bleeding Kansas should be more of a major role in U.S. history so history is not forgotten. By teaching students only a small part of history does not teach them about the big picture and how it affects history.
Bleeding Kansas. Ask.com.http://americanhistory.about.com/od/beforethewar/g/bleedingkansas.htm