What does "Bleeding Kansas" represent in African American History?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Bleeding Kansas is not something that is most closely connected with African American history.  It is relevant to African American History because it did help to bring about the Civil War.  However, it was not something that was mainly about African Americans.

Bleeding Kansas was, in essence, a small war within the Kansas Territory.  It was sparked by the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which said that these territories could decide for themselves if they would be free or slave.  People from the South and the North came to Kansas to try to ensure that their system would prevail in that territory.  They eventually started to fight with one another and the violence led to the name “Bleeding Kansas.” 

Bleeding Kansas helped to bring about the Civil War because it helped cause a great deal of anger between the North and the South.  However, it was not really about African Americans.  It mainly involved whites fighting with one another over slavery.  This was not a fight over the morality of slavery but rather over the economic system that would prevail in Kansas.  Thus, Bleeding Kansas was a power struggle between white factions that was only tangentially related to African Americans.

maria-vivanco | Student

It was a riot caused by the Kansas and Nebraska act it played a crucial part in the leading of the civil war. 

Yojana_Thapa | Student

Bleeding Kansas which is a period of violence during the settling of the Kansas territory definitely shows the weakness of this political doctrine and shows how well it didn’t work in Kansas in the 1850s. Thousands of pro-slavery and anti-slavery flooded in the state. Violent clashes occurred, popular sovereignty caused chaos. Kansas-Nebraska act led to hatred and violence.