New lands were added to the United States:
- 1803, Louisiana Territory, 827,987 square miles;
- 1819, Florida, 72,101 sq. mi.;
- 1845, Texas, 389,166 sq. mi.;
- 1846, Oregon Territory, 286,541 sq. mi.;
- 1848, Mexican Cession, 529,189 sq. mi.; and
- 1853, Gadsden Purchase, 29,670 sq. mi.
Though importation of slaves into America was outlawed in 1807, the question arose, should slavery be extended to these new lands coming into the Union?
Futile attempts were made to reconcile the tensions with “The Missouri Compromise of 1820” and “The Compromise of 1850.”
Congress made the situation worse in 1854 by passing Democratic Sen. Stephen Douglas’ Kansas-Nebraska Bill, which let inhabitants in those territories have the freedom of choice to decide if they wanted to own slaves.
It prescribed “dividing the land into two territories, Kansas and Nebraska, and leaving the question of slavery to be decided by the settlers.”
Instead of gradually diminishing, as many founders had hoped, slavery was now expanding.