From 1852 to 1857 the American people lived through one crisis after another. Tension was steadily increasing over the issue of slavery. Senator Stephen A Douglas forced through the Kansas-Nebraska Act in 1854. Since this meant the repeal of the Missouri Compromise, Douglas invoked the doctrine of "popular sovereignty" to silence the outcry over the expansion of slavery implicit in this move. Although politics dominates this volume, Allan Nevins has not overlooked the development of our agriculture, our industry, and our railroads; he also reveals the condition of our labor force and of immigration. In other words, this is the most complete picture to date of America in the years from 1852 to 1857.
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Published January 1, 1940