The Kansas-Nebraska Act .

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In 1854, Senator Stephen Douglas from Illinois proposed a bill to organize the vast Nebraska territory west of Iowa and Missouri. Hoping to rally the Democratic party and unite the nation by reviving the idea of Manifest Destiny, Douglas proposed what would become known as the Kansas-Nebraska Act. Douglas unknowingly renewed a decades old debate over slavery and caused the nation to fall more deeply into a sectional divide that would split the Union in the …

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…sectional strife the Compromise of 1850 had ended and split his party further rather than uniting it. In addition, the Kansas-Nebraska Act destroyed the second party system. The Whig party was eliminated when its congressional representation split along sectional lines on the Kansas-Nebraska Act. The Democratic Party was seriously impaired and put under firm Southern control. The North and South were pushed farther apart than ever before and the Union's fate would hang in the balance.