KANSAS-NEBRASKA ACT OF 1854. This bill was introduced by Senator Stephen A. Douglas, Democrat of Illinois, to bring the territory of Nebraska into the Union as two states, Kansas and Nebraska. The proposal did not stipulate whether they would be free or slave states. The bill proposed that the settlers would decide the status of slavery in the respective states. With the support of the Southern members of Congress, this bill became law in the spring of 1854. The Missouri Compromise of 1820 was broken by this law, and slavery would be permitted in the West and Northwest. This brought slavery to the forefront of American politics. The Democratic Party was split by this issue, and the Republican Party was born in 1854 at various meetings in the North of anti-Nebraska Free-Soilers. The name "Republican" was first used in February 1854 in Ripon, Wisconsin. A noted mass meeting of Republicans was held in Jackson, Michigan on June 6, 1854, which many view as the founding of the Republican Party. See:REPUBLICAN PARTY.
References: William E. Gienapp, The Origins of the Republican Party, 1852-1856 ( New York: Oxford University Press, 1987); Malcolm Moos, The Republicans: A History of Their Party ( New York: Random House, 1956).
KENNEDY, EDWARD M. (TED) ( 1932-) has served as the Democratic Senator from the state of Massachusetts since 1962. In the U.S. Senate, he is third in seniority. He was born in Boston to the prominent political family of Joseph and Rose Kennedy. He received a B.A. degree from Harvard and a law degree from the University of Virginia in 1959. Ted Kennedy became a national spokesman for the liberal causes after his brother Robert was assassinated.
Ted Kennedy's presidential aspirations suffered a fatal setback by the July