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The evasion of the slavery issue by Whigs and Democrats in 1848

Led to the formation of the new Free Soil antislavery party

The California gold rush

Made the issue of slavery in the Mexican Cession ares more urgent

The Underground railroad

Aroused southern demads for an effective fugitiv-slave law

The Free Soil Party

Was the predecessor of the antislavery Republican Party

The Compromise of 1850

Created a short lived national mood of optimism and reconciliation

The Fugitive Slave Law

Aroused active northern resistance to legal enforcement and prompted attemps at nullification in Massachusetts

The Pierce administration's schemes to aquire Cuba

Fell apart after the leaking of the Ostend Manifesto

The Gadsden Purchase

Heightened competition between southern and northern railroad promoters over the choice of a transcontinental route

Stephen Douglas's indefference to slavery and desire for a nothern railroad route

Led to the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, without regard for the consequences

The Kansas-Nebraska Act

Cause a tremendous northern protest and the birth of the republican party

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