• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

A manual offering information on the most important laws and treaties approved by Congress in more than 200 years since the first session in 1789. Each Congress is covered in a separate chapter introduced by a historical essay setting the actions of the legislators in the context of their times.

Thirty-Fourth Congress: March 4, 1855, to March 3, 1857
Thirty-fourth Congress: March 4, 1855, to March 3, 1857
  • First session—December 3, 1855, to August 18, 1856
  • Second session—August 21, 1856, to August 30, 1856
  • Third session—December 1, 1856, to March 3, 1857
  • (Administration of Franklin Pierce, 1853–1857)
Historical Background

Six months after the Kansas-Nebraska Act was signed into law, the Nebraska Territory established a Free Soil government and convened its first legislature in an orderly fashion. The selection of a territorial assembly in Kansas a few weeks later, however, provoked a bitter struggle when hundreds of western Missourians flooded across the border to assure the election of a proslavery legislature. Conditions in Kansas grew more strained in July 1855 after the new legislature enacted severe penalties for antislavery activities and adopted ...

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