The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 58, July 1954 - April, 1955 Page: 310
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Washington, and a succession of local meetings in Missouri and
Iowa which culminated in the St. Joseph meeting of January 9,
1854. Uniformly these meetings proposed that the slavery issue
be left to the people of the territory. Uniformly, they implied
that they preferred to be left free from federal interference or
from control and coercion by a national state.
In Malin's carefully argued opinion, Douglas' bill was a com-
promise between the extreme views of the aggressive abolitionists
and the ardent Southerners. But, in essence, it was an unnecessary
compromise. Already the doom of slavery-muscle power-had
been spelled in the rise of the machine. The superior technology
of the free states would, inevitably, have prevented Kansas from
becoming a slave state-and by the time Douglas' bill had passed
the issue, so far as northwestern Missouri was concerned, had
subtly changed into the question whether Kansas would be a slave
state or a free-white state from which Negroes would be excluded.
There is in this, of course, a kind of technological determinism
-an argument that machinery produced motivations and implied
forms of social organization. In Malin's view, the Independent
Democrats who damned Douglas should have hailed him and
rejoiced that new areas were opened up for technological advance.
In his view, too, the sectional conflict was not one solely between
the North and the South. There was a middle section whose am-
bitions ran counter to the interests of both traditional sections.
Whatever may be the judgment on questions of determinism-
be it economic, historical, cultural, or technological-there can
be no doubt that Professor Malin has cast a new light on the
Kansas-Nebraska question and that he has challenged the con-
ventional interpretations. He has carefully-even laboriously-de-
tailed the developing thought on the issue in northwest Missouri.
He has ascribed a national, even a global, significance to the series
of events in 1852 to 1854 in the Platte Purchase region. And he
has called for a fresh examination of the preliminary moves and
the controlling forces which produced the Kansas-Nebraska Act.
Yet this is not the whole story. It may, indeed, explain the
attitudes of the men of the Platte Purchase, but it does not explain
why the Republican Party was launched in Wisconsin. Was it,
perchance, because any move to organize Nebraska would fore-
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 58, July 1954 - April, 1955, periodical, 1955; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101158/m1/357/: accessed April 30, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.