Political map of North America & the Caribbean 6 December 1855 (Bleeding Kansas): In 1854 the Kansas-Nebraska Act created the new territories of Kansas and Nebraska, opening them up for settlement and granting them the right to choose whether or not to allow slavery through popular vote. The result was an influx of pro- and anti-slavery elements into Kansas in a bid to determine which way the vote would go, with both sides often resorting to violence (Bleeding Kansas). The dispute would not be resolved until 1859, when a final referendum confirmed Kansas' status as a free state (Wyandotte Constitution).