African Americans And The Westward Expansion Essay

African Americans And The Westward Expansion Essay

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The period from 1800 to 1865 marked a time of immerse sectionalism in American history. Sectionalism grew more intense due to the added conflict of how to embrace new territories gained during Western Expansion. Westward Expansion began with the Louisiana Purchase made by President Thomas Jefferson. The Louisiana Purchase stretched from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains and from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico (Give Me Liberty! 304). The most controversial issue was whether slavery would be allowed in the new territories acquired by the United States. As the philosophy of Manifest Destiny spread among the whole country, the South wanted new slave territories while the North wanted to stop the spread of slavery. According to John O’Sullivan, “Manifest Destiny is the belief that America has the “god-given” right to occupy all of North America and spread the blessings of liberty (Foner 255).” Manifest Destiny contributed to growing tension between the North and the South because of different slavery views, as the westward expansion continued.
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