Prior to the Mexican-American War, America had dealt with the issue of slavery through compromises and gag rules. In the constitution, a gag rule was written in, due to the commonly held belief that slavery would gradually fall out of fashion in the country. The Louisiana Purchase in 1803 proved to be huge sectional slavery issue, which was dealt with by the Missouri Compromise. Southern pro-slavery states were concerned with keeping the balance of slave states and free states in congress. Henry Clay proposed the Missouri Compromise, which said that Missouri would enter into the Union as a slave state to keep the balance in Congress, and that for all the other land in the Louisiana purchase above the 36 30’ latitude line would be free lands. This compromise satisfied both the North and the South, keeping the issue of slavery at bay for a while. Americans belief in Manifest Destiny, however, would not allow things to stay this way. Manifest Destiny maintained that whites, as the dominant race, were entitled to expand from ocean-to-ocean on their new continent. This was a joint slavery and expansion issues. Expansionists presidents such as J...
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..., Jr.’s Speech and the Freedom Riders, forced the issue to be talked about, instead of violently trying to impose one’s will. Both can be seen as major turning points in African-American Civil Rights, not for the immediate change they brought about in Civil Rights, but for the topics that they forced to be talked about.*
The issue of racism is still present in today’s society, but a lot of progress has been made since the drafting of the Declaration of the Independence. There have been multiple turning points in the evolution of African-American Civil Rights, and the Mexican-American War was one of them. This was due to the acquisition of new land that forced the debate of slavery to become more prominent in political conversations. In the end, it is quite clear how influential and important the Mexican-American War was as as a turning point for slavery in America.
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