Westward Expansion Dbq

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After the War of 1812, America focused its attention to the discovery and settlement of the territory to the west. The reinforcement of the federal government and the movements of land speculators caused the land boom in America. Westward expansion caused a great debate and put tension in between the relationship of the American North and South. The South exploited slavery to maintain its culture and to grow cotton on plantations. In comparison, the North thrived during the Industrial revolution, and they became the heart of industry in the U.S. The North developed into a major metropolis due to the inflow of immigrants. Therefore, with willing and cheap workforce, the North did not require slaves. With the purchase of the Louisiana territory, …show more content…

David Wilmot proposed an amendment in 1846 for the Mexican war stating, “as an express and fundamental condition to the acquisition of any territory from the Republic of Mexico… neither slavery nor involuntary servitude shall ever exist in any part of said territory,” (371). Fearful of the South coming into to much “slave power”, the Northern politicians supported Wilmot’s amendment. However, the Southern politicians complained that the act was illegal and obstructed the passing of the Wilmot Proviso. “The proviso debate sowed distrust and suspicion between northerners and southerners,” (371). In result, the amendment never passed, and the issue of slavery remained a big …show more content…

California was anti-slavery; however, the southern democrats permitted them to enter the union and disrupt the sectional stability in Congress. The Compromise of 1850 came out of this. For the North, the compromise guaranteed that California would enter the union as a free state and that the slave trade would end in the District of Colombia. For the South, the compromise granted that popular sovereignty would decide the question of slavery in Utah and New Mexico territories. It also restructured the Fugitive Slave Act and made the people from the North help imprison escaped slaves. This infuriated the North since it was a direct violation of their state laws. Five years later in 1854, Kansas and Nebraska petitioned for statehood. The southerners opposed because the Missouri Compromise would make these two large territories free states. Congress passed the Kansas Nebraska Act to satisfy the south. The act repealed the Missouri Compromise, and allowed the people of the states to vote to determine the fate of the state. People from Missouri snuck into Kansas to vote to make the state a slave state. This caused the tension between the North and South to

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that america focused its attention on the discovery and settlement of the territory to the west after the war of 1812.
  • Compares how the south exploited slavery to maintain its culture and grow cotton on plantations, while the north thrived during the industrial revolution. the missouri compromise solved the immediate problem of slavery with the louisiana purchase.
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