December 8, 2012
A.P. American History
DBQ Essay #2
1. “The opponents of the annexation of Texas and the Mexican War attacked slavery as the root cause of expansion, but in fact it was no more important than other causes.” Assess the validity of this statement, using the documents and your knowledge of U.S. history from 1820-1860 to support your answer.
During the early-mid part of the 19th century (mainly 1820-1860) Americans objected many things they didn’t like. Taxes, the government, even presidents were some of the rejections of the people. But the one thing the people did not like during this time period was the annexation of Texas and the Mexican War. “The opponents of the annexation of Texas and the Mexican War attacked slavery as the root cause for expansion.” However, slavery was not the only reason America sought for expansion. Other than slavery, people wanted to expand America because they believed in Manifest Destiny (an idea during the 19th century in which people believed that America should expand over the entirety of North America) or because they feared that Texas was an independent state, even the Gold Rush in California (1848-1855) contributed to the expansion of America. Even though “the opponents of the annexation of Texas and the Mexican War attacked slavery as the root cause of expansion” the idea of Manifest Destiny, fear, and the Gold Rush were other important causes for expansion.
As you may know, slavery was the key reason as to why people wanted to expand America, especially southerners. Abolitionists (people who were against slavery) did not like the idea that the expansion of America was based on slavery, but it was. In Document B it states, “Texas…will strengthen ‘the peculiar institution’ of the South, and open a new and vast field for slavery.” Many southerners wanted Texas to be annexed to America because it would allow the south to have more...
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