British - American Essay

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Assess British American Relations in the 1840's

The 1840's was a period of American expansion and diplomacy. Throughout these years, tensions grew in British-American relations. By this time, The United States had extended its power and territories throughout the world, and the British Empire had problems in its government. Throughout the 1840's, the two countries disputed over many things. The main things the British and Americans disagreed over in the 1840's were borders and ownership of territory.1 However, the resolution of these disagreements was the greatest achievement of this period. The issues included the Creole affair in 1841, the Caroline Incident of 1837, and the Oregon territory dispute. These major disputes could have started a third war between the two nations. Because of the Manifest Destiny mentality of the Americans, they thought that all territory to the west belonged to, or would belong to the US. Supporters of the Manifest Destiny argued that more Western land was needed to provide space for the new Americans created by a high birth rate and increased immigration. They pointed out that land governed by Mexico and Britain was sparsely populated and mostly unproductive. The supporters argued that the land should be given to American settlers who can put it to better use. British and American relations improved however by the Webster-Ashburton Treaty of 1842.

By the 1840's, commerce between the US and Britain improved compared to prior decades. Some disagreements between merchants of the two nations still ensued. One major argument was the Creole Affair. In the early 1840's, the British were interested in fighting the slave trade. They were against the importation of African slaves into the Americas. In 1841, on the American ship Creole, over 130 enslaved Africans overpowered the crew, murdering one man, while sailing from Virginia to New Orleans.2 Led by Madison Washington, the slaves sailed the vessel to Nassau,...
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