Effect of Terrirorial Expansion 1800-1850

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 240
  • Published : December 16, 2007
Open Document
Text Preview
Between 1800 and 1850, the United States was a nation sprawling outwards in all possible ways. Although this territorial expansion added vast amounts of land to the infant nation, it also drove a wedge between the peoples of the United States. Territorial expansion destroyed national unity due to the outstanding views on slavery, debate over newly acquired territory, and the sectionalism of the nation.

On the surface, the logical classifications for the debate over slavery would be pro and anti slavery. This is not the case as there were many further divisions on both sides. The end result was further disunion between the seemingly same groups. One such division was the female abolitionists, along with abolition they believed in women's rights. These women suffered from stiff and often violent opposition. Another example of such disunion was the difference between white and black abolition. White abolitionists often believed that it wasn't the blacks place to fight for their own rights. The fracture of belief in the argument for pro and anti slavery was often just as varied as internal beliefs. The pinnacle of the issue of slavery was dubbed "bleeding Kansas" coined by Horace Greeley. By the end of 1959, 56 people had died due to the contrasting views on slavery.

With the acquisition of territory also gave rise to the question of slavery in new lands. The South worried about the North overtaking the South in both the Senate and House of Representatives. The North worried about the slave state to free state ratio. Such attempts to unify were the Kansas – Nebraska Act and the Wilmot Proviso. The Kansas – Nebraska Act allowed settlers of the land to decide by popular decision whether to allow or deny slavery. The Wilmot Proviso claimed that no lands acquired from Mexico would allow slavery. The topic was a powder keg ready to explode whether it went either way.

Since the United States matured regionally, it became three distinct sections. The nation developed...
tracking img