Manifest Destiny

Topics: Slavery in the United States, American Civil War, Compromise of 1850 Pages: 4 (1364 words) Published: December 10, 2013
Manifest Destiny
The expansion of the United States from its thirteen original colonies to the nation it is today was a very extensive process, involving numerous wars and treaties. The greatest one of these expansion periods occurred from the 1830s to the 1860s, largely due to the idea of Manifest Destiny, the belief that American settlers were destined to expand across the continent to the Pacific coast. This development played a major role in dividing the North and the South by contributing to contrasting ideologies of the two regions towards social and economic foundations of the new territory, and would eventually lead up to the Civil War, literally dividing the nation into two. Territorial expansion fashioned racial and social divisions in the American society due to slavery, created new enemies for the States as a result of the annexation of Texas against the will of Mexico, and endangered the harmony between the North and the South by cause of the Dred vs. Scott decision.

Slavery, considered somewhat unethical in the North, flourished in the South, mainly due to the fact that the entire economy of the southern states depended largely on slave labor in the cotton and sugar fields. As the soil of the Old South was used numerous times causing it to lose many of its nutrients, plantation owners and farmers moved on to the New South, the land stretching from present day Georgia to Texas, an area much larger and more suited to process cotton than the Chesapeake colonies. As more and more people migrated to the region in hope of becoming a successful farmer and becoming rich, the area became highly dense with slaves and wore out the soil very quickly. The invention of the cotton gin made it easier to harvest cotton, causing slave owners to buy more slaves and plant more plants, eventually causing them to need more land. This caused the southerners to pursue territorial expansion westward. The answer to many of these problems was the annexation of Texas,...
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