Slavery Controversy: The American Civil War

The American Civil War was the bloodiest war this country has ever seen. It followed numerous events that caused separation between the North and South, including the Mexican-American War, Missouri Compromise, and Kansas-Nebraska Act. As the country expanded west, debates arose over slavery in new states. Countless compromises acted as the stitches holding the two halves of the country together. Sadly, nothing could keep the two vastly different parts of the country from breaking apart. The Mexican-American War, also known as the Mexican War, was small. It began when American negotiations with Mexico to settle the dispute of the Texas border and purchase California and New Mexico were ignored. Angered, president James K. Polk sent troops to …show more content…
The Mexican-American War served as a “warm-up” for the civil war. It provided the U.S. with experience on the battlefield and respect from other nations. The growing nation became feared as the “Colossus of the North.” This war, however, was not without consequence. It once again provoked slavery controversy. Many believed that the war, and the sizeable land grab that resulted from it, was caused by pro-slavery southerners and slave owners in order to admit more slave states into the nation. An amendment was proposed, much to the discontent of southerners, by David Wilmot that would forbid slavery in the territories acquired from Mexico. The amendment never passed, but it nonetheless helped increase tension between the North and the South, widening the gap between the …show more content…
When Stephen A. Douglas introduced the territory of Nebraska in order to establish a transcontinental railroad through that area, senators from the South opposed it, since it was north of the line established by the Missouri Compromise and would be admitted as a free state. Wanting to gain southern support, Douglas proposed splitting Nebraska into two areas - Nebraska and Kansas. He also felt that whether the states should be slave or free should be left to those who settled in the territories through popular sovereignty. While the Kansas-Nebraska Act eventually passed, it failed in its purposes, for by the time the act came through, southern states had already begun to secede. The Civil War was several years in the making. The North and South had opposing beliefs for decades before war broke out. Events like the Mexican-American War and Kansas-Nebraska Act pointed out just how split the country was. Eventually, the disagreements were too much. Attempts at compromise became futile due to the severity in differences between the two factions of the Union. As the southern states began to secede, the nation became locked in a horrible, bloody, personal battle against itself. Fortunately, in the end, good

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