Causes Of Westward Expansion And Slavery

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Westward Expansion and Slavery were the prominent reasons for the secession crisis. The North and South developed tension due to their differing economic backgrounds. The South’s economy was heavily reliant on slave labor to produce cotton, making them want to fight to protect their way of life and the pillars of their society. In contrast, industry fueled the North, allowing the region to see the evil nature of slavery and develop antislavery views. The Fugitive Slave act of 1850 forced Northerners to support the institution through returning runaway slaves, creating anger and resistance in the North and additional tension. In response, Southerners threatened to succeed from the union due to their view that this infringed on their individual rights and damaged the backbone of their livelihood. Additionally, the regional economies impacted views on westward expansion and whether new territories or states should permit the institution, such as California This resulted in a major increase in the stress between the regions due to each region wanting equal representation. Although members of the government attempted to compromise to even out the number of slave and non slave states, such as the Compromise of 1850, there were countless times that the two regions struggled over the laws of slavery and the territories that it should be permitted, further increasing the ideological and political divide and leading to the secession of the Southern states.

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