Between 1830 and 1860, Manifest Destiny and territorial expansion did more to divide America than it did to unite. While it was not the main for the divide of America that was shown in the South’s secession from the United States, it brought up many issues that ultimately led to the Civil War. These issues are shown in the annexation of Texas, the Mexican-American War that resulted from that, and the Kansas-Nebraska Act. Until 1836, the area of Texas was controlled by the Republic of Mexico and was a distant and irrelevant piece of land in most American’s minds. A few Americans had emigrated there from the South at the invitation of the Mexican government, but not many.
The developing difference between the North and the South, primarily with the issue of slavery caused sectionalism between the nation. Sectionalism occurs when a region of the country is more important to the people than the interests of the whole country. Specific events pertaining to westward expansion, particularly the Missouri Compromise, the Compromise of 1850, the Dred Scott court case, the Kansas-Nebraska Act, and the John Brown court case were fundamental causes of the Civil War. In 1819, Missouri requested admission to the Union under a slave state.
Since the Kansas-Nebraska act let the Kansas and Nebraska territories vote for whether the were going to become a slave state or not, it really started the breakup of the Democratic Party. There were already some democrats who liked slavery and there were also some that would rather not have it. These people with different thoughts were starting to break apart already but the Kansas-Nebraska really drew the line. When the Act was passed the anti-slavery democrats were furious and split into the Republican Party. They were mad because it repealed the Missouri Compromise which was outlawing slavery above the 36*30’ line.
With the United States having acquired new territory due to the war with Mexico, there was much controversy about slavery. Some inhabitants believed they had the right to decide whether or not they wanted slaves. The Compromise of 1850 was a series of laws that were meant to balance out the controversies between slavery and territorial issues. The five laws dealt with the interests of the slaves of the free states and the south. There were five main points of the Compromise of 1850: California would be admitted to the union as a free state; the land won from the Mexican-American War would remain open to slavery until they became states; the slave trade would be banned in the nation's capitol; Texas would relinquish its claims to the land that
The Manifest Destiny contributed to the Civil War because the expansion of new territories and states added into the United States. If the new territories were to vote in Congress for slavery and no slavery, it could be a threat for slavery in the South. ‘’many Southerners and some Northerners wanted slavery to exist everywhere in the United States, including in the new territories added to the country. Many other Americans did not want slavery to expand at all, and some people wanted slavery to be prohibited across the entire nation. Eventually these tensions would lead to the American Civil War’’ (Manifest Destiny, N/d).
He maintained these benefits to be the paramount goal of westward expansion, and affirmed they would be acquired regardless of the state’s political stance. So, it can be discernibly surmised that the Mexican-American war expedited the American’s notion of conquering Texas and growing as a nation; that the bulk of this geographical growth was attained from the South; in which they hoped to earn a large sum of lands in order to utilize as farms that would be soon packed with slave labor. Most notably, the war indeed fabricated a social and geographical divide between the North and South because there was a raging debate over the land’s political status, and whether new lands are to be admitted as free or slave states. The Missouri Compromise originally settled this dispute by having all land from the Louisiana Purchase above Missouri free states and everything below it to be slave states. But new land from the Mexican-American war compelled the question again, free or slave?
The Mexican-American didn’t make the civil war inevitable because the main issue was about slavery. During that time, the American was split into two groups, the south was pro-slavery and the north were anti-slavery, and should the new territories should be a free state or a slave state. There were events that set in motions of the civil war. There were events that led to the civil war, that cause problems in the United States. The first event was of course the Mexican-American war.
This was not all that the Mexican War caused, it also brought the United States conflicts involving the determining of which states would be slave state and non-slave states. This would give the United States headaches throughout the 1800’s and all the way to the Civil War, which would soon change how America would be run,
After the Mexican-American War came to a close, the United States still continued to run into many different types of conflicts. The new Western territory (California, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, New Mexico, Nevada, and Arizona) granted by the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo caused many disagreements among the North and the South. Many people suspected that the new territory would become slave states which would mean the US would have more slave states than free states. Citizens of the North argued that if the Western territory were to become slave states, it would create an unbalance between slave states and free states. Government officials were debating about whether or not slavery should be extended into those states.
The civil war was an inevitable result due to tensions and events that had taken place within the union during the past few years before the beginning of the war. Events such as the Missouri Compromise, Kansas-Nebraska act which repealed the Missouri Compromise, and finally the assault of Fort Sumter. The southern states began to assume that their states rights’ were being violated, the north was attempting to gain control of the union in order to abolish slavery and thus the south began succession from the union. The southerners’ efforts and its expansion proslavery mobs became hostile and violent toward Northerners prior to the war, although southerners were resulting in violence and intimidation to prevent others from speaking out against
Because of the violent actions the Mexicans troops took against the American troop, James K. Polk demanded congress to declare a war against Mexico. Polk claimed that American blood was shed in American territory but in reality it still wasn’t anyone’s property because both countries claimed the land. At the time Mexico didn’t recognize the annexation of Texas. Mexico took the actions of opening fire after the “annex”, something James K. Polk advocated after his beliefs of manifest destiny which was his belief of expanding America into foreign soil. As soon as Mexico opened fire, the Mexican American war started.
It is true that racism and sectionalism had been an issue prior to the Mexican American war, but the unification of the abolitionists with the Wilmot Proviso and the failures of the Compromise of 1850 mark the difference between prior and post war periods. Indeed, many may argue that the Compromise of 1850 averted the crisis created by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, but the Compromise in truth was nothing more than a time bomb that would be detonated in 1862, the start of the bloodiest struggle ever fought on American soil, the Civil
The Mexican and American War has been overlooked and forgotten for many years. Compared to previous wars such as the Civil War, the Mexican American War may seem small. However, thousands of Americans & Mexicans died, and half of the country of Mexico was taken by the United States. One of the main reasons the United States was not justified in going to war against Mexico was because of the United States’ greed for new territory, the United States provoking the war and the slavery issue that would come from the new territories acquired by Mexico.
The Mexican-American war is to be partially blamed for the civil war for a big reason, slavery. Slavery during the American-Mexican war was very problematic concerning the North and the South. There were problems between the NOrth and South concerning if slavery should be allowed or not, the North wanted slaves to be free but the south did not. The south benefitted from the slaves because in the south cotton fields and factories were more common and they would be handled by the slaves. The slave owners also referred to as masters, would say how labor work was only for slaves and doing their work would make the masters stoop down to the slaves level.
People have reasoning and explanation for the actions they execute throughout life. However, they also have to suffer the consequences that follow the choices made. The American Civil War began in 1861 and ended in 1865, but a myriad of factors exist that affected the production of the war. The cause of the American Civil War has been among the most controversial issues of this nation’s past for several years.1 On top of that, the consequences and rewards, due to the aftermath of the war, helped shape the United States into the country it is today.