Manifest Destiny as Cause of Civil War

Manifest Destiny as Cause of Civil War - when President...

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Period 3 U.S. History Honors Manifest Destiny, the belief in the 1840’s and 1850’s that the United States’ obvious and inevitable fate was to occupy the entire continent, was a major cause of the Civil War. Western expansionism increased sectional tension and political pressure over the slavery question. With the proposed additions of the territories of Texas, New Mexico, Oregon, and California to the U.S., people argued over the spread of slavery to these new lands. Each new state could alter the balance of power between slave and free states. For instance, in the South, huge Texas was all slave country, so Northerners were upset at its potential to be broken into numerous slave states. Some even believed Texas had been settled as a Southern plot to smuggle slave states into the Union. In the North,
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Unformatted text preview: when President Polk settled for only part of large Oregon to avoid war with Great Britain, Northerners felt he had cheated them of anti-slavery states, thus increasing Slave Power. Every compromise, such as letting settlers decide the issue for themselves or relying on the Missouri Compromise, led only to more controversy. Manifest Destiny was a powerful idea. It was hard to resist the dream of an America reaching all the way to the Pacific. But emotions also ran high about slavery, so Manifest Destiny fueled the conflict between North and South. Every new territory brought into the Union also brought more strife. If expansion was our Manifest Destiny, as long as the future of slavery was not resolved, the Civil War was also our destiny....
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This note was uploaded on 04/16/2010 for the course HIST 101 taught by Professor Shmoe during the Spring '08 term at Holyoke CC.

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