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Sectional Conflic8 - Until 1845 it had seemed likely that...

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Sectional Conflict Slavery, sectionalism sow seeds of war The war was a training ground for American officers who would later fight on both sides  in the Civil War.  It was also politically divisive.  Polk, in a simultaneous facedown with  Great Britain, had achieved British recognition of American sovereignty in the Pacific  Northwest to the 49th parallel.  Still, antislavery forces, mainly among the Whigs,  attacked Polk’s expansion as a proslavery plot. With the conclusion of the Mexican War, the United States gained a vast new territory of  1.36 million square kilometers encompassing the present-day states of New Mexico,  Nevada, California, Utah, most of Arizona, and portions of Colorado and Wyoming.  The  nation also faced a revival of the most explosive question in American politics of the  time: Would the new territories be slave or free? THE COMPROMISE OF 1850
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Unformatted text preview: Until 1845, it had seemed likely that slavery would be confined to the areas where it already existed. It had been given limits by the Missouri Compromise in 1820 and had no opportunity to overstep them. The new territories made renewed expansion of slavery a real likelihood. Many Northerners believed that if not allowed to spread, slavery would ultimately decline and die. To justify their opposition to adding new slave states, they pointed to the statements of Washington and Jefferson, and to the Ordinance of 1787, which forbade the extension of slavery into the Northwest. Texas, which already permitted slavery, naturally entered the Union as a slave state. But the California, New Mexico, and Utah territories did not have slavery. From the beginning, there were strongly conflicting opinions on whether they should....
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  • Fall '10
  • New Territories, new slave states, sectionalism sow seeds, politically divisive.  Polk, vast new territory

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