Describe the importance of the West in Jacksonian society and in the imagination of Jacksonian Americans. Why was there such tremendous pressure for territorial expansion in this period? What did the idea of an open frontier mean to Americans, North and South? Examine several instances between 1820 and 1857 in which Americans divided on the issue of the status (slave or free-soil) of western territories. What was at stake in these battles? To what extent might the road to the Civil War be said to have begun in the West?
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