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Manifest Destiny: Westward Expansion Essay

604 words - 2 pages

The concept of territorial expansion or Manifest Destiny, if you will, came about in the 1840s and was said that the American people deserved to control the entire continent. But as with all ideas, there were some complications. The North and the South were becoming, for lack of a better word, hostile towards each other over disputes on slavery. Because the US was seizing control of new land, the status of slavery was at the top of everyone’s agendas. The US attempted to try and solve this conflict through the implementation of the Missouri Compromise, but to no avail. Even though territorial expansion seemed to be best for the growing country of the United States, or started a controversial debate over slavery.

Those who were against the expansion feared that it would heighten the slavery issue and threaten the Union. Mainly, the North was known for its anti-slavery movements and chose not to cooperate until slavery was finished. However, the South encouraged the practice of slavery by stating that it was a “white southerners” source of a labor force. Nevertheless, on the upside of Manifest Destiny, many saw this as a sign of nationalism. The supporters of expansion agreed with the idea but there were also some mixed opinions on whether or not the use of force and far should the nation outstretch its borders. The Democrats were in favor of forceful border expansion, whereas the Whigs favored expansion through diplomacy. Henry Clay, a Whig and opposed the concept of Manifest Destiny, feared the thought of worsening the issue of slavery itself.

The Missouri Compromise divided the territory in the Louisiana Purchase and said that all the land that was in the north would prohibit slavery, while those in the south would not. Yet this only fueled the conflict even more when...

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