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The Mexican War Essay

1353 words - 6 pages

The Mexican War is often regarded as one of the most significant wars in American History. The concept of Manifest Destiny, or idea that the U.S. was destined to stretch from coast to coast, was beginning to preoccupy the minds of many Democratic Americans. Democratic Americans hoped the U.S. would expand and ultimately possess control over the entire continent, because they believed that more land would promote increased economic success. The Whigs, on the other hand, felt the key to expanding the country and its economy was to embrace the economic endeavors that were already being pursued. In order for America to dominate the entire continent, western expansion was necessary and land ...view middle of the document...

Some southerners, known as fire-eaters, met at the Nashville Convention to confer about plans of secession. Because politicians were not acting in accordance to their party’s beliefs, it became difficult for American citizens to trust their elected officials. The economic priorities of the North and South were so different regarding slavery that it was hard for a politician not to take a position on the issue. It was even more problematic for politicians because it didn’t matter which “side” they chose; half of the country would end up unsatisfied anyway. The mistrust in political parties began to break down the two-party system within the United States. New parties, including the Know Nothing Party and the Free Soil Party, began to emerge. By 1854, the Whig Party had been dismantled completely, and the Democrats began splitting into two political parties: Democrats and Republicans. The Mexican War led the beginning of regionalization as well as the interference of national advancement by individual political stances.
Between the North and the South, neither side was able to settle about whether the new states should have slavery or not have slavery. Both wanted to force their views onto the new western lands. The federal government, at the time, felt that during their annexation the states had the ability to choose the status of rights within the state’s borders. This spurred the proposition of the Compromise of 1850, by Henry Clay. The proposal meant California would be determined a “free state” by the federal government, while New Mexico and Utah would be granted the freedom to choose, by popular sovereignty, whether they were a free state or a slave state. Since the majority of citizens living in the western areas were in favor of abolition, the North was pleased with this particular component of the compromise. However, the compromise also worked to suit the South by passing the Fugitive Slave Law, which allowed southerners to recapture their escaped slaves across state borders. Abolitionists in the North were infuriated by this and southerners antagonized northerners by invading the North in search of fugitive slaves. Though the compromise intended to give both the North and the South what they wanted, each side still felt the need to subdue the other. This attitude continued throughout the time period and only intensified in 1854, after the Kansas-Nebraska Act was passed. This act rescinded the Missouri Compromise of 1820, allowing popular sovereignty to decide the status of slavery within Kansas and Nebraska borders. This prompted both northerners along with southerners to send masses of their own citizens to the territories in order to try to sway the voting results. In the North, the New England Emigrant Aid Company was founded to force immigrants that were against slavery into Kansas so that it would be annexed into the United States as a free state. The divisional wedge that grew between the North and the South’s political...

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