Today’s large the United States was not acquired easily or without any conflicts. The country has a long history of its massive size. In the history of the United States, the westward expansion and the Civil War have a massive impact on the current United States. At the same time, westward expansion has an enormous impact on the Civil war as well. Because at present historians believe that the Civil War was Caused by Slavery which became an issue through the Expansion of the United States toward the west. I believe that whatever is the reason for the slavery but the bottom line of the Civil war all come back to Slavery. Slavery is the only reason to tear America into pieces within the 8 decades. So, technically it can be said that the Civil war caused by the westward expansion.
The United States gained a huge amount of territories between the American Revolution and the Civil war. And, all began in 1768 when Daniel Boone explored Kentucky for the first time. And that was the first expedition to the west to know what existed in the west. Along with the Native American and African-American slavery had existed in the fur-trading and farming settlements that dotted the French Illinois country, the region surrounding the confluence of the Ohio, Missouri, and Mississippi River. In 1783, to raise revenues, the newly formed U.S. government claims native Americans land which is considered to be the Indian lands to be sold to the settlers. In 1783, the Ordinance of 1785 came out establishes a division for all the western territories from the Ohio River which leaves the state of Pennsylvania . Two years later, the Ordinance of 1787, made a system of laws within the territories which forbids slavery and provides the assurance for certain civil rights among them. Which means the new states would be created out of the westward lands and then admitted into the Union. And that was passed by the government under the Articles of Confederation (shortly after the American Revolution). From the Northwest ordinance which had occurred in 1787, becoming a state the population of territory has to reach a specific amount of number and then they can apply for the statehood. The states from the Northwest Territory could not be slave states. That was the first time when the national government stood against the spread of slavery which was influenced by the ideas of the Declaration of Independence.
After Couple of decades later or so, in 1803, the United States purchased the Louisiana territory from France for 50 million francs and the cancellation of debts of total 18 million which doubled the size of the United States. And because of that, the United States entirely removed existed Frances from North America after the purchasing the Louisiana territory. During that time, slavery existed in the east part of the country before the United States started to move towards the west. Because, in the east, there were lots of Migrants and settlers lived and they needed slaves and there was nothing in the west. In 1783, 1795, and 1803, the United States gained popular sovereignty over the Ohio, Mississippi, and Missouri Valleys, which joined the ranks of imperial powers, that refers the European American settler groups, and Native American nations seeking to draw boundaries to secure autonomy, and establish effective sovereignty in the interior of the North American continent. Slavery had been central to British, French, and Spanish efforts to establish territorial dominance situated within the North American continent in the latter half of the eighteenth-century. Until the 1760s, African American slavery and European American settlement within the North American continent was confined to New Orleans and its immediate wild areas, along with with a few scattered French, British, and Spanish outposts. The reason slavery was confined in the south is that the Eli Whitney Build the cotton gin, where the slave people were needed to work in there. Also, the lands of the south part of the united states were cultivable and the agriculture was a big thing there. The government used to earn lots of profits, especially from agriculture. When the planters and merchants began searching for a viable cash-crop in the early 1790s, slavery flourished in the Natchez (Native American) country under Spanish and the Planter rule. And eventually, the Natchez District found cash-crop in cotton by producing little over 3600 pounds which is over $4500 and that considered being a huge amount of wealth during that timeline .
Here one thing to add is that the French Revolution from 1789 to 1799, polarized the Enlightenment heritage and illuminated slave struggles with brutal immediacy. Before the Louisiana Purchase, in late 1802, then the vice president Thomas Jefferson wanted to plan an expedition through the Louisiana territory. And to accomplish is the goal, he asked his private secretary and military advisor, U.S Army Captain Meriwether Lewis, to plan to prepare for an expedition. The reason he wanted to run the expedition was to take a survey on the natural resources within the territory of Louisiana. Also, he told them to explore the Pacific Northwest so that they can discover and claim it before the European could. In June 1803, Lewis selected William Clark to be a joint commander of the expedition which would be corps in the U.S. Army created solely for the expedition.
After the Louisiana Purchase, the people from the east part of the country began to shift from the east to west so that they can live more comfortably. Because the west was considered to be the fortune changer. A few years later another conflict started and that was the war of 1812. Some historians say that the war was the second war of independence because it was fought against British colonial Canada that joined by Tecumseh, the Shawnee leader of a confederation of native tribes. And this had lasted for almost 4 years but it was said that there was no clear victory of this war.
The attraction for moving west increased a lot form after the war 1812 till the Missouri Compromise. Only after 1815 would planters from the Atlantic states expand rapidly into the southern interior and the Mississippi and Missouri Valleys. Until then, the growth of slavery in the greater Mississippi Valley grew from the same sources that had fed its expansion in the four decades that preceded American rule. Through 1815, slavery in the Ohio, Missouri, and Mississippi Valleys continued to develop along with patterns and firstly established with the expansion of slavery into the lower Mississippi Valley in the 1760s. It would not be until after 1815, that slaveholders and slaves from the Atlantic states migrated into the southern interior and the Mississippi and Missouri Valleys in significant numbers. Until then, the area and the lands grew and expanded in the lower Mississippi Valley was the Caribbean plantation complex, which was mainly fed by the migration of Caribbean planters, northeastern merchants, and the international slave trade (both legal and illegal).
The inseparable histories of slavery and empire in the interior of the North American continent pre-dated the expansion of the United States and the migration of slaveholders and slaves from the Atlantic states. Slavery’s great, initial expansion and then growth in the Mississippi, Missouri, and Ohio Valleys occurred in the four decades between the Seven Years’ War and the Louisiana Purchase, a period that witnessed a significant expansion of the Atlantic plantation complex, along with new imperial, settler, and Native American conflicts in the borderlands of North America. As it was mentioned that the attraction for the west was to get the better fortune from the resources of the west. And the tendency of moving towards the west increased during the Land Act of 1820. Because of that, the westerners could buy a minimum of 80 acres of land at a price of 1.28$ for each acre of land. Many migrants during that time dreamed to improve their lives by utilizing the land that they bought. The mineral which is found over the trans-Mississippi West encouraged people to leave behind their houses and business to have a better fortune. After 1819 the united states physically expanded and the new threat popped up is that whether the new states are going to be the slave states or the free states. Then the Missouri compromise happened. The Missouri Compromise came out in 1820 that sought to resolve the problem whether the new states would be slave states or free states.
Northwest Ordinance of 1787 strictly forbade slavery in the northwest territories. There was more controversy over slavery. Southern states were concerning about losing power in the Congress because there was more number of free states than slave states. Because of that, the free states got the majority in numbers because of the northern states were antislavery and the slave states got minority in the House of Representatives. The cotton gin caused an increase in slave labor in the southwest part of the United States. The northern states were trying to free the slaves which reduced the number of slave states in the southern part and added more of the free states. To keep the balance of free states and the slave states Missouri Compromise was passed in 1820. It basically maintained the balance of free and slave states in Union. The U.S Congress approved the Missouri compromise to outlaw the slavery within the Louisiana Purchase territory north of 36°30’ latitude. The Compromise admitted Missouri as a slave state and Maine as a free state to keep them even. Which tried to obey the ordinance of 1783 and intended to stay away from future problems by forbidding the slavery the certain latitude line.
In 1823 over 20,000 Indians had adopted in the were living in the missions of California. Their mission was to colonize the Far West, the main tool in Spanish and Mexican. And their missions expanded all over the California coast including some part of Texas and New Mexico. At the same time, the Franciscan missionaries tried to move all those Indians so that they could build a new town in that area. .And in 1830, the Indian Removal Act pushed the Indian in more trouble. Because the Cherokee was one of many Indian nations forced to leave their lands and
move across the Mississippi in the early 1800s. When the state of Georgia was trying to force the Cherokee off of their land, the e Cherokee Leaders wrote to the white opinion makers to persuade those people to intervene on behalf of the Cherokee.
Indian Removal Act granted President Andrew Jackson funds and because of that, the authority agreed to remove the Indians by force if necessary. He intended a determined effort to coerce the Indians off their tribal lands where they used to live. Moreover, they had to leave them all heritages and own lands. At the same time(Timelined) The Congress establishes the Indian territory, which covers the present day of Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Kansas fo smaller than the all lies west of the Mississippi that whites had promised.
During the 1830s-40s, the addition of Texas to the Union was a big issue. Mexico wanted to acquire Texas, but Texas wanted to remain its own country. March 1836, Mexico invaded Texas and Texan forces at the Battle of the Alamo. And the became a rallying cry by the Texan forces. Texas gained its independence from Mexico after the Battle of San Jacinto. And for the Mexican American War, the U.S. President James K. Polk wanted to expand the United States to the Pacific Ocean. The United States planned to buy California from Mexico but Mexico did not want to sell. At the Same time, Mexico upset over a border dispute with Texas and the United States. Mexico claimed the border was at the Nueces River. The United States claimed the border was at the Rio Grande. Polk sent General Zachary Taylor to the disputed. And that resulted in having the Mexican-American War. Texas was a republic for nine years because it wanted to be admitted to the U.S. as a slave state. It was finally annexed in 1845 as a slave state which led to the Mexican War and more controversy over slavery. Some northerners wanted to gain Mexico territory to be free of slavery and the Congress to declared that. By prohibiting the slavery in that region northerners wanted it to be open to slavery. Because there were lots of Agricultural Lands those needed labors. In contrast, after the American Revolution, the northern states become more industrialized and all abolished slavery was all abolished.
After the Mexican American war, the United States gained vast amount if territory. Because of that, the free states began to get outnumbered and at the same time, the southerners started to see that their representation being taken away. To resolve that issue the compromise of 1850 happened which was proposed by the Henry Clay. Before the Missouri compromise, California request for permission to join in the Union as a free state. After that, in 1849 the gold rush in California happened where people from all over in the United States rushed over there including the slave and the slaveholders. Moving toward west increased in a huge amount. Within a few months, California got lots of people to live over there and got rich really fast. So, California applied for permission to join them to the union. Next year, California wanted to be a free state after realizing that they did not want any slaves and slave owners in that part of the United States. Because the slave owners used their slaves to mine gold in the California which seemed to California irrational. At the same time, California did not want any conflicts the slave owners by prohibiting slavery or competing for slavery. That is why California wanted to become a free state without any kind of quarrel with the slaveholders or slave owners. Because of the compromise of 1850, the dream of California came true where it had become a free state and all the slaves from there had to move. Apart from allowing California to be a free state the compromise gave power to the Rest of the Mexican Cession to determine the vote of the popular sovereignty which refers the residents have to decide whether they wanted to be slave or free state. In that motion, the southerner also received the law called Fugitive Slave Law that allowed them to catch all the slaves who escaped to west during the gold rush of California and return them to the south where they escaped from to avoid the controversy in the California. Because of the Compromise of 1850, the Utah and New Mexico opened to a popular vote on slavery and slave trade was abolished in D.C. Moreover, that concluded by having Enforcement of Fugitive slave law. Basically, The Compromise of 1850 tried to maintain a balance between free and slave states and territories. In the mid-185os the question of slavery’s expansion
into the western territories became an issue in both northern states and the southern states about the future. Because of that Kansas territory was mostly representative for the debate for northern and the southern states
The Kansas Territory was in the northern part of Louisiana Territory, so according to the Missouri-Compromise, it was not supposed to be a slave state. But, some politicians wanted to establish a railroad through Kansas to have better transportation between the west and east since people started to move towards the west. In order to build the railroad, they have to have support from the southern states. For this reason, Missouri-Compromise was revoked which allowed people in the new territories to decide on slavery through popular sovereignty. All the northern abolitionist and the slaves from the south moved and went in the Kansas territory so that they can distract the vote of the territories and that ended up having the act of fighting which is called “Bleeding Kansas”. Many southerners including Missouri slaveholders, opposed supporting to organize the Nebraska Territory unless it was open to slavery. Eventually, the Kansas-Nebraska act was proposed by Stephen A. Douglas. According to Nebraska and Kansas would enter the Union with the principles of popular sovereignty. And the act nullified the Missouri Compromise by allowing slavery in the “forever free” territories of the Louisiana Purchase. In addition, the States’ Rights issue was revitalized. Historians think that Great Plains states of Kansas and Missouri were key in the battle for slave-owning states in their admittance to the Union. In 1856, the open warfare broke out between the pro-slavery and the anti-slavery. And during that time lots of people died and rival legislature was established. Also, all kind of election violation came out.
The Dred-Scott Decision was an attempt by the Supreme Court to end the controversy over slave or free states. He was a slave whose master had taken him into free territory and made him free. With the help of Northern abolitionists, Scott sued his master for his freedom claiming “once free, always free”. So, the Supreme Court decided that African-Americans were not citizens of the United States, they had no right to sue the United States, had no rights at all because the slaves were property and property could not be taken away from the government. The court also said to him that the Missouri Compromise was not constitutional because Dread Scott could not limit the owner’s property by being free through moving to the free states. So, This did not end the controversy of slavery. Apart from that the northern states concerned if the court makes the slavery outlaw in their states which would possibly end the popular sovereignty, in other words, the limiting of democracy.
Before the election of 1860, the John Brown’s Raid Happened where he planned to begin his slave uprising by seizing weapons at the federal armory in Harpers Ferry, Virginia and arming slaves but his plan failed. Because of that he was captured and executed. Actually, he was a fiery abolitionist preacher and wanted to help with uprising slavery to end the slavery once for all. After his execution, the northern slavery abolitionists took him as a martyr but most Americans saw his as a terrorist which was not true. The abolition of slavery was the principle of the American Revolution.
In the election of 1860, the Democratic Party broke over the slavery, with the party fielding two candidates. The Republicans nominated Abraham Lincoln of Illinois. Lincoln won the election by sweeping the Northern states while failing to gain a single electoral vote in the Deep South. Influenced by South Carolina, the states of the Deep South decided that limitation of slavery in the territories was the first step toward the total abolition of slavery. After that, the South Carolina seceded from the Union. And day by day seven states with South Carolina (Mississippi, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, and Texas) left the Union. Overall ten states broke up and wanted to create a new country by their own in the name of Confederate States of America (CSA). So, Lincoln hoped to maintain the union without having any war with them. Later, he wanted to resupply the U.S. Army at Ft. Sumter in Charleston Harbor. Because the Confederate states fired on the fort. Then Lincoln asked 7500 volunteers to put down the rebellion which prompted Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Arkansas to join the Confederacy. And in the end, the civil war had come.
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