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Slavery and Freedom

Essay by   •  April 10, 2011  •  Essay  •  453 Words (2 Pages)  •  1,807 Views

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Slavery, old traditions, and plantations gave the South its identity. Freedom, new ideas, and industry were recognized in the North. Two vastly different places, all in one Union tied together by liberty and colorful history. Tension was thick between the two areas, each wanted and needed vastly different things and held vastly different ideals. The expansionism of the 1840s and 1850s was appealing to both Southerners and Northerners, but for different reasons. The South hoped the expansion would help them spread slavery, and their sole economy the plantation, and expand their dying political power. Gaining free states, cultivating the wild, and expanding revenue for the economy is what drove the North to expansion. This enthusiasm would eventually cause America huge problems.

The South very often viewed themselves as victims to the North's oppressive ways; they're nearing political domination and powerful industrial economy. With the rush of expansionism, southern political officials hoped to spread slavery, therefore, gaining more power in the government. They needed allies to help them get what they wanted and needed. However, this was difficult seeing as they already lost heavy assets, California and New Mexico. The loss of these states gave the North even more political and economic power, and caused tensions between the North and South (10.3). The annexation of Texas added another blow to the Southern expansion. Whigs were severely weakened throughout the south, while democrats in the North rejoiced over Texas's annexation (10.5).

Expansionism gave the Northern politicians much power as new states were being admitted with laws against slavery. Southerners

All of America was transfixed with this idea of "Manifest Destiny". To many people it legitimized expansion and gave it a purpose on a larger scale; it was inevitable and irresistible. To spread to the Pacific Ocean meant the spread of white culture, ideals, and gave white American's huge pride in their country. The spread of white culture was making the world a "better" place (10.2). Manifest Destiny was spreading education, new technologies, and the beginning of a new and wonderful life for countless Americans (10.1). Inspired by "Manifest Destiny" southerners and northerners alike flocked westward, and dreamed of controlling vast new lands. The expansion was in favor of the North; most of the states admitted were free states, and the economy was growing favorably. The South was not so lucky, and they felt they were losing power in the United States government; this was fuel to the fire. Tensions were so thick between the two sections of the Union; war was soon to break out. The expansionism of the 1840s and 1850s gave America vast new opportunities for it as a whole, and for the possibility it might separate.

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