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The Territorial Expansion

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The territorial expansion of the United States throughout the periods of the 1830s to the 1850s, proved that America's rapid expansion had many consequences which so happened to be clearly evident in its ability to transform the concept of manifest destiny and territorial expansion into inevitable political tremors; but perhaps the most significant was that it reinforced Americans' sense of themselves as pioneering people. "This expansion and its concept of a destiny that justifies it, quickly became the dominant issue in national politics." America's manifest destiny made the United States a continental nation, but also evoked issues that soon played roles in tearing it apart. Sectional rivalries and fears began to dominated every aspect of politics, and expansion, which was previously seen as a force of unity or the fruit of the manifest destiny began to contribute to the division between the Northerners and Southerners, "who could not agree on the community they shared, in the federal union." Most of the new land acquired through the Manifest Destiny were exploited by Northerners who opposed the institution of slavery, due to economic factors, rather than ethical factors. Between the expansion of America's borders and the settling of these new lands that would either be declared as a free state or slave state, contention between Northerners and Southerners grew; raising the issue of the expansion of slavery beyond the South which continuously increased the North's opposition to slavery. Both factors happen to prove the validity of the statement that " Manifest Destiny made the Civil War inevitable," in becoming one of its precipitating causes due to the political effects of expansion that heighten sectional tensions. Driven by the the success of the Mexican-American War, expansionists, majority of which were from the South, continued to covet on an intent to acquiring new lands for cotton, which further inflamed the festering sectional difference of the 1850s, despite the clear evidence that many Americans were driven over the edge and had had enough of the desires of an expansionist. These sectional differences happened to carry over into the political parties during the 1846, which consisted of a great deal of northerners who were opposed to President James Polk's "belligerent expansionism on antislavery grounds, " and greatly feared the reopening of the issue of slavery in these territories. The political tension growing between the Democrats and the Whigs parties, "opened the door to sectional controversy over expansions," with the help of David Wilmot; sparking a debate which clearly showed a division between the Northerners and Southerners where, "southern Whigs joined southern Democrats to vote against the measures while Northerners of both parties supported it" and left many questioning about the place of slavery in the future of the nation.



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