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Civil War Prompt

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Danielle Fellguth 1/24/11 IB History 2nd period Cause of the Civil War Prompt Prompt: In what ways, and what with effects, did westward expansion intensify sectionalism in the United States between 1845-1860? Slavery, and the struggle for power that it caused, intensified sectionalism in the U.S because it made the difference of opinion that people had over slavery more prominent. This caused anger and distrust and death. Between 1845-1860, people in the United States were driven to and focused on expanding westward. This drive was fueled by Manifest Destiny, which was the idea that the United States were destined to expand westward by God. Each state in the United States wanted to expand for a different reason, depending on what they believed they could gain from expanding. Southern states wanted to spread slavery while others states, particularly in the North, wanted to expand to strengthen their economies. Whatever the reason, each person in the U.S. was focused on doing what they believed was in their own state's best interest and were less focused on the best interest of the United States as a whole. ...read more.


Slavery, and it's associated struggle for power, intensified sectionalism having effects in the United States. One of those effects was the Ostend Manifesto. In 1854, the U.S. tried to buy Cuba from Spain, but Spain refused to sell it; thus, the Ostend Manifesto was written. It is a document, written in Ostend, Belgium, that described the United States' rationale for taking Cuba by force. At this time, the number of free and slave states in the House of Representatives was equal, and both the North and South had equal power in government. The United States bringing Cuba into the Union would upset this balance and bring more power to the South, would have more representation than the other. When the public heard of the plan mentioned in the Ostend Manifesto, anti-slavery northerners were angered and accused their government of plotting to bring a new slave state into the Union.1 This reveals how sectionalism was intensified because the North no longer trusted their own government to act in their best interest as the states had before. They felt betrayed by the government, and because of this, people's loyalty to the federal government decreased. ...read more.


"Bleeding Kansas" intensified sectionalism because people's lives were taken because of a simple disagreement. A year before the events of "Bleeding Kansas", at the time of the Ostend Manifesto, sectionalism was powerful but it only led to the Northern region becoming closer and not trusting the Southern region or their government. In this case, Northerners and Southerners were so loyal to their own region's ideologies regarding slavery and so against their opposing region's ideas about the practice that, not only did violence occur but, five people paid the ultimate consequence and lost their lives. Sectionalism was also intensified because, instead of just disagreeing with and feeling threatened by one another as they had in the past, each region was actively placing blame on their opposite region for the events that happened in Kansas. Because they couldn't trust each other, states were forced to trust other states in their region and not the U.S. as a whole. Slavery that was spread as states were expanding westward made the North and South's different ideologies on the practice prominent and intensified friction between the regions. 1. Alan Brinkley, "'Young America,'" in American History A Survey, 12th ed. (New York: Lyn Ubl, 1964), 355. 2 Brinkley, 356-57. Fellguth 1 Fellguth 1 ...read more.

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