Territorial expansion was the main cause of the civil war. To what extent do you agree with this statement?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Jennifer Felipe IB Contemporary History Topic: Territorial expansion was the main cause of the civil war. To what extent do you agree with this statement? The civil war is associated with southern succession, slavery, and the Republican Party, all factors which this dispute entailed. The initiation for such conflict though, lies in the territorial expansion that Americans believed was destined for the United States at the time. Territorial expansion pinned Americans against one another when debating whether the new states should be slaves states or not, questioned the power the Federal government had in comparison to states' rights, and put at risk the unity of the U.S.A as a nation. With a vast majority of land acquired through agreements such as the Louisiana Purchase it was difficult to decide whether slavery should spread further west, not do so, or be equally distributed.

Middle

The expansion was enough to destroy the sense of nationalism that was heartedly felt during the American Revolution. As the dispute escalated and became more emotional, states such as Kansas and Nebraska felt they deserved the right to choose independently from what the federal government had proposed. They passed the Kansas-Nebraska Act which the idea of "popular sovereignty" was strongly agreed upon, the choice as to whether the state should be admitted as free or not they believed, depended solely on the citizens living there. Unfortunately this led to a great upheaval which ended in a bloody fight amongst the residents in Kansas, but fortunately yielded the Republican Party which opposed the spread of slavery and played a key role in the development of the war. The Fugitive Slave Act, which demanded that escaped slaves to Free states be forcibly returned to their owners, angered many and tilted the loyalty from federal to the more dependable state pride.

Conclusion

Such dissimilar personal interests made the two regions feud and develop a separation that grew all a result of the expansion. With the threat of the succession of the south, the civil war became long and costly. Not only was the survival of the U.S as one nation at risk, but the ideas of liberty, equality, and justice all depended on the outcome of the war. In summation, territorial expansion, in comparison to slavery or economic greed was of a greater degree a main cause of the civil war. Expansion led to a heated debate over slavery that threatened the unity of the United States, and called into question the federal government's power over that of the states. Had it not been for the westward territorial gain, slavery would not have been called into question as quickly and the emancipation of the slaves would have been deterred perhaps a couple of decades.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate History section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate History essays

  1. To what extent was Imperialism the key cause of World War One ?

    one of the key forces behind the deteriorating situation in the Balkans, not to mention its role between other European nations' hostile relations, can clearly be seen as a more important cause than imperialism. The causes created by its force were of more significance in leading to war than simply those connected with imperialism.

  2. The Chinese Civil War

    the populations, the fulfillment of the three Principles of the People, Mao's leadership and the intense dedication within Mao and the CCP. During Mao's time, the peasants made up the majority of the populations. However, there was a series of droughts and bad harvests which caused widespread famine in rural areas.

  1. History Internal Assesment

    implements of war to belligerent countries; the prohibition of the transportation of arms, ammunition, and implements of war by vessels of the United States for the use of belligerent States; for the registration and licensing of persons engaged in the business of manufacturing, exporting, or importing arms, ammunition, or implements

  2. To what extent did nationalism contribute to the creation and expansion of the Indochinese ...

    The earliest insight into this trend of events and its base can be found in Vietnam's geography that essentially shaped its history and then gave birth to two historical characteristics of Vietnamese nationalism. These historical characteristics were then shaped and further accentuated by the successive foreign administrations of Vietnam (Chinese, French and Japanese)

  1. The North, The South, and Slavery

    Low cost of constructing wire systems 2. 1861- Pacific telegraph connected NY with SF 3. All independent lines absorbed into Western Union Telegraph Company i. Journalism helped to draw communities together and enforce sectionalism i. 1846- Richard Hoe invented steam cylinder rotary press, making possible printing newspapers rapidly and cheaply ii.

  2. Notes on the Causes of the American Civil War

    35% of Nation population 4. Relied on Northern credit to finance the growing of cotton, tobacco and sugar. 5. Relied on North to market and ship goods 6. Little desire to diversify Slavery- seemed to be the issue that was the most divisive Slavery pre 1830 1.

  1. What was the main cause of the French Revolution?

    At this period the King, King LouisXVI had just managed come out of debts and unfortunately this did not last as âby 1753 their debt was 1.2 billion with annual interests of 85 million, which was 20% of Franceâs annual revenue[2]â.The FRemch viewed war as an intrigue and instead of

  2. The Chinese Civil War - Background and Main Events

    90% of the population was Han. In 1900, the reading of the unequal treaties led to an anti-foreign movement, known as the Boxer Rising. The failure of the uprising led to more discontent with the Manchus The boxers were revolting against more loss of Chinese sovereignty and they were joined by the Manchu government.

  • Over 180,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work

Marked by a teacher

This essay has been marked by one of our great teachers. You can read the full teachers notes when you download the essay.

Peer reviewed

This essay has been reviewed by one of our specialist student essay reviewing squad. Read the full review on the essay page.

Peer reviewed

This essay has been reviewed by one of our specialist student essay reviewing squad. Read the full review under the essay preview on this page.