The relationship between growing north-south divisions and westward expansion study guide




The relationship between growing north-south divisions and westward expansion study guide


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The relationship between growing north-south divisions and westward expansion study guide

SSUSH8 The student will explain the relationship between growing north-south divisions and westward expansion.

In the decades before the Civil War, three distinct regions emerged in the United States:
the North, the South, and the West. Sharp divisions emerged between the economies and
cultures of the North and South. In the West, settlers from both the North and South
merged to create a distinct way of life. This standard will measure your knowledge of
these regions and the differences among them.

  • a. Explain how slavery became a significant issue in American politics; include the slave rebellion of Nat Turner and the rise of abolitionism (William Lloyd Garrison, Frederick Douglas, and the Grimke sisters).

By 1820, although racial discrimination against African Americans remained, slavery had
largely ended in the North. Many northerners and some southerners took up the cause of
abolition, a campaign to abolish slavery immediately and to grant no financial
compensation to slave-owners. As most slaves were held in southern states, abolition was
a significant issue that led to growing hostility between northerners and southerners.
Prominent abolitionists included African Americans, whites, men, and women. Among
the most notable were
· William Lloyd Garrison, a writer and editor, was an important white
abolitionist. He founded regional and national abolitionist societies and published
an antislavery newspaper that printed graphic stories of the bad treatment received
by slaves.
· Frederick Douglass, a former slave, worked for Garrison and traveled widely,
giving eloquent speeches on behalf of equality for African Americans, women,
Native Americans, and immigrants. He later published autobiographies and his
own antislavery newspaper.
· The Grimke sisters , Sarah and Angelina, were southern women who lectured
publicly throughout the northern states about the evils of slavery they had seen
growing up on a plantation. Their public careers began when Garrison published a
letter from Angelina in his newspaper.

b. Explain the Missouri Compromise and the issue of slavery in western states and territories.
Slavery as a Major Political Issue
Most white southerners opposed abolition. White writers and public speakers argued
slavery was a necessary part of life in the South. The southern economy, they said, was
based on large-scale agriculture that would be impossible to maintain without slave labor.
They also boasted that southern white culture was highly sophisticated and said it was
made possible by the plantation economy. Another proslavery argument claimed slaves
were treated well and lived better lives than factory workers in the North. In fact, some
whites said they provided better lives for slaves than free blacks were able to provide
themselves. When settlers in the slaveholding Missouri Territory sought statehood,
proslavery and antislavery politicians made slavery a central issue in national politics.
Missouri Compromise of 1820
The state constitution proposed by Missouri allowed slavery. Because half the states in
the union allowed slavery while the other half did not, statehood for Missouri would
upset the U.S. Senate’s equal balance between proslavery and antislavery senators. This
issue was resolved when Congress passed the Missouri Compromise. This said Maine
would be admitted to the Union as a free state, Missouri would be admitted as a slave
state, and slavery would be prohibited in the northern part of the Louisiana Purchase
except for Missouri. Once again, half the states would allow slavery while the other half
did not, and the Senate would retain its equal balance between proslavery and antislavery
senators––until the next state asked to enter the Union.
Nat Turner
African American preacher Nat Turner believed his mission on Earth was to free his
people from slavery. Seeing an 1831 solar eclipse as a message from above, he led a
slave rebellion on four Virginia plantations. About 60 whites were killed, and Turner was
captured, tried, and executed. To stop such uprisings, white leaders passed new laws to
limit the activities of slaves and to strengthen the institution of slavery.

  • c. Describe the Nullification Crisis and the emergence of states’ rights ideology; include the role of John C. Calhoun and development of sectionalism.

Nullification Crisis
Vice President John C. Calhoun argued with President Andrew Jackson about the rights
of states to nullify (cancel) federal laws they opposed. Trouble, known as the
Nullification Crisis, resulted when southern states sought to nullify a high tariff (tax)
Congress had passed on manufactured goods imported from Europe. This tariff helped
northern manufacturers but hurt southern plantation owners, so legislators nullified the
tariff in South Carolina. Calhoun, a South Carolinian, resigned from the vice presidency
to lead the efforts of the southern states in this crisis. His loyalty to the interests of the
southern region, or section, of the United States, not to the United States as a whole,
contributed to the rise of sectionalism.
Calhoun and the advocates of sectionalism argued in favor of states’ rights––the idea
that states have certain rights and political powers separate from those held by the federal
government that the federal government may not violate. The supporters of sectionalism
were mostly southerners. Their opponents were afraid that if each state could decide for
itself which federal laws to obey the United States would dissolve into sectional discord
or even warfare.

  • d. Describe the war with Mexico and the Wilmot Proviso.

Mexican-American War
In 1845, the United States took Texas into the Union and set its sights on the Mexican
territories of New Mexico and California. U.S. annexation of Texas and other factors led
to war in 1846. During the conflict, the United States occupied much of northern Mexico.
When the United States eventually won the war, this region was ceded to the United
States as a part of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.
Wilmot Proviso
During the Mexican-American War, Congress again debated whether slavery would be
allowed in New Mexico and California if these territories were acquired from Mexico.
The antislavery position was outlined in a proposal called the Wilmot Proviso, but the
House of Representatives failed to approve it and the issue of whether to allow or
prohibit slavery in new states remained unresolved.


e. Explain the Compromise of 1850
During the 1840s, many members of Congress became increasingly concerned that the
issue of slavery, especially its extension into new states, threatened the survival of the
nation. Those who favored slavery and those who opposed slavery therefore agreed to
five laws that addressed these concerns. Collectively, the five laws are known as the
Compromise of 1850. This compromise stated
· the state of New Mexico would be established by carving its borders from the state of Texas.
· New Mexico voters would determine whether the state would permit or prohibit the practice of slavery.
· California would be admitted to the Union as a free state.
· all citizens would be required to apprehend runaway slaves and return them to their
owners. Those who failed to do so would be fined or imprisoned.
· the slave trade would be abolished in the District of Columbia, but the practice of slavery would be allowed to continue there. Many northerners and southerners welcomed the passage of the Compromise of 1850 and hoped that it would preserve the Union. Their hopes were dashed about a decade later when the United States became engaged in a devastating civil war.


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