Causes Of The Manifest Destiny

The Manifest Destiny was a belief that the expansion of the United States throughout the American continent was justified and inevitable. However, it ended up being concomitant to the cause of the division of the nation. The North and South had different approaches to the slavery issues, which caused a major division in the nation. To resolve this disagreement, certain laws were put in place, but did it bring peace between the northern and southern territories? The Manifest Destiny began when President Jefferson purchased the territory of Louisiana in 1803 from the French government. The Louisiana Purchase included the area from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains and from New Orleans to Canada. This was a major purchase …show more content…
The Abolitionists feared that the new land/territory would be use to plant cotton which would bring forth the use of slaves. On the other hand, southerner’s slaveholders feared that abolishing slavery in the new territories would cause slaveholding states to lose power and votes in Congress. To address the slavery issues, the Compromise of 1850 was put in place to temporarily settle the dispute. The Compromise of 1850 was made up of five laws that covered the problems regarding slavery. After California requested to enter the union in 1849, the balance between free and slave states shifted causing a major drift in the union. To “bury the hatchet”, the Fugitive Slave Act was amended and the slave trade in Washington D.C. was abolished as part of the Compromise of 1850. California then entered the union as a free state. Another Act was passed to settle the boundary dispute between Texas and New …show more content…
With two branches of the government un-able to get control of the slavery issue, it was now up to the Supreme Court to decide. The time had come for the Supreme Court to decide exactly what the constitution say regarding the subject about slavery. The question was addressed in 1857 in the case of Dred Scott vs. Sanford. Scott sued for his freedom since he lived in what was considered free territory and state for a long period. The Supreme Court ruled that his stay in the Northwest territory did not make him a free man once he returned to Missouri. The Court also ruled that African American were excluded from the United States citizenship and was not considered to be a part of the “sovereign people” that makes up the Constitution. Lastly the Supreme Court ruled that Congress did not have the right to prohibit slavery in any territory therefore the Missouri Compromise was unconstitutional. The northerners were not willing to accept the Court’s decision because they felt that it was dominated by pro-slavery

Related Documents