Territorial Expansion DBQ

Good Essays
One of the greatest developments of the 19th century was the Industrial Revolution, as it paved the way for a new way of living in America. New forms of technology and transportation contributed to the increased expansion from the established eastern cities to the western frontier. Although this expansion created many new possibilities, there was still people who felt expansion was detrimental to the nation. Between 1800 and 1855, supporters and opponents of territorial expansion influenced federal government policy by urging the government to act, or not to, on expansion debate that would affect the future of the nation.
During the 1800’s, America was ready to expand but the French held control of New Orleans and the Louisiana territory,
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Americans were outraged by Britain’s actions and overwhelming voted for war in the House of Representatives (Doc B) with most of the supporting voters coming from the south (Doc B). The War of 1812 truly had no outcome but it did solidify the American’s independence and starts and era of increased expansion and nationalism. In 1828, Andrew Jackson was elected as president and his main policies were anti-Indian and expansionist. To clear out more space for expansion, Jackson forced the six American Indian nations to relocate into American Indian reservations far away from the Atlantic Ocean (Doc D). The most notorious case of the Indian removal was the Trail of Tears, in which President Jackson ignored the ruling of the Supreme Court and forced the Cherokee nation to relocate. During the harsh winter, the Cherokee walked through four different states (Doc D) to reach the American Indian Reservation in Oklahoma. This event illustrates another president creating his own policy as he disregards the government’s founding laws. Even though Jackson’s decision was mostly disliked, followers supported him by stating “the Cherokees have resisted, and successfully too, every effort to meliorate [improve] their situation, or to introduce among them the most common arts of life” (Doc C). The Indians “moral and their intellectual condition have been equally stationary” and …show more content…
One side felt Texas could “increase the wealth and happiness of all classes in our society” (Doc G) and believed “all this patriotism ¬-all this philanthropy -all this religion- appeals to us in favor of the addition of Texas to our Union” (Doc G). On the other hand, the opponents knew that “we are anxious to force free government on all” (Doc H) but only under “a very high state of moral and intellectual improvement, in a civilized state” (Doc H) is the nation able maintain a free government and form “a constitution capable of endurance” (Doc H). In 1837, Houston lobbied for Texas to join the United States as they submitted a statehood bill to Congress. Congress never saw the bill as Andrew Jackson blocked it because he didn’t want to expand the institution of slavery any further. Jackson’s actions showed how the government “is equally liable to be abused and perverted before the people can act through it” (Doc I). A similar event occurs during the Mexican War of 1848 when Henry David Thoreau stated that the Mexican War was “the work of comparatively a few individuals using the standing government as their tool” (Doc I) as very little people supported the

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