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Antebellum Expansion. Unit IVA AP United States History. Fundamental Questions. Was the onset/cause of the Civil War solely on the issue of slavery or was it a series of circumstances? What is the historical basis and precedence of the sectional conflict between the North and South?.

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antebellum expansion

Antebellum Expansion

Unit IVA

AP United States History

fundamental questions
Fundamental Questions

Was the onset/cause of the Civil War solely on the issue of slavery or was it a series of circumstances?

What is the historical basis and precedence of the sectional conflict between the North and South?

democracy in america 1840
Democracy in America (1840)
  • Frenchman Alexis de Tocqueville originally set to examine prison systems in U.S.
  • Thesis: the success of republicanism/representative democracy in U.S. and America preserving the balance between liberty and equality
    • Individualism
  • Equal opportunity broke old traditions of social hierarchy
    • Lead to development of new “aristocracy” based on industry
  • Religion most significant political institution to preserve democratic principles
second party system 1828 1854
National political campaigns and spoils system galvanize political parties


states’ rights

laissez-faire and free trade



equal opportunity

South and West

working class

Andrew Jackson, Martin van Buren, James K. Polk


American System

strong federal government

Mixed on slavery

social conservatives

New England, Northerners

upper and middle class professionals

Henry Clay

Rise of Third Parties

Anti-Masonic Party:

issue party concerned about Freemasons

promoted economic nationalism and social conservatism

introduced party conventions

Liberty Party:

abolitionist party

Free Soil Party:

Against expansion of slavery in new territories

Second Party System (1828-1854)
election of 1840
Election of 1840
  • Democrat Martin Van Buren (NY) suffers from poor economy
  • Whigs nominate General William Henry Harrison
  • Harrison dies a month later
  • Tyler assumes office and pursues Democrat policies
manifest destiny
Manifest Destiny

Away, away with these cobweb tissues of the rights of discovery, exploration, settlement,… [The American claim] is by the right of our manifest destiny to overspread and to possess the whole of the continent which Providence has given us for the development of the great experiment of liberty… - John L. Sullivan, Democratic Review, 1845

justification for manifest destiny
Justification for Manifest Destiny
  • Empire of Liberty
  • Safeguard and expand the agricultural character of the American (yeoman farmer)
    • Misery of industrialization and urbanization
  • Ulterior motive or smoke screen for the expansion of slavery
    • Annexation of Texas
  • Providence - God’s will
  • Economical expansion
    • Feed the eastern industries
    • Preserve trade markets for farmers
    • Asian markets
  • Expansion of “civilization”
efficiency of manifest destiny
Efficiency of Manifest Destiny
  • Infrastructure
    • Telegraph and communication
    • Canals and roads
    • Railroads
  • Trails
    • Oregon Trail
    • Santa Fe Trail
    • Spanish Trail
    • Mormon Trail
  • American settlement
    • Fueled by Manifest Destiny
    • Encouraged by Mexican government
      • empresarios
  • Texas Revolution (1836)
    • Mexico, Texas, and slavery
    • Santa Anna’s policies
    • The Alamo (Feb-Mar 1836)
    • Sam Houston and Battle of San Jacinto (Apr 21, 1836)
  • Annexation of Texas by U.S.
    • North opposes and South desires
    • Major campaign issue in 1844
    • Polk persuades joint resolution and to deal with Mexican reaction to annexation
expansion and possible wars
Expansion and Possible Wars
  • Webster-Ashburton Treaty (1842)
    • Boundary dispute settled with Britain regarding British Canada and Maine, also Minnesota area
    • U.S. wins land rich in iron ore deposits
  • Oregon
    • Dispute between U.S. and Britain
    • “54’ 40 OR FIGHT!”
    • Treaty established border at 49th parallel (1846)
  • Texas
    • Nueces River or Rio Grande?
election of 1844
Election of 1844
  • Democrats nominate James K. Polk over Tyler
    • Tyler could split the party
    • Expansion platform
      • Texas, Oregon
  • Whigs nominate Henry Clay
  • Liberty Party may have spoiled election for Whigs
mexican american war 1846 1848
Mexican-American War (1846-1848)
  • Thornton Affair (4/24/1846) and declaration of war
  • War Plan and Execution
    • John Fremont in California
    • Stephen Kearny in New Mexico
    • Zachary Taylor in Texas
    • Winfield Scott in Veracruz and Mexico City
  • Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (1848)
    • Rio Grande as Texas border
    • Mexican Cession (California and New Mexico)
      • $15 million and assumption of claims against Mexico
mexican american war and sectionalism
Mexican-American War and Sectionalism
  • Whigs oppose war and treaty as attempt to expand slavery; Democrats want even more territory
  • Wilmot Proviso (1846)
    • Texas as slave state and Mexican Cession lands as free
    • Passed House, but died in Senate
election of 1848
Election of 1848
  • Whigs nominate war hero Zachary Taylor
    • Slaveowner and vague on slave issues
  • Democrats nominate Lewis Cass
    • Split over slavery
  • Free Soil Party nominates Martin van Buren
    • Splits Democrats
  • Millard Fillmore assumes office after Taylor dies in 1850
    • Will be the last Whig president
maintaining the balance and peace
Maintaining the Balance and Peace
  • In 1812, there were 9 free states and 9 slave states
  • Afterwards, the admission of states became more paired up in order to preserve the balance
    • Missouri and Maine in 1820
    • Texas (1845) and Wisconsin (1848)
  • Gag Rule
    • House of Representatives institutes a prohibition of discussing and debating slavery in late 1830s and early 1840s
  • With the admission of California in 1850, the balance continued to favor the free states until the Civil War
    • By 1859, there would be 19 free states and 15 slave states
california gold rush
California Gold Rush
  • January 24, 1848 at Sutter’s Mill in northern California
    • President Polk confirmed gold in Dec. 1848
  • Discovery of gold led to massive influx of settlers and immigrants
    • Forty-Niners
    • Mostly came by sea since trails were dangerous
    • San Francisco
      • Before gold… 5,000 in 1848; after gold… 25,000 in 1850
  • Gold rush led to quick statehood of California in 1850 despite being acquired in 1848
compromise of 1850
Compromise of 1850
  • Henry Clay’s brainchild
    • Admit California as free state
    • Mexican Cession into Utah Territory and New Mexico Territory; decide slavery by popular sovereignty
    • Disputed territory between Texas and New Mexico and assume $10 million Texas debt
    • Reinforced Fugitive Slave Law - supported by Daniel Webster
    • Slave trade abolished in D.C.
  • Stephen A. Douglas’s (D) Efforts
    • Vote and pass each provision separately
  • Seen as an overall political victory for union and both political parties
  • Calhoun and some Southern states oppose
    • “I trust we shall persist in our resistance [to the admission of California] until the restoration of all our rights, or disunion, one or the other is the consequence. We have borne the wrongs and insults of the North long enough.” - John C. Calhoun
fugitive slave law
Fugitive Slave Law
  • Enforcement of capturing and returning escaped slaves
    • Hunted down recent and earlier fugitives
  • Right to trial by jury denied
  • Special Commission
    • $10 for those finding for slaveholder
    • $5 for those finding for fugitive
  • Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
    • Fueled anti-slavery sentiment in the North
sectionalism and expansion
Sectionalism and Expansion
  • Ostend Manifesto (1852)
    • Secret negotiation to purchase Cuba from Spain
    • Failed due to public awareness and sectional conflict
      • Northerners viewed it as southern attempt to expand slavery
  • Gadsden Purchase (1853)
    • $10 million for land to build railroad
    • Debate over slavery slowed negotiations and showed how slavery gripped the politics and nation
slavery and literature
Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

Moral and emotional argument against slavery

Impending Crisis of the South by Hinton Helper (1857)

Empirical analysis of economic impact of slavery on the South

Sociology for the South (1854) by George Fitzhugh

Capitalism and liberalism virtually enslaved the lower classes

Slavery not only for black but also poor whites

Cannibals All! (1857) by George Fitzhugh

Southern slaves lived more productive and healthier lives than Northern wage workers

Slavery and Literature
underground railroad
Underground Railroad
  • Established as a network of stations to help slaves escape into the North or Canada
    • Fugitive Slave Law forced escaped slaves to venture for Canada
  • Mostly run by free blacks and fugitive slaves
    • Harriet Tubman and Box Brown
  • Abolitionists and white supporters
    • Few white families in South assisted
    • Slave catchers knowledge
election of 1852
Election of 1852
  • Democrats nominate Franklin Pierce
    • Compromise choice
    • “dark horse” candidate
    • “Doughface”
  • Whigs nominate Winfield Scott
    • Conscience Whigs
    • Cotton Whigs
the death of compromising
The Death of Compromising?
  • The Compromise of 1850 was the last major debate of the Great Triumvirate
  • The Great Triumvirate was no more by 1852
    • John C. Calhoun died in 1850
    • Henry Clay and Daniel Webster died in 1852
  • Stephen Douglas, William Seward, Jefferson Davis become the next generation of political leaders in Congress
kansas nebraska act 1854
Kansas-Nebraska Act (1854)
  • Stephen Douglas’s attempt to build a transcontinental railroad in central U.S. out of Chicago needed Southern support
  • Kansas-Nebraska Act
    • Separate Nebraska Territory into Nebraska and Kansas
    • Each territory voted for slavery based on popular sovereignty
  • Legacy
    • Douglas won his railroad and Southern support
    • Dissolved the Missouri Compromise’s 36’ 30 line
    • Signaled end of the Whig Party
    • Led to rise of the Republican Party
end of second party system
End of Second Party System
  • Whigs split among northern and southern factions
  • Democrats dominated government
  • Social and political tensions led to third parties
    • Know Nothing Party
    • Free Soil Party
    • Republican Party
the republican party
The Republican Party
  • Founded in 1854 in Wisconsin as reaction to Kansas-Nebraska Act and Fugitive Slave Law
  • Coalition of Free Soil and anti-slavery Whigs and Democrats
    • Abolitionists found indirect support in Republicans
  • Members mostly included northern and western moderates
  • Platform:
    • Increasingly against expansion of slavery
    • Protective tariffs
    • Homestead Act/sale of federal lands
    • Funding for transcontinental railroad
election of 1856
Election of 1856
  • Democrats nominate Pennsylvanian James Buchanan as safe bet
    • “Doughface”
  • Republicans have strong showing for sectional party
    • Nominate John Fremont
  • Attested to growing sectionalism and conflict between North and South
bleeding kansas 1854 1861
Bleeding Kansas (1854-1861)
  • Kansas Territory settled by two groups: anti-slavery Midwesterners and pro-slavery settlers from Missouri
  • Establishment of different types of governments led to further fighting and deaths
  • President Pierce and the federal government did little to suppress the violence
brooks sumner incident may 22 1856
Brooks-Sumner IncidentMay 22, 1856
  • Senator Charles Sumner (MA) criticized administration and other Senators for Bleeding Kansas, Slave Power
    • ‘Crime Against Kansas’ Speech
  • Rep. Preston Brooks (SC) defends his uncle by caning Sumner
  • Northern politicians ask for censure while Southerners applaud Brooks
lecompton constitution 1857 1858
Lecompton Constitution (1857-1858)
  • Kansas legislature attempts to draft constitution for U.S. admission
  • Bitter and embarrassing fight to determine free state or slave state status
  • President Buchanan pushes pro-slavery Lecompton Constitution to Congress
    • Despite Kansas vote to not enter as a slave state
  • Legacy
    • Republicans viewed it as another conspiracy of pro-slavery forces and Democrats/doughfaces
    • Douglas’s opposition and Buchanan’s efforts split the Democrats
scott v sandford 1857 dred scott decision
Scott v. Sandford (1857)Dred Scott Decision
  • No citizenship for blacks
  • Slaves as property
  • Missouri Compromise is unconstitutional
  • “[Blacks] had for more than a century before been regarded as beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the white race, either in social or political relations, and so far unfit that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect.” – Chief Justice Roger Taney
panic of 1857
Panic of 1857
  • Causes
    • Decline in European purchase of agricultural goods
    • Decline in grain prices
    • Ohio Life Insurance and Trust Co. fails
    • Overspeculation and railroad company failures
    • Dred Scott Decision
  • Northern banking and industries, Great Lakes region hit hard while Southern cotton farming not much affected
    • Senator James Hammond (D-SC) – “Cotton is King Speech”
      • Mudsill Theory
lincoln douglas debates 1858
Lincoln-Douglas Debates (1858)
  • “A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free.” – Abraham Lincoln
  • Douglas stated Lincoln’s moral position against slavery denotes racial equality
  • Freeport Doctrine
    • Douglas affirms popular sovereignty in wake of Dred Scott if voters and legislatures refuse to enact slave codes
    • Traps Douglas between choosing affirmation of Supreme Court decision to protect slavery and popular sovereignty
  • Douglas elected to U.S. Senate for Illinois
john brown and harper s ferry
John Brown and Harper’s Ferry
  • John Brown was a radical abolitionist
  • Famous/Infamous for exploits in Bleeding Kansas
  • Attempts to lead a slave revolt by raiding federal arsenal at Harper’s Ferry (1859)
  • Federal troops lay siege and capture Brown who is executed by Virginia government
  • Northerners condemn violence but honestly regret failure; Southerners feared insurrection from slaves and the North
  • "I, John Brown, am now quite certain that the crimes of this guilty land will never be purged away but with blood. I had, as I now think, vainly flattered myself that without very much bloodshed it might be done."
election of 1860
Election of 1860
  • Democrats fracture
    • Douglas secures nomination from moderates
    • Breckenridge selected by Southern Democrats
  • Republicans solid under Lincoln
    • Tariffs, infrastructure, no expansion of slavery
  • Crittenden Compromise
    • Slavery legal south of 36’ 30; fails
  • Electoral victory by Lincoln leads to secession
    • South Carolina secedes in December 1860
  • Confederate States of America
    • Established February 8, 1861
    • Will include South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, [FORT SUMTER], Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee, North Carolina
sectionalist presidents william henry harrison whig 1841
Sectionalist PresidentsWilliam Henry Harrison - Whig(1841)
  • War hero of Battle of Tippecanoe
  • Whigs portray him as a common man
    • Log Cabin and Hard Cider
    • Tippecanoe and Tyler Too!
    • Really came from a wealthy, slave-owning family from Virginia
  • Inaugural Address
    • Cold and wet day
    • Wanted to prove he was strong like Jackson despite his critics
    • Walked entire route and gave two hour speech without hat or overcoat
  • Death
    • Contracts pneumonia and dies a month later
sectionalist presidents john tyler whig 1841 1845
Sectionalist PresidentsJohn Tyler - Whig(1841-1845)
  • Born from Virginia planter aristocracy
  • U.S. Senator
    • Supported Jackson’s war on the Bank, but supported South Carolina in Nullification Crisis
  • Assumes presidency after Harrison’s death
    • “His Accidency” and “His Ascendency”
  • Fights against own Whig party policies
    • Cabinet resigns in protest
    • Whig Party disavows him
sectionalist presidents james k polk democrat 1845 1849
Sectionalist PresidentsJames K. Polk - Democrat(1845-1849)
  • Darkhorse candidate
  • Ardent expansionist
    • Believed in Manifest Destiny
    • Oregon - “54 40 or Fight!”
    • Texas annexation
    • Mexican-American War
      • Mexican Cession
  • Legacy
    • Polk’s land acquisitions stirred debate on slavery and disrupted the balance of free and slave states
sectionalist presidents zachary taylor whig 1849 1850
Sectionalist PresidentsZachary Taylor - Whig(1849-1850)
  • War hero of Mexican-American War
  • Political novice and criticized over intellect
  • Views on Slavery
    • Slaveowner
    • Defender of South’s right to slavery
      • But opposed to idea of secession
    • Against expansion of slavery in new territories
    • Disagreed with Compromise of 1850
  • Died after a year in office
sectionalist presidents millard fillmore whig 1850 1853
Sectionalist PresidentsMillard Fillmore - Whig(1850-1853)
  • Assumes the presidency after Taylor’s death
  • Enthusiastically signs Compromise of 1850
    • Fugitive Slave Law bitterly opposed by North
    • Reluctantly supported by Southerners
  • Effect on Whig Party
    • Policies lead to party fracture and eventual dissolution
      • Conscience Whigs
      • Cotton Whigs
sectionalist presidents franklin pierce democrat 1853 1857
Sectionalist PresidentsFranklin Pierce - Democrat(1853-1857)
  • Jackson Democrat from New Hampshire
  • Ardent expansionist and submissive to pro-slavery forces
    • Supported Compromise of 1850
    • Signed the Kansas-Nebraska Act
      • Supported pro-slavery Kansas settlers
      • Barely addressed violence in Bleeding Kansas
    • Signed the Gadsden Purchase
    • Ostend Manifesto - Cuba
    • William Walker and Nicaragua
      • Endorsed Walker’s filibuster efforts
sectionalist presidents james buchanan democrat 1857 1861
Sectionalist PresidentsJames Buchanan - Democrat(1857-1861)
  • Democrat from Pennsylvania
  • Considered slavery evil, but unwilling to challenge its legitimacy
    • Supported Kansas-Nebraska Act and Dred Scott decision
  • Weak against growing secessionist threat and movement