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In what ways did laws and actions concerning the westward expansion of the United states in the first half of the 19th Century ( - Essay Example

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In what ways did laws and actions concerning the westward expansion of the United states in the first half of the 19th Century (through the 1850s) reflect and influence the disagreements between the anti slavery and pro-slavery people? The issue of slavery and the events leading to its abolition in the United States is one of the most colorful, yet tragic, in the country’s history…
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In what ways did laws and actions concerning the westward expansion of the United states in the first half of the 19th Century (
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Download file to see previous pages As time passed by, however, negotiations gradually grew difficult as factions began polarizing triggered by events that defined each state’s values and interests. This was particularly evidenced during the westward territorial expansion of the US in the early 19th century. These events cultivated and advanced the schism that ultimately led to the Civil War between the North and the South. The Louisiana Purchase, for example, which was negotiated by the Jefferson government in 1803 with Napoleon Bonaparte, became an issue of contention between anti-slavery and pro-slavery in the halls of Congress. Petitions from various northern states, which were anti-slavery, urging the prohibition of slavery in the newly purchased territory, were delivered both in Congress and the Senate by their representatives. Foremost among the anti-slavery speeches were delivered by the representatives from Illinois and Pennsylvania. Representative Cook of Illinois proposed the granting of the Louisiana territory to slave owners in exchange of abandoning the practice. On the other hand, pro-slavery states such as Smith of South Carolina and Smyth of Virginia fiercely defended slavery as a natural state of condition of black people (Shearer 2004). Another historical event within the same period that saw the clash of the anti-slavery north and pro-slavery south was when Missouri applied for statehood in 1820. Most Missouri settlers at that time came from the south, bringing with them their slaves. Immediately, the anti-slavery north representatives objected to the application unless Missouri ban all future slave imports and institute a gradual slave freedom scheme, and the Senate rejected to deliberate and vote on the issue at all. In what is known as the Missouri Compromise, Missouri was finally allowed statehood conditioned on the term that all future slavery north of the southern Missouri boundary will be banned. The Compromise essentially resulted in the creation of a fictional westward north-south line that governed the state of slavery in all of the US. The anti-slavery north was at least gratified that most of the territories included in the Louisiana Purchase were north of said boundary (Bergad 2005). The Missouri Compromise turned out to have left some issues unsettled that eventually emerged when Missouri’s constitution included a provision that called for the exclusion of free Negroes and mulattoes from its jurisdiction. Once again, debates in Congress and the Senate over slavery became alive. In a subsequent negotiation known as the Second Missouri Compromise, Missouri was finally admitted for statehood with an added provision as a caveat that the provision in issue shall not imply blanket authority to enact laws that impair the rights of citizens (Bergrad 2005). The Texas application in 1836 as a slave state for admission into the Union was another instance of overt and passionate clash between pro and anti-slavery factions that eventually led to the Civil War. It was some thought, the straw that eventually broke the camel’s back. Texas was a chief producer of cotton and this industry was largely hinged on slavery labor. When Texas was admitted into the union as a slave state, the feeling of antipathy ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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