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Mid3 - Essay Example

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Part ONE: Disunion: Tell me how Polk’s election and the US-Mexican War lit the fuse to disunion. Describe and explain the breakup of the Union between 1848 and 1861. What roles did slavery, generational change, poor presidential leadership and the breakup of the Whig and Democratic Parties play?…
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Mid3

Download file to see previous pages... This was swiftly followed by the addition of Florida as a slave state (Brinkley, 440). Additionally, the US-Mexican war was potentially provoked during Polk’s presidency, as they were already annoyed by the annexation of Texas. He was also interested in purchasing Baja California and New Mexico, which was seen as an insult and the Mexicans felt disarmed by this new president and his choices (Brinkley, 443). Polk himself provoked the war, using the new Texas-Mexico border as justification. The US-Mexican war was another provocation towards disunion because many of those living in the Southern states and former Mexican territories were in support of the war, but those living in the north felt it to be unnecessary. Ulysses S. Grant felt the war to be immoral, which suggests the position of many of the Northern Whigs. At the time, there was mounting tension about a number of issues in the U.S. which eventually led to a break-up of the Union between 1848 and 1861. Slavery was a growing concern, with many slave-owning states being concerned about the lack of economic security that would come from abolition, and those in the north feeling slave ownership to be immoral. Millard Fillmore became the last Whig president. Fillmore hated slavery but enforced the new Fugitive Slave Law, which meant that many African Americans were being arrested and had to escape to Canada to escape slavery (Brinkley, 425). The Whig party was also affected by many of the developments at the time, as they felt offended by the compromise of 1850, and there was a divide in the presidential candidate backed by Southern Whigs and Northern Whigs. This dissent in the party ranks eventually led to the dissolution of the Whig party, and is the reason why Millard Fillmore was the last Whig president. Additionally, Pierce was elected President by the majority but is widely acknowledged to be one of the worst U.S. presidents in history (Brinkley, 424). He attempted to save the Union by backing pro-slavery sentiments, which makes him unusual for a Yankee. He signed the Kansas-Nebraska Act drafted by Illinois Senator Stephen Douglas, allowing the people of all Western Territories to vote whether or not to permit slavery (Brinkley, 426). This meant that there could be a change in the divide between pro- and anti-slavery states in the United States, starting a period of intense turmoil. It is important to note that slavery was not the only important aspect of the break-up of the Union, but is a major contributing factor to a number of problems that were occurring across the new continental United States, which was growing in size. Part TWO: The Civil War: In what way did the Confederacy embody Calhoun’s version of Jeffersonianism? In what way did the Union under Lincoln embody the Whig/Republican version of Hamiltonianism? How did Lincoln turn the war into a Second American Revolution? Why were Antietam, Vicksburg, Gettysburg and the election of 1864 important? How and why did the Union eventually prevail? The Confederacy was born out of several states, started by South Carolina in 1860, declaring their independence from the United States as it was (Brinkley, 451). There were several issues that led to this disillusion, one of which being slavery. The Confederacy can be said to embody Calhoun’s version of Jeffersonianism by promoting minimal government, preventing the use of tariffs and funding public works. This is in stark contrast to Hamiltonianism and many of the elements of the United ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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