"Manifest Destiny" and Slavery

Essay by essaymonsterHigh School, 11th gradeA+, May 2006

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Manifest Destiny in combination with the slavery issue greatly contributed to secession and Civil War. Manifest Destiny was the idea that the US was chosen by God to populate the Americas. The 1800s were a time of expansion but every time the US gained land they had to deal with the issue of slavery. Some believed the US should deal with the new lands by making them slave states, free states, or by the idea of popular sovereignty. The main factor that contributed to sectionalism and the split of the US was that a republican northerner was elected as president. The South strongly felt that they could survive on their own and that the North was going to abolish slavery so they succeeded from the union.

Manifest Destiny stated that God chose America over all of the other countries in the world to expand and become stronger within the Americas.

There were different

levels that Americans thought they should populate America to but the main theme was to expand and grow stronger. This created conflict because Americans did know how to

deal with the slavery issue. According to Document A, Emerson states "The United Stated will conquer Mexico, but it will be as the man [who] swallows the arsenic...Mexico will poison us." The annexation of Texas created a lot of controversy and some believe it contributed to the Civil War. The US at this point was just focused on acquiring land and did not know how to deal with it.

Many of the presidents feared that if they dealt with the slavery problem that it would get worse. Anything relating to slavery was generally ignored in government. The government could only forbid slavery or allow it in the new states. The North wanted to stop the extension of slavery into...