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How did expansion in the 1840s and 1850s lead to problems with the Second Party System?

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stevenbawi103 | Student, College Sophomore | eNoter

Posted July 3, 2012 at 3:51 PM via web

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How did expansion in the 1840s and 1850s lead to problems with the Second Party System?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted July 3, 2012 at 4:03 PM (Answer #1)

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Expansion led to conflicts over slavery and conflicts over slavery led to serious problems that ended the Second Party System.

The Whigs and the Democrats were both national parties with followers in both the North and South.  When the US expanded in the time you mention, the Northern and Southern wings of the two parties started to split apart.  They did this because expansion led to conflict over whether the newly acquired territories would be free or slave.  When these conflicts arose, the parties started to come apart along sectional lines and the Second Party System dissolved

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