Western Expansion, Manifest Destiny, and the Mexican-American War

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How did Westward expansion impact American society between 1800 and 1860? I need a few specific examples which will show how the expansion impacted American society.

Westward expansion impacted American society between 1800 and 1860 in a variety of ways, including providing incentive for expansions in transportation and fueling the debate over slavery.

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Westward expansion played a critical role in shaping the debates surrounding slavery and the escalation of tensions between North and South which ultimately led to the Civil War. Remember, these territories would eventually be made into states (and this was a fact of which both slave-owners and abolitionists were well aware).

The turmoil over the question of slavery was awakened from the rapid expansion of the 1840s, when the United States (through its purchase of the Oregon territory and its defeat of Mexico in the Mexican-American War) would be extended to the Pacific. Later, in the aftermath of the California Gold Rush, California would apply for statehood, with slavery outlawed by its constitution.

This moment awakened debate over the issue of slavery, with both slave-owners and abolitionists entrenching themselves on this question. On the congressional level, the crisis was managed via Henry Clay's Great Compromise, but this compromise only awakened further tensions, both through...

(The entire section contains 5 answers and 1040 words.)

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