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The Impact of Territorial Expansion on National Unity Between 1800 and 1850.

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Between 1800-1850 the United States was a dividing nation going through immense change. The theory of manifest destiny led Americans to believe it was their duty to spread from "sea to shinning sea". However, national unity was declining as more territories were added to the country. As more land was added, problems arouse on how to govern the new territories. The issue of the extension slavery became the main force in destroying the national unity. Most Americans believed in providential territorial expansion, but it was the spreading of slavery into the new lands that divided the North from the South and led to the dissolution among the nation.

In 1820, the issue of slavery came to the forefront of American politics. The organization of the Louisiana Territory created several smaller territories that awaited the mandatory number of citizens to become a state. At the time of Missouri's application for statehood slave states and free states were equally represented in US senate. the The debate rose over how new states should be admitted, free or slave. When Alabama was admitted at the end of 1819, bringing an balance to the number of slave and free states. BY January, Maine entered as a free state offsetting the balance. When Missouri applied for statehood, the free states looked to take a two state lead; significant when you consider how many extra votes that would bring to Congress. Congress stepped up to negotiate the addition of Missouri to the United States by declaring that it would enter as a slave state, but all other states to enter the union north of Missouri's southern border, the 36ยบ30' parallel. The free states grew angry because even though they got Maine to balance out, it still made them worry that the slave states would start to encroach on the free part of the Union. Thus, Missouri became the center of a national controversy that threatened to undermine the country's already precarious national unity.

In the 8 years since 1836, Mexico considered Texas as a province in revolt and refused to recognize Texas's independence. Mexico threatened war if the America protected Texas. Texas made treaties with France, Holland, and Belgium. Britain wanted to have relations with Texas because Britain could try to make Texas tear America apart. Britain wanted Texas as an independent ally. In the 8 years since 1836, Mexico considered Texas as a province in revolt and refused to recognize Texas's independence. Mexico threatened war if the America protected Texas. Texas made treaties with France, Holland, and Belgium. Britain wanted to have relations with Texas because Britain could try to make Texas tear America apart. Britain wanted Texas as an independent ally. The Mexican War was a major cause for national disunity. The Mexican War started when President Polk sent troop into the "Disputed zone" between the newly annexed territory of Texas and Mexico. Polk wanted to provoke the Mexicans into attacking the troops so he had areas on to invade. The Mexican War brought about the conflict of slavery between the states. David Wilmot- proposed the amendment that stated that the territory from Mexico should remain slave-free. This Wilmot Amendment never passed the Senate because the Southern members did not want to be robbed of possible slave states to arise in the future from the land gain in the Treaty of Guadalupe.

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