US History Manifest Destiny LEQ, Essay Example

US History Manifest Destiny LEQ, Essay Example

The main issue that led to the growth of tension between the North and south during American westward expansion was expanding slavery to the West. White settlers who did not prefer slaves believed that slaveholders in the new territories would create competition. The North had an opposing view about the expansion of slavery as it had an influx of immigrants who readily provided labor (Halabi, 1). The south was a great supporter due to the fact that slaves were the backbone of its cotton culture.  The tension also heightened in the debate whereby territories petitioned to the congress to become states. The south had opposing viewpoints about the process due to the states being supporters of anti-slavery. The main reason behind the growing sectional tensions between the North and south during westward expansion was the differing support towards slavery.

One of the main reasons behind the southern states having strong support for slavery is that they largely depended on agriculture and slaves to uplift the economy (Kim, 58). The main crops produced were cotton, tobacco, sugar, and rice, whereby forced labor made farming more profitable. Therefore slaveholders in the states saw expansion as a way of growing their farming practice. Northern states opposing the expansion of slavery to the West aimed to settle its increasing who had the objective of practicing subsistence farming. Opposing slavery was as a result of viewing slaveholders to be competitors. To solve the issue, policymakers came up with the Missouri Compromise of 2020. The compromise allowed slave states would have equal rights to free states in the senate. It also provided that two members from each southern state assess northern domination in the House of Representatives.

The Missouri compromise successfully reduced the tensions for a few years, but in 1831, the south began campaigns to justify slavery. Nat Turner’s rebellion played a significant role in increasing the tension. The nullification also played a significant role in increasing the tensions between the North and south. South Carolina trying to block federal tariffs that had the main objective of fostering industrial growth in the North created the perception in many southerners that the North aimed at using federal power to cripple its economy. The Texas revolution also increased the tension between the North and south during American westward expansion. The revolution started as a result of Anglo-American settlers wanting to maintain slavery in Mexico even after abolition. This led the northerners to criticize the settlers claiming that they had more interest in slavery than those attached to the nation.

In conclusion, the growing sectional tensions between the North and South during the period from 1820 to 1855 were a result of differing opinions concerning slavery. The southerners wanted an expansion of slavery to the West, while the northerners had an opposing view. The North wanted to settle its increasing population due to migration, while the south aimed at expanding agriculture, which supported its economy. Northerners viewed southern slaveholders to be competitors as they wanted to venture into subsistence farming. The Missouri compromise played a significant in relaxing the tension for several years. The nullification crisis also grew the tensions between the North and south.  Southerners also held the belief that the northerners had the aim to use federal power to destroy its economy. Varying supports towards slavery led to tension between the North and South during American westward expansion.

Works Cited

Halabi, Gina. “Westward Expansion And The American Civil War – US History Scene.” US History Scene, 2020,

Kim, Jung. “The Outbreak Of The American Civil War: Political, Economic, And Moral Conflict Due To Slavery.” Langara.Ca, 2018,

US History Manifest Destiny LEQ, Essay Example

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