Territorial Expansion Of The United States Essay

Essay about Territorial Expansion 1800-1850

1104 Words5 Pages

From the years 1800-1850 the nation was full of battles and prosperity. Territorial expansion was a cause in most of the battles, but also gained prosperity for the nation. There were many impacts on national unity between those time periods, but the main impact was territorial expansion. This is true because of the Louisiana Purchase, the purchase of Oregon territory, and the Mexican War. The Louisiana Purchase was the most important event of President Thomas Jefferson's first Administration. In this transaction, the United States bought 827,987 square miles of land from France for about $15 million. This vast area lay between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains, stretching…show more content…

The Louisiana Purchase was the first notable acquisition to national unity, for it allowed contact between states to expand and helped to unite some the of the southern states. A long history of dispute characterized the ownership of the Oregon territory, which included present-day Oregon, Washington, Idaho and portions of Montana, Wyoming, and British Columbia. Spain and Russia had surrendered their claims to the region, but the United States and Britain were active claimants in the early 19th century's early years. The matter's resolution was delayed by the Anglo-American Convention of 1818, in which both parties agreed to a temporary policy of "joint occupation" of the region. This accommodation was extended in 1827. During the 1830s, the American position came to favor establishment of the northern border arguing that the nation required no less. The British, however, wanted to see the southern boundary of British Columbia established at the Columbia River and based their claims on the Hudson's Bay Company's long history in the area. The British position weakened in the early 1840s as large numbers of American settles poured into the disputed area over the Oregon Trail. Possession of Oregon became an issue in the election of 1844. Democratic candidate James K. Polk took an extreme view by advocating the placement of

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From 1800 to 1850 territorial expansion tore the United States apart. Territorial expansion itself was not a debated issue. Spurred by the concept of Manifest Destiny, almost everyone believed that America should extend from sea to shining sea and maybe even farther. But it was the issue of the expansion of slavery into the new territories that pitted the North against the South and split our nation apart.

The first real crisis over territorial expansion took place in 1819-1821 over the admission of the state of Missouri. The proposed state of Missouri was the first (beside Louisiana itself) to be carved out of the Louisiana Purchase. It lay out of the jurisdiction of the Northwest Ordinance, which prohibited slavery in the Northwest Territories, and had a long tradition of slavery. Therefore, in 1817 Missouri applied to the Union as a slave state. The extension of slavery so far north and the threat of further expansion of slavery into all new territories of the U.S.

created havoc in Congress. In February 1819, Congressman James Tallmadge, from New York, proposed an amendment that would prohibit any new slaves to enter the state and provided that all slave children born after the date of admission would be set free at the age of twenty-five. Tallmadge's gradual emancipation proviso received almost unanimous opposition from Southern Congressmen. The amendment twice passed the North dominated House of Representatives, only to be turned down by the balanced Senate. In December 1819, Maine applied for statehood as a free state. In the end a compromise was reached where Maine would enter the Union as a free state, Missouri would enter the Union as a slave state without restrictions, but in the remaining Louisiana territory slavery would be prohibited north of 36o30' (the Mason-Dixon Line). This is now known...


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