AP HISTORY DBQ
The idea of Manifest destiny emerged in the 1840’s and said that the people of America were chosen by God to control the North American continent. But as Americans pushed West in hopes of territorial expansion, they encountered many problems. The North and South became increasingly belligerent towards each other specifically over the controversies of slavery. Due the nation annexing new lands, the status of slavery was on everyone’s minds. The Missouri
Compromise which was supposed to settle this debate failed to prevent the conflict. So a dangerous crisis occurred. Although territorial expansion reflected the hopeful wishes of God, it only sparked a huge debate over slavery.
Those who opposed Manifest destiny feared it would bring up the controversial issue of slavery and threaten the Union. Specifically, the North was synonymous for its abolitionist movement and thus would not compromise until slavery was eliminated. On the other hand, the
South defended the institutions of slavery by saying it was “a positive system for white southerners who needed a labor force”. However on the positive side of Manifest Destiny, many saw this expansion as a symbol of nationalism. The proponents agreed with its idea but there were mixed opinions on if they should use force and how far should the nation expand. The
Democrats favored the use of force to extend the border while the Whigs favored extension
through diplomacy. Henry Clay, a Whig and solid opponents of territorial expansion, feared like the people of its potential to aggravate the issue of slavery.
The Missouri Compromise had divided up the Louisiana Purchase and said all the territory north would not permit slavery while those in the south would. Yet this only fueled more debate when settlers were trying to spread from “sea to shining sea,” thus overstepping the boundaries of the compromise. So with Americans in Texas, Oregon county, New Mexico and
California, the debate became even more heated. In Texas, after declaring its independence from
Dictator Santa Anna, the debate was to annex it or not. Still everyone was questioning the issue of slavery. When Calhoun presented the annexation treaty to congress it was