Can the United States Justify the Civil War

Essay by Brian LeComteCollege, Undergraduate January 1997

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The definition of Manifest Destiny reads as: 'The belief in the 1840's in the inevitable territorial expansion of the United States, especially as advocated by southern slaveholders who wished to extend slavery into new territories.' This explanation was transcribed from the World Book Encyclopedia's dictionary. It is directly evident that from this unbiased statement we can trace the first uprising of a separate group of people yearning to break the newly formed bond of the great United States.

Before and during the Mexican War, the people who were pushing for the claimed land once owned by innocent native americans, were always looking for a scapegoat. They needed one way or another, a way to squirm out of taking the blame for the enslaved and murdered Mexican causalities. There was one man, though, who would not let this happen, David Wilmot. David Wilmot was a democrat from Pennsylvania, who was willing to revise the President's bill.

In this revision, Wilmot proposed '...neither slavery nor involuntary servitude shall ever exist in any part of the territory...'. This was not well liked by the South and eventhough it was given thumbs up many times in the senate, our newly formed country was now bordered by fresh land. The Wilmot Proviso underwent quite a bit of pressure so that compromises could satisfy each side.

The Compromise of 1850 was soon to follow but the real catch of the same year was the Fugitive Slave Act. This act was invented so that the slaves of slaveowners, who took them to a slave-free state on a vacation or something, could not escape. In this act, the hardest part to understand, was that the courts were to try to give a fair trial to any runaway slaves. This enfuriated many of the Northern abolitionists who now...