Essay Example: Westward Expansion Increased Tension Around Slavery

Published: 2023-07-14
Essay Example: Westward Expansion Increased Tension Around Slavery
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Slavery American history
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 955 words
8 min read

Since the American Constitution was first drafted in 1787, the Southern and Northern States have been in constant drift in aspects such as economy, ideology, and social structure. States within the northern region always revolted against being forced to Union. They termed as being peculiar. The earlier established, however, became significant after a debate on slaves' expansion into the western territory parts of the United States. The problem in existence was, however, solved through compromisation by the federal government (Ohman, 419). There was an excellent tension established by the divide, which could have possibly resulted in a potential civil war. The influence of the federal government was, however, based on one side, which led to strengthening the hostility between the two regions. The paper focuses on Westward expansion and the rising tension between the slavery forces. The article provides an in-depth analysis of the forces within Antebellum America by exploring the Northern and Southern States Divide in the USA.

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With the existence of disunity across the United States of America, both the Southern and Northern regions ran the different economic and social systems. Aspects such as government influence in enhancing the divide caused a significant impact on the creation of the future civil war. The actions were taken by Charles summer, and Andrew Butler, the South Carolina senator, clearly indicates the existing tension between the Pro and antislavery was disunified. After an argument on the correct location for establishing Kansas, it was finally suggested to be on the Country's Northern region. It, however, shows significant differing of the political thoughts. As a result, the tension between the south and the North was in constant gain as both parties failed to agree on the slave trade.

There was also a claim that Butler was interested in leading a large mass of South Carolina's State to boycott the Union. The application, therefore, shows clearly the existing division, which contrary led to the Unity threat in the entire USA (Berwanger). North felt it was their most significant moment to exercise a free market through the provision of free labor by the slaves. On the other hand, the south felt left out by the Union since it lacked the fundamental right to exercise its economy.

Slavery expansion into the westward led to the emergence of civil war. A famous abolitionist known as Charles Summer, the Massachusetts senator, experienced a high cost on antislavery speech. The speech had considerable influence on the whole nation with enormous aftermath actions, including his attack by Butler. He was also supporting the ban of slavery expansion to the western parts. Considering other antislavery leaders such as Summer, their influence led to the civil war whose key participants were Northern and Southern States, which fought independently.

The collision of the socio-economic institutions in both north and south states also occurred due to the expansion of slaves westward. Even though the north and south states had different opinions and had different beliefs, the expansion of the slaves brought them together. According to various researches made concerning the collision, the conflict was termed as irresponsible as it only resulted after the market for slaves intensified westward. The studies also stated that the war against slavery led to the start of the need for two systems of government. Also, the fight for slavery to continue led to the rise of the two systems of government.

The combination of both factors would result in the "irresponsible conflict." Arguments concerning how the two systems would affect national unity followed. The existence of the two systems was not a threat. The actual challenge occurred on how the federal government would be able to control both systems since they were opposing each other, with one fighting for slavery and the other against it. While looking at the big picture, the two systems would affect factors such as transportation systems, commerce, and marketing and, in return, the entire economy of the country. They created difficulties for smooth socio-economic activities to take place, and the country could not move uniformly in one direction. Also, socio-economic policies to govern the situation would require re-evaluation during such critical times, and it could cost the country dearly when deciding on which system to be ruled against.

The westward expansion also led to the emergence of two political concepts. One requested for a revolution to hold by advocating for free labor while the other emphasized on the need for slave labor. The situation provided a challenging aspect while determining when the national government would intervene and on which side it would support. Also, through this, the westward expansion impacted the constitution negatively by confusing whether the slaves enjoyed their human rights or whether they were allowed to cherish their freedom. Westward development led to a negative image of the country being portrayed. Claims were made that not only did the slaves fail to achieve their freedom, but also civilized men and women. The slaves on the southern states cried for freedom, while those on the northern side were enjoying freedom.


The westward expansion of slaves affected the entire country negatively. It led to the rise of different systems, and the unity of the country was broken due to fighting for or against slavery. It led to confusion, and the USA government obtained a bad image because they could not decide whether to support slavery or eliminate it. The worst part is that it led to civil war in the country.

Works Cited

Ohman, Martin. "A Convergence of Crises: The Expansion of Slavery, Geopolitical Realignment, and Economic Depression in the Post-Napoleonic World." Diplomatic History 37.3 (2013): 419-445.

Berwanger, Eugene H. The frontier against slavery: Western anti-Negro prejudice and the slavery extension controversy. University of Illinois Press, 2002.

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