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A Nation in Crisis: The American Civil War

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University of Toronto St. George
Dr.Liamvan Beek

HIS271 A Nation in Crisis November 17 2010 Americas Civil War Why in 1861? Why did compromise fail? How was the Civil War a turning point in American history? What changed? What was the effect of the war upon American citizens? The civil war did two things: 1. Succeeded in uniting the states together in a common national purpose 2. Intensified the divisions within the states, but these divisions became more cultural and social. Two visions of the country fuse into one at the end of the war. As important as the battles were the causes of the war were equally important Causes of the War Territorial Expansion For many, land = power and control control over the direction the government is going, etc. How new land was going to be acquired in the United States as they expanded westward was of the utmost importance Wilmot Proviso, 1846 As theyre moving West, and as land west of Louisiana was acquired, Southerners assumed the land would be made slave states Northerners felt they should compromise Set forth by a Northerner senator, David Wilmot, stating that any land acquired by negotiation would be prohibited from using slave labour Emerged as a response to conflict over the extension of the Missouri For Polk, the president, the land meant that the population could be dispersed, as well as slave populations being dispersed which would decrease the chances of slave insurrections
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