Westward Expansion and Sectional Strife
Westward Expansion and Sectional Strife
Trends and Themes of the Era
  • In the first half of the nineteenth century, the United States and its citizens were moved by a belief in manifest destiny, which held that it was the right and fate of the United States to cover the continent.
  • Technology, specifically in the form of the railroad, dramatically accelerated expansion.
  • Expansion intensified the sectional tension between the North and South by bringing to the forefront the issue of the extension of slavery into the West. Brief compromises relieved the tension from time to time, but no compromise was able to resolve the fundamental differences between the North and South.
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