HIST 1311 Final Exam (Mini Essays)

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Discuss the legacies of the Mexican-American War. Many of the opponents to \”Mr. Polk’s War\” criticized it as a blatant act of imperial greed – do you agree? Why or why not? In what ways did the Mexican-American War directly contribute to the sectional tensions that further separated the North and the South?
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Treaty of Guadelupe Hidalgo ended the Mexican-American War. US & Mexico essentially agreed to exchange TX, CA (part of the NM territory before), establishing the Rio Grande as the southern border between the countries. Legacies: o This transfer of territory was larger than the LA Purchase. o A massive amount of land acquired by the US. o US expanded its size by over a third. This was the US first successful imperial war. o It was a crushing defeat of Mexico, a country that is still trying to get its own independent govt established at that time war begin. o Victory of this war led to a surge of national pride but overtime people came to see it as a shameful war of aggression. Many people in the north opposed this war & they called it Mr. Polk’s war. Polk intentionally tried to expand the U.S. territory for the expansion of slavery. Polk ran on a platform of annexing Texas and was willing to declare war to keep this promise. The purpose of the war was to keep the land that Polk had annexed. This is going to cause lots of conflict politically in the US. Polk believed that the territorial expansion results in greater unification of the US, he was wrong. This acquisitions lead to eruptions of the debate over the expansion of slavery into the territories. Northerners believed that the expansion of the territory would benefit slaveholders and so they disagreed with it. Southerners approved of the War because they wanted to gain more land where they could practice slavery. Debate that ultimately led to the Civil War.
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How did the anti-slavery movement develop and spread in the North? What were the different agendas that existed within this movement? In discussing southerners’ reactions to the movement, explain how the rise of abolitionism affected southern perceptions of \”The Peculiar Institution.\”
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The anti-slavery movement in the North got its start through a huge amount of abolitionist literature, meetings, & propaganda. The movement is so popular it spreads everywhere including the south. Abolitionists started establishing that slavery is a sin and Satanic: if you are a slave owner, then you go to hell. Some Northerners also oppose slavery because it causes production to go up in the south and is an economic threat to Northern factories. But the abolition of slavery would be economically devastating to the south. The Southern states depended on slavery and one another. • The American Colonization Society, 1817. o Garrison was a member of this society. o Claimed to be anti-slavery. o Remove the remembrance of slavery from America. o This society didn’t want to end slavery. American Anti-Slavery Society, 1833. o Larger & more popular abolitionists’ society. American Anti- Slavery Society was founded 1833 and it was aided by Garrison. He believed that the original American Colonization Society was too weak on slavery. By 1840s over 160000 members were in the north. It was popular with people on the rural communities. The Lower South By 1860, half of the population of the slaves in US was in the lower south. People were defensive, vocal in their defense of slavery. The Middle South VA, NC, TN, & AR o More diversified agricultural economy The Upper South/Border States o When secession happens in outbreak of the civil war occurs. Involves, DE, MD, KY, & MO. o Slavery in decline. Due to the differences between the regions, each area had varying levels of support. In 1860, when southern states had to make the decision. Whether to secede or not, many of the Border States don’t. They are not dependent upon slavery by that point. The Abolition movement said that slavery was evil and that slave-owners were evil, but because the Southerners needed slavery economically, they had to justify it morally. Paternalism (on rise after 1820s) Masters saw themselves as father figures to their slaves. Saw their slaves as children. They were taking care of them, civilizing them, teaching them moral responsibility. Mentality & attitude began to rise after the 1820s & it’s more predominant in the middle & upper south.
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One of the most pressing issues throughout the first half of the 19th c. was the expansion of slavery into the western territories. What were the specific political arguments and acts that contributed to the conflict surrounding this issue? Did the westward expansion of slavery cause the Civil War, or was the Civil War inevitable regardless of this conflict?
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The Wilmot Priviso: August 8, 1846 David Wilmot said: o We will admit Texas as a slave state but slavery shall not exist in any additional land brought in from Mexico-American war. Texas came in as a free state o Wilmot Proviso reignites the debate over the future of slavery. Focus is centered on new lands acquired by the Mexican-American War. o 1846, the house of representative adopt Wilmot Priviso but the senate rejected it and it didn’t go into effect. o John C Calhoun, argued that by prohibiting expansion into certain territories & is the violation of the natural rights within the constitution. o Calhoun extended the basic guarantee of natural rights & turned it into a basic guarantee of slavery. oSouth always had a political edge, seats in congress are important when it comes to numbers. When legislation passed, you need to have the majority. South always had an edge due to representation, 3/5 laws. Many in the north begin to resent the south for this. o Slave Power Conspiracy was that the south would extend slavery into the western territories, gaining enough power & then enforce slavery into the northern states. o Even certain states in the north got rid of slavery, then may not have choice in the future if the south gained enough political power, that’s the conspiracy/fear. Wilmot Proviso also inspired another faction of people known as the: • Free-Soil Party, 1848 o Not eliminating slavery (in the south or slave states), just stopping its expansion (to western territories). o Provided the basis for what will become the Republican Party. The \”Gag Rule\” Abolitionists regularly sent anti-slavery petitions to congress, therefore annoying congressmen because they had to read them. o Became a source of great annoyance for many people in congress. The Pinckney Resolution, May 26, 1836 Petition could be sent, but they would not be read, therefore \”gagging\” the freedom of petition of the people. o They are preserving the citizens basic right to petition the government, they aren’t just reading them or going to take any action on them. January 1840, resolution passed: All anti-slavery petitions prohibited o Abolitionists found additional support, not just in congress. o Many people in the north began lending their support to this movement because of the \”gag rule. 1844: The \”Gag Rule repealed Admission of California • 1849, California applies for statehood. Wanted admission as a free state. Southern started making their own political demand including federal fugitive slave law. o Anti-slavery advocates are pushing in congress, are pushing for slavery to be abolished in D.C. o Towards civil war o Southerners who were claiming of their demand are not met & didn’t get the fugitive slave law. If the option of expanding slave to the west was not protected, they would secede. o People are talking about secession upon this point. It would be the south responding, & that’s their threat. • The conflict boils over… The Civil War would have occurred even if there had not been a further Western expansion of slavery. The abolitionists would not have been happy with just stopping the expansion of slavery, they wanted to end it altogether; to get rid of it not just in the new states but in all states. Therefore even if there were no other slave states admitted to the Union, the abolitionists would have still wanted slavery to be abolished in the original slave states.
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What was the ‘Slave Power Conspiracy?’ What specific developments helped convince northern opponents of slavery that the South sought to take over and control the nation? Do you think there was an actual ‘Slave Power,’ why or why not?
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Slave Power Conspiracy Many people in the north came to present a long political power, maintained by the south. South always had a political edge, seats in congress are important when it comes to numbers. When legislation passed, you need to have the majority. South always had an edge due to representation, 3/5 laws. o Many in the north begin to resent the south for this. o They came to see the South as trying to run the country o Formation of the free-soil party in late 1840s helped polarized this notion of the slave power conspiracy. o Conspiracy was that the south would extend slavery into the western territories, gaining enough power & then enforce slavery into the northern states. o Even certain states in the north got rid of slavery, then may not have choice in the future if the south gained enough political power, that’s the conspiracy/fear. I do not believe the conspiracy that the South was trying to take over the nation and enforce slavery even in the Northern states. They wanted to be able to have slavery in the South and in the western territories, but not so much in the North. The Northern states could decide whether they wanted slavery, and the Southern states didn’t care what they decided, as long as the South could have slaves.
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Why did the South perceive continued co-existence with the North as impossible? Discuss the reasons why historians call the American Civil War a \”modern war.\” Was it a \”total war\”? In addition to signaling the official end of slavery, how did the Civil War change southern economics, race relations, and attitudes toward the North?
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Compromise of 1850 o Towards civil war o Southerners who were claiming of their demand are not met & didn’t get the fugitive slave law. If the option of expanding slave to the west was not protected, they would secede o People are talking about succession upon this point. It would be the south respond, & that’s their threat. • The conflict boils over… Henry Clay: \”The Great Compromiser\” o In the south was warning of a war at this point that they describe this quote as so furious, so bloody, so impartible, & so exerting. It would fracture the union, 20 years before they actually take that step. o Henry Clay came up with a batch of resolutions, 8 total. Known as the compromise of 1850 o South & North have increase political conflict over slavery & slave states vs. non-slave states. Historians call the Civil War a modern war because it was the first war where widespread use of devices like railroad trains, aerial observation, telegraph, photography, torpedoes, mines, ironclad ships and rifles occurred. The Civil War was not always a total war, but some of it was. For example: What: General Sherman led many troops on a march from Virginia to Atlanta, Georgia. They burned cities and destroyed everything in their path; killed civilians, destroyed crops. Sherman believed in total war. When: 1864 Significance: This became the new style of warfare, there \”must involve plundering, burning, and killing.\” During the American Civil War, Union Army General Philip Sheridan’s stripping of the Shenandoah Valley, beginning on September 21, 1864 and continuing for two weeks, was considered \”total war\”.Its purpose was to eliminate food and supplies vital to the South’s military operations, as well as to strike a blow at Southern civilian morale. Sheridan took the opportunity when he realized opposing forces had become too weak to resist his army. The Aftermath of the Civil War Southern economics: no more slaves, so the South had to figure out how to do its agriculture without slavery The war was economically devastating to the South; war is expensive. The south lost an approximate 4 billon investment in human labor. The end of slavery, destruction of property & the collapse of the land values did lead the planters destitute. Race relations: Black Codes, 1865 o Law that restricted on what foreign slaves can do. o Including education, implement apprenticeship laws. o Reinstate social & illegal control that has existed on black population in the south. \”The ex-slave was not a free man; he was a free Negro.\” Even though slavery abolished, blacks were still mistreated in the South. Attitudes toward the North: Across the south, they remained a strong sense of southern nationalism. The Southerners loved being Southerners and they resented the North. Especially when the Northern Radical Republicans enforced all the Reconstruction rules on them.

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