Analyze the Ways in Which Controversy over the Extension of Slavery Into Western Territories Contributed to the Coming of the Civil War. Confine Your Answer to the Period 1845-1861.

691 Words Feb 13th, 2012 3 Pages
During the 1840s and 1850s, the United States was preoccupied with the attainment of new hand in the west and how to settle the status of whether there lands would be free or slave states. As a result of the Mexican War, the
U.S. men vast new land holdings in the West, fueling a debate between the North and South over the extensions of slavery into the West. This sectional strife over slavery’s extension was a major factor in the eventual commencement of the Civil War. Through accentuating divisions between the North and South over the control of Western lands, the debate over slavery’s extension clearly influenced the Civil War’s coming.
After the U.S. secured vast new land holdings in the Mexican War, the South and North
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closer to the Civil War. Passed in 1854 as a compromise bill, the KansasNebraska Act established popular sovereignty in the two territories of Kansas and Nebraska, sparking a fight over whether they would choose to be free or slave states. In addition, the Kansas-Nebraska Act overturned the Missouri
Compromise of 1820, which had held the nation together by pacifying both regions, by allowing slavery north of the
36’30 line. So, this law caused an uproar in the North, leading to an increasingly polarized political environment in which neither side was willing to compromise. Consequently, both pro-slavery and anti-slavery partisans flooded Kansas and battled in the “Bleeding Kansas” conflict over whether the territory would be a free state or slave state. After the debate turned violent, with bloody episodes like antislavery partisan John Brown’s organized massacre of proslavery forces in the 1856 Pottawatomre Massacre, the North and South forces became even more apart. In addition, when the Supreme
Court issued the 1857 Dred Scott decision that essentially opened up the West to unlimited expansion of slavery,
Northern abolitionists, Northern Democrats and Free-soilers united around the Republican Party, which was strengthened politically by the North’s reaction to the Court’s decision. The Republican Party’s formation and the victory in the 1860 presidential election of its nominee, Abraham Lincoln, continued South

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