Manifest Destiny, Slavery, and the Breakdown of the Union

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"Manifest Destiny" is a phrase that expressed the belief that the United States had a divinely inspired mission to expand, spreading its form of democracy and freedom.The phrase "Manifest Destiny" was first used primarily by Jackson Democrats in the 1840s to promote the annexation of much of what is now the Western United States (the Oregon Territory, the Texas Annexation, and the Mexican Cession). Slavery, the exploitation of Africans for hard labor, was also growing vastly in popularity during this period of territorial expansion. These controversial ideologies, including such events as Mexican War, the Wilmont Provisio, the development of the Republican Party, the Dred Scott Decision, the Brooks-Sumner Incident, the Anthony Burns…show more content…
While conservatives and many moderates were content merely to call for the restoration of the Missouri Compromise or a prohibition of slavery extension, the radicals insisted that no further political compromise with slavery was possible. In the following years, this anti-slavery party would gain many followers. By 1856 the Republicans had elected a Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives and placed a candidate in the election for president. In the Election of 1860, Abraham Lincoln would become inaugurated as a member of the Republican party, defeating John Breckinridge, Stephen Douglas, and John Bell of the Southern Democratic Party, Northern Democratic Party, and Constitutional Union respectively. Dred Scott was an American slave who was taken first to Illinois, a free state, and then to Minnesota, a free territory, for an extended period of time, and then back to the slave state of Missouri. After his original master died, he sued for his freedom. He initially won his freedom from a Missouri lower court, but the decision was reversed by the Missouri Supreme Court and remanded to the trial court. Simultaneously, Scott had filed suit in federal court, where, after prevailing on the issue of his status as a citizen of Missouri, he lost a trial by jury. Scott appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which used the case to fundamentally change the legal balance of power in favor of slaveholders. The Court ruled that: 1. No Negroes, not
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