American History

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In the 1850’s a series of events occurred which polarized the nation and threatened to tear America apart. By this time America had acquired new territories from the just concluded Mexican war and the Louisiana Purchase (Kennedy & Bailey, 2010). The main point of contention was as to whether the new states should be admitted to the existing union as free or as slaves. The southerners wanted the acquired territories to be slave while the Northerners proposed for slave free new territories. This set division among these two groups.  

In an attempt to resolute this division, the second event was creation of the compromise bill in 1850 which brought balance between the slave and the slave free territories. For eight months senators had debated on this bill and they came up with a pattern allowing some states to be free and others to be slaves. Of significance in the compromise bill was the fugitive act which sought to recapture fugitive slaves. This made many free blacks in the north to flee to Canada for safety. It also made slavery Abolitionist and many northerners, who had been ambivalent about the slavery issue, to take a definitive stand point against the institutions of government.

The third important event was the enactment of Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854. Amid the differences existing between pro- and antislavery, this act put forward by Henry Clay to deal with the balance between the free slave and slave states. It led to creation of two states, Kansas and Nebraska, and gave the dwellers the right to determine whether their state would be slave or slave free. In Kansas the proslavery Missourians began to flow to force it to be the slave state. This led to eruption of a series of conflicts and violence between the two sides until the state was nicknamed “Bleeding Kansas”. At this instance a fight even erupted at the floor of the house when an antislavery proponent Charles Sumner was beaten by Preston Brooks, a South Carolina senator.

What things did Lincoln do and say and what policies did he put in place to hold together people with a wide range of interests during his elections and during the civil war?

Abraham Lincoln was an antislavery activist who believed that slavery was evil. At the start of his campaign Lincoln said that a house that was divided by itself could not stand. Although this was considered to be very radical, it made him gain popularity through the nation and hold the people together. During his presidential tenure, Lincoln was able to endure intense pressure during the civil war. Despite huge losses in the battlefield and working with unwilling generals Lincoln did not stop fighting.

Lincoln put policies which sought to unite people together. These were inclusive support for the Homestead Act which was designed to aid establishment in each state and mechanical and an agricultural college. The national banking act and establishment of the national currency was another policy that sought to keep people together.

Lincoln also gave a series of great speeches that kept people as one nation. These included Gettysburg Address, the second inaugural address speech; House has divided the speech and the first address speech. Through setting an example as honest, strong character and effective leadership, he was able to hold the nation together through the war.  

Write an essay describing three major events involved in the expansion of the United States territory before the civil war and what the results were

Before the eruption of civil war America had experienced one of the greatest expansions. Foremost, it was then the America became increasingly involved in Caribbean and Central America. In these involvements the U.S citizens organized expeditions which came to be called as filibusters while the government officials tried to make territorial gains from the regions. However, all these became successful in acquiring significant and permanent territorial gains. Instead, this resulted to establishment of the local antagonism against American actions in the region.

Pro-slavery southerners wanted to expand southwards which would allow more territorial gains while continuing and expanding slavery. These incentives were aided at first by President Lopez Narciso. He was unsteady over the Spanish rule in the Cuba Island and therefore sought to have it annexed by America to preserve slavery. Lopez organized a series of expeditions to liberate Cuba from Spain but failed terribly until he was captured and executed in Havana in 1851. The public anger against the execution of Lopez without a trial provided support for expansion contributing to Whig’s defeat in 1852.

The Mexican war is another major event that made a significant contribution to the expansion of the United States. This was made possible by President Polk. He sent John Slideshell to Mexico to negotiate the purchase of a disputed land along the Mexican-Texas boarder and following the failure of this mission Polk used the conflict between the Tailor’s army and Mexican troops to gather support for declaration of war against Mexico. The United States declared war on Mexico in 1846 leading to capture of Mexico City in 1847. Mexico became a territory and the boundary between New Mexico and Texas was settled with the United States paying $10 million to relinquish all the territorial claims.

Who was Frederick Lugard Douglass? Explain his significance in American history

in the time period from his escape from slavery to reconstruction

Frederick Douglass was a renowned American orator, author and a slavery abolitionist. He was born of a slave mother and a white father 1818. At the age of twenty he escaped from slavery to become an antislavery activist.

Frederick’s life as an activists raged from his anti-campaign activities in 1840 to lynching and attack on Jim Crow in the 1890’s. For sixteen years he was the editor of an influential black newspaper to achieve international fame as a persuasive orator and writer. In thousands of his editorials and speeches, he communicated irresistible accusations against racism and slavery. He welcomed the greatest American civil war in 1861 which he claimed to be a moral crusade against slavery. During the reconstruction, Douglass moved to Washington DC but continued to travel giving speeches on the women’s rights, national political and racism issues. He became a symbol of social justice and humanity.

What prompted the reform movements to the north? Who took part in them?

What movements were the most significant? Why?

The rise in social reform in America was fuelled by revivalism that unfolded across the country and challenged the Americans to reform their communities and themselves. Reformers were known to fight for a variety of causes at the same time. One of the most significant movements was the abolitionist movement. The main goal of this movement was to eradicate slavery in the community of the United States. The most prominent leaders of the movements were Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, Theodore Weld and Elijah P. Lovejoy (Kennedy & Bailey, 2010). Another great movement was the temperance movement. This movement sought to ban alcohol consumption and eventual production. This movement was paraded by reformed alcoholics that distributed propaganda to preach against alcohols. Other significant movements at the time included the Women’s suffrage under the leadership of Elizabeth Stanton, Lucretia Mott and Susan Anthony, the prison reform and mentally ill reform.

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