Slavery and the Secession of the South

3200 Words13 Pages
The Civil War was unquestionably the result of a long series of events that built up on top of each other. In this paper, key political events are discussed, all of which directly impacted the southern succession as well as the outbreak of the Civil War to various degrees. Focusing on the fundamental documents of antebellum history allows for a much more accurate understanding of why southern states succeeded: slavery. The fight between slave and non-slave proponents grew with the growth of the size of the United States. The US-Mexico war of 1848 was America’s first true war that was fought on foreign territory, involving long supply lines, multiple armies, large scale amphibious landings and occupation of a foreign capital. The war’s outcome had a sizeable impact on the events that followed. Vast new territories were seized by the Americans in the Treaty of Guadalupe which was signed following the American victory. The United States acquired more than 500,000 square miles of new territory that eventually became modern day California, Texas, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico. This was an incredible sized chunk of land that the United States now owned, and eventually states would be formed from this seized territory. The addition of these new states caused bitter debate over the issue of slavery, and whether or not it would be legal or illegal. A new agreement, the Compromise of 1850, was required when California sought to join the Union. The North felt that California should receive immediate admission, whereas the South believed that they should be withheld admission in order to prevent the prohibition of slavery in territories of Utah and New Mexico. Conflict was based on which powers were allowed to choose the laws in states and territories. Would slavery be allowed in new territories, prohibited there, or should the citizens have the
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