Expansion and Sectionalism
Southern states wanted new slave territories, while the North wanted to contain the spread of slavery. While Western expansion contributed to growing sectional tensions between the North and South from 1800-1820, sectionalism intensified significantly from 1820-1850. Since the turn of the nineteenth century, Western territorial expansion started to increase a sense of sectionalism throughout America. President Jefferson obtained the Louisiana purchase from Napoleon in 1803, gaining unfamiliar territory West of the Mississippi.
Cass hoped that a platform based on such popular sovereignty would win him votes in both the North and South.
On the other hand, the industrialized northern states believed slavery was incorrect and that the African-Americans, like any other human being, are entitled to dignity and respect. The conflict between the two regions kindled tension, which later turned out to be the worst war fought on American soil. Apart from slavery, economic differences and thus different economic aspirations between the south and the north led to the emergency of sectionalism. The impacts of sectionalism were deeply rooted and widely spread. This kind of problem became more apparent in 1787 through debate on a new constitution (Catton, 2004).
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Catton, B. & McPherson, J. M. (2004). The Civil War, American Heritage. New York: American Heritage Inc.
Fellman, M., Gordon, J. L. & Sutherland, D. E. (2002). The Terrible War and Its Aftermath. Michigan: Longman
Porter, D. M. (1976). The Impending Crisis. Michigan: Harper & Row Press