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Mexican American War

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1.How did American life during the period of the Age of the Common Man reflect both the influence of the frontier and the impact of newer rationalistic concepts? (Think inventions, religion, peace, prosperity, literature, art, education, etc)

2.Briefly define (no more than 1 paragraph each, some are a sentence or two): -The Mexican American War: The Mexican-American war was a fight for lad between the Untied States and Mexico where the United States defeated Mexico and gained over five hundred thousand miles of land. The land in known as the Southwest and makes up a vast majority of the United States. A major contributor to the war was the American belief of Manifest Destiny and showed how the United States wanted to extend their borders to the Pacific. The acquirement of the land did open up much room for American settlement, but it also worsened the conflict between the North and South on whether or not the new territory would be slave of free. Not able to agree on this problem the two sides declared war on each other and it ultimately brought upon the Civil War of 1861. (http://dig.lib.niu.edu/mexicanwar/overview.html) -The Wilmot Proviso: This was a provision not allowing slavery in the territory that the United States gained in the MExican American War.

The provision was proposed by a representative from Pennsylvania named David Wilmot in 1846. Congress denied the proviso and in result never went into effect.(www.ohiohistorycentral.org) -The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo: With the end of the Mexican American war came the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. The document was signed on February 2, 1848 in the town of Guadalupe Hidalgo. (www.archives.gov) -Compromise of 1850: The compromise was composed of five different laws to deal with slavery issues. This document was proposed by Henry Clay in order to resolve the issue of California entering the Union as a free state. The Fugitive Slave Act was amended and slave trade in Washington D.C was banned. Then a territorial government was created in Utah, then finally an act that settled the boundary dispute between Texas and Mexico. (www.loc.gov) -Kansas Nebraska Act: This was an act to remove the Missouri Compromise which allowed slavery in the area directly north of the 36 30 line.

There was much turmoil between slave owners and the free states and was a contributing factor to the Civil War. (www.loc.gov) -The Dred Scott decision: The Dred Scott decision was a supreme court decision that was issued on March 6, 1857 stating that slaves could not sue and were not to be considered citizens of the United States. With the decision, the Missouri Compromise was considered unconstitutional and that Congress shouldn’t have the authority to ban slavery in their region. The 13th and 14th amendments then came to be with this decision. (www.loc.gov) -Freeport Doctrine- This doctrine was written by Stephen Douglas and stated that slavery could be excluded by territories of the United States, this was a was to gain revenge of the Dred Scott decision. (www.encyclopedia.com) -Harper’s Ferry- In October 1859 John Brown and eighteen others raided the federal arsenal in Haper’s Ferry, Virginia. His reasoning behind this was he thought that the slaves would come to help his cause and disobey their masters, but no slaves accompanied him. Brown was found guilty of treason and was hanged publicly. (www.mce.k12tn.net/civilwar)

3. To what extent can the Civil War be accounted for as a struggle between two antagonistic economic systems? Include political ramifications, representation fairness, economic and educational issues – detail and support of your ideas is very important here.

The North and the South were in a constant stuggle for both power and representation in Congress. The two sides had completely different view points and handled business very differently. The North was a free state and the South was a slave state. Each state had representatives that acted as the spokesperson for the state. The North didnt want the South to have more representation and the South felt the same about the North. So whenever the Union added a state the Confederacy wanted to add a slave state. This went back and forth until the Civil War began. The Union earned their income with industry and making many necessities, where the South relied heavily on tobacco, cotton, and the most problematic slavery.

The South also wanted 3/5 of every slave to count as a man and be used to represent the state in Congressional matters. The Union would not agree with this what so ever and completely shut this idea down. The South had a lower population, had a small railroad system, did not produce much steel or iron, had less wealth, less valuable exports, less factories, but had the majority of all farmland in the United States. The education difference was a major difference too. The Northerners were more educated and had a much more to offer educationally. In the South they solely relied on the farm and what type of product it was producing. Even though the South did not have everything the North did, they were content and were not in the mood for any change at all. (civilwar.org)

4.Distinguish between the Lincoln Reconstruction Plan, the Johnson Reconstruction Plan, and the Congressional Reconstruction Plan, which do you think should have been applied? Explain fully. The Lincoln Reconstruction Plan was to be as swift as possible and consisted of three main points a general forgiveness would be given to everyone in the South who would take an oath of loyalty to the Union and the United States as a whole and to obey all slavery laws. He also stated that each high ranking Confederate official would be dismissed from the process. Finally with one tenth of a popular vote of those who voted in 1860, the state would be able to put forth their own government and selected their own officials. (www.u-s-history.com) The Johnson Reconstruction Plan was the plan issued after Lincoln’s assassination and would include: all pardons would be given if a loyalty oath was recited. Then there would be no pardons given to any high ranking confederate officials or any citizen owning a property valued at $20,000.

After that each state must completely abolish slavery before being readmitted and was required to review their withdrawing authority before being readmitted. (www.u-s-history.com) The Congressional Reconstruction Plan or the Radical Reconstruction Plan was a congress based plan that placed former confederate states under military power and divided the states into five districts. A separate Union general was placed in each district and ran each. The Army would act as the government until a new government was put in place. The military made the Confederated followed mandated orders and was in charge of voting for adult males including African Americans. After that Congress declared their right to have ultimate power over the states and was highlighted in the Texas v. White case of 1869. All new confederate governments were not allowed to put former high ranking officials into power. Finally all new states were to ratify the 14th amendment.(www.tdl.org) I think the Congressional Reconstruction Plan best suited the United States, Lincoln’s was just to relaxed. The country nearly fell apart so the only thing to do was something radical.

5.Was Lincoln’s issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation a contradiction of his earlier profession that the Civil War was being waged not for the destruction of slavery but for the preservation of the Union? Explain fully as you can.

Abraham Lincoln has a great reputation and is known to be the one who set the slaves free. Although he played a major role on the abolishment of slavery, his first intentions were not always swayed toward that decision. Before the Emancipation Proclamation Lincoln said to a Cincinnati crowd in 1859 “I now assure you, that I neither… had, nor have had, any purpose in any way of interfering with the instirution…” or another example to an editor at the New York Times “My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or destroy slavery.”

These statements from Lincoln show clearly that he had other ideas about what should and would be done with slavery. Something between 1859 and 1863 completely changed his mind and came to a realization that a brash decision should be made. So in 1863 the Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclaimation. He had been formulatating his plan and knew befre any other American what was in store. Lincoln did not want to interfer with the slave trade, but realized that the Union could and would not survive unless slavery was completely abolished. Many critize Lincoln and say no slaves were even emancipated on the day of its declaration and only certain slaves that were in rebellious states were consider to be free. The Emancipation Proclamation was not a contadiction to any ealier statements, it was a plan that only Lincoln knew about. He knew the biggest problem was slavery and change needed to be made. (wuod.lib.umich.edu)

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