As the young nation grew in population and land, it struggled to resolve problems that ultimately lead to a bloody clash that brought "a new birth of freedom" and permanently changed the nature of the government.
Overview: Following a philosophy of manifest destiny, land was added through negotiations, purchase, and war. With victory in the Mexican War, the United States secured its southern border and ports on the Pacific Ocean. Expansion and sectionalism intensified the differences over politics, economics, and slavery. Opposition to slavery ranging from free soilers to abolitionists and an underground railroad grew in spite of fugitive slave laws and the Dred Scott decision. A series of compromises failed and, following the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860, a civil war ravaged the country. The Union victory ended the questions of slavery and states' rights. Reconstruction brought confrontations between the executive and legislative branches, and between the federal government and state governments. As the freed African Americans established new lives, Black Codes and sharecropping were established to maintain their subservience.
Alternate View: Views of the Civil War have covered a spectrum from an unavoidable conflict over slavery to a failure of leadership and a needless bloodletting. Alternate views of Reconstruction considered it a half-done effort that required another 100 years to realize equality for most Americans.
Email: Patenl@nv.ccsd.net AP/Honors United States History Senior Class Advisor
Class Schedule P1 - APUSH P2 - US Hon P3 - US Hon P4 - US Hon P5 - US HonP6 - PREP P7 - PREPP8 - US Hon