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Sectional Conflicts during Mexican-American War FRQ

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maniacman's picture
Joined: Oct 2005
Sectional Conflicts during Mexican-American War FRQ

"To what extent did the debates about the Mexican War and its aftermath reflect the sectional interests of New Englanders, westerners, and southerners in the period from 1845 to 1855?"

I know some of the debates of the war, but I don't know how they reflect sectinoal interests:

-Manifest Destiny
-Annexation of Texas
-Slavery vs. Nonslavery in new territories (Wilmot Proviso)
-Polk's reinstallement of the Independent Treasury
-Polk's veto of the Rivers and Harbors Bill of 1846

That's all that I can come up with, and obviously five points isn't enough for an FRQ. If anyone could explain what those had to do with sectional conflicts, as well as giving a few more ideas to include, it'd be greatly appreciated!

Also, if this isn't the right direction that I'm going in, is it possible for me to say something like: "The Mexican War reflected some sectional conflicts, but the majority of the problems came from political divisions." (or something like that?)

pianogirl2422's picture
Joined: Mar 2005

This is one of those times when I wish I had a textbook. But I can be of some help to you.

Alright, I've got a bad map, but it should work.

Manifest Destiny- Some people claimed that the war was begun because of this policy of gaining land. Others believed that the Mexican's triggered the conflict.

Annexation of Texas- A slave/non-slave state issue. Here's the deal with Texas. The Mexicans invited immigrants into the territory, then realized that they were losing power over them. The Texans fought for independence and won, but neither Jackson nor Van Buren would admit them into the country in fear of the inevitable slavery argument that would follow. Tyler was the one who allowed them into the nation after Great Britain showed great interest in the territory.

Wilmot Proviso- Basically another slave/non-slave issue.

Independent Treasury- never heard of it.

Rivers and Harbors Bill- never heard of this either

My addition:
Compromise of 1850- addressed the problems of what to do with the newly acquired land from the Mexican cession. California enters free, border between Texas and New Mexico is established, and New Mexico and Utah vote on whether they enter as a slave or free state. It included postives for both north and south, but I kinda think that the south got the better end of it: stregthened Fugitive Slave Law, $10,000,000 to Texas, no Congress jurisdiction over interstate trade. Eventually it had to be broken into parts before going through Congress because of the huge amount of debate that occurred afterward.

Basically the main arguement was over slavery. The westerners were generally spilt between the northerners and the southerners. That's all I have time for now, good luck!

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BigJon's picture
Joined: Dec 2006

i can't find anything for the westerners. I already got the New Englanders and southerners covered, but i have jack squat on the west. Would the Kansas-Nebraska act count? and if so how is it in their interests?

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