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Unit 6: Manifest Destiny & Sectionalism

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The Big Picture: 

From 1840 to 1860, the United States experienced a surge in western territorial expansion and increasing sectional tensions between the North and South. Manifest Destiny led to the acquisition of Texas and Oregon and a war with Mexico resulting in new territories in the southwest. As western territories grew in population and new states applied for statehood, sectional tensions grew over issues of regional power in the Senate, the role of the national government and states, and the growth of slavery. Compromises in 1820, 1833, and 1850 worked temporarily, but the emergence of sectional parties (Republicans and Democrats) as a result of the Kansas-Nebraska Act and the election of Abraham Lincoln in 1860 led key Southern states to secede from the Union.