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The Impending Crisis

Main Themes

1. How the idea of Manifest Destiny influenced America and Americans during the period.

2. How the question of the expansion of slavery deepened divisions between the North and the South.

3. How the issue of slavery reshaped the American political-party system.

Learning Objectives
A thorough study of Chapter Thirteen should enable the student to understand:

Manifest Destiny, and its influence on the nation in the 1840s.

The origin of the Republic of Texas, and the controversy concerning its annexation by the United States.

The reasons why the United States declared war on Mexico, and how the Mexican War was fought to a successful conclusion.

The impact of the Wilmot Proviso on the sectional controversy.

The methods used to enact the Compromise of 1850, and its reception by the American people.

The role of the major political parties in the widening sectional split.

The part played by Stephen A. Douglas in the enactment of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, and the effect of this act on his career and on the attitudes of the people in all sections.

The impact of the Dred Scott decision on sectional attitudes and on the prestige of the Supreme Court.

The reasons for Abraham Lincoln's victory in 1860, and the effect of his election on the sectional crisis.

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