Text Qs -- Full, detailed, typed paragraphs! Chapter 17-19

Chapter 17

  1. Was American expansion across North America an “inevitable” development? How was the idea of Manifest Destiny used to justify expansionism?
  2. Why was the Texas annexation so controversial? What would have happened had Texas remained an independent nation?
  3. How did rivalry with Britain affect the American decision to annex Texas, the Oregon dispute, and lesser controversies of the period?
  4. What caused the Mexican War? Did Polk provoke the Texas-boundary conflict in order to gain California or expand slavery, as war opponents like Lincoln charged?
  5. What were the benefits and costs of the Mexican War both immediately and in the longer run of American history?

Chapter 18

  1. Was the Compromise of 1850 a wise effort to balance sectional differences or a futile attempt to push the slavery issue out of sight? Could a better compromise have been met if California had not skipped the regular territorial phase?
  2. Why did the North so strongly resent the Fugitive Slave Law, and why did the South resent northern resistance to enforcing it?
  3.  Is there a significant difference in the leadership of Old Guard senators such as Clay, Webster, and Calhoun when compared to the Young Guard of Douglas and Seward?
  4. Did the North, South, or West benefit most from the Compromise of 1850? Why?
  5. Would the sectional conflict have been reheated had Douglas not pushed through the Kansas-Nebraska Act? Why or why not?

Chapter 19

  1. How did each of the major crisis events of the 1850s contribute to the advent of the Civil War?
  2. How could a fanatical and violent man like John Brown come to be regarded as a hero by millions of northerners?
  3. Why did Douglas’s “popular sovereignty” approach to the slavery question prove to be unworkable in Kansas and elsewhere?
  4. What did the Supreme Court decide in the Dred Scott case? Did the Court do too much in its ruling or was it within its traditional Constitutional boundaries? What effect did the decision have in the territories, in the North, and in the South?
  5. Why was sectional compromise impossible in 1860, when such compromises had previously worked in 1820 and 1850? Since Lincoln had guaranteed to protect slavery in the states where it existed, why did the seven southern states secede as soon as he was elected?