One of the most prominent questions in history was, “Was the Civil War inevitable?” many have formed an opinion and a much agreed with conclusion has come about. Secession was inevitable based on the events that occurred from 1800-1859; The War with Mexico, the Acquisition of Oregon and Texas, and the Kansas-Nebraska Act were three of these important events that led to the inevitable secession and Civil War. Without these events the Civil War and the secession of the South could have been avoided and a solution to tensions created. However, these events did occur and led our nation to War.
The War with Mexico not only increased national tensions but international tensions as well. Polk was after the territory of California and the expansion of the nation. The consequences of this war however still exist today. Trust between the U.S. and Mexico was lost and is still very fragile. The slavery debate was again opened and very much alive. Along with these things the South also gave them military confidence and experience which would benefit them in the long run. Politically Polk’s popularity in the South increased but decreased in the North. The Wilmont Proviso was also brought up and was attempted to be passed, this would mean that slavery would be prohibited in the territory gained from Mexico, this proviso did not pass. Economically this war benefitted America greatly. The nation was expanded, and in the territory many natural resources were obtained. Among the most influential was the gold in California, which caused the Gold Rush in California. For this gain in land fifteen million dollars was paid to Mexico. This war opened many doors for debate among the states and caused a great deal of scenarios that would lead to the increase in tensions within the nation.
The Acquisition of Oregon and Texas expanded the land of the U.S greatly, more than any other land gain. With this land being gained, the slavery issue was at the front of it, the South demanding that slavery should be allowed, while the north wanting it to be outlawed. The issue of slavery caused many social disputes. The tensions between the North and the South intensified and competition between the two was also present. Sectionalism increased in the country pushing the South more towards secession. The president at this time, Pierce was seen as a pro-slavery/pro-Southern president which caused the North to disagree with him. Pierce institutes the idea of Popular sovereignty in Oregon which means the territory decides if it allows slavery or not. This also caused political and social tensions between the Southerners and Northerners. The acquisition of Texas meant that the U.S. acquired a lot of land for cotton plantations. The result of gaining these plantations meant that the economy of the South boomed.
This was another way in which the South benefitted and one reason for which the tensions between the two halves of the country spread. The Kansas-Nebraska Act was yet another cause for the nation to lean towards war. This Act threw out and nullified the much-liked Missouri Compromise. The debate over whether or not the two territories would allow slavery led to bloody conflicts. Among these conflicts was one led by John Brown to Pottawattamie Creek. Northerners were so against having the territories allow slavery that extreme measures like these were taken. This Act led to the political ramifications of splitting the Democratic Party in the country between Douglas and Breckenridge. This Act also causes the Republican Party to form which ultimately leads to the election of President Lincoln. The North’s anger towards slavery intensifies and leads to yet more tensions between the two halves of the country. These ramifications are what ultimately lead to the secession of the South followed by the Civil War.