The Reaction to the Westward Expansion and Its Consequences

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Westward expansion negatively affected the Indians, not only did it cause more conflicts between Indian nations and the white settlers, it also created conflict between Indian nations and other Indian groups. Once gold was discovered in California, many prospectors migrated to California to gain riches. Local Indianas were often forced into labor for low wages and also promised shares in profits that were not certain. Indian tribes faced problems with livestock availability during the westward expansion.

With large amounts of their land no longer available for the livestock to graze like bison, the population decreased. With treaties no longer being upheld, Indian tribes were forced to relocate on territories already belonging to other indian nations. The future of slavery was heavily debated during the westward expasion. The north was antislavery while the south was proslavery, it was constantly debated by politians if slavery should persist in the west. The Kansas-Nebraska Act and the Dred Scott decision not only encouraged slavery in the western states but also made it harder to abloish slavery altogther.

The Civil war was a war for the Union mainly, but after abolition gained more support the goal of the war for the Northern side became focused on abolition. Initially the war was against the Southerners who seceded to keep their lifestyle and slaves. Believing that the Republican party would ignore their interests, try to free the slaves and bring upon interacial mixing the southern slave states formed a confederacy. However, Lincoln wanted the Civil war to bring the southern slave states back into the Union. He didn’t want blacks to enter the war due to the possibility of whites not wanting join if they knew that they had to fight alongside blacks.

The Union did not want the war to be one against slavery out of fear that the remaining four slave states they had might choose to secede. The Union decided to make the focus of the war be on abolition in order to prevent the southern slave states from becoming independent and having other countries aid in their efforts to stay a confederacy. With the goal for the war being abolitoion now, the Union could now appeal to other countries who abolished slavery.

The reconstruction succeeded in keeping the southern states from seceding and bringing them back into the union. However, reconstruction failed to reform the south. Despite African Americans being emancipated, they were still subjected to harassment by the white southerners. The mentality of the south did not change, from them rejecting the 13th amendment, not wanting to recognize blacks as citizens, and still believing blacks to be inferior to them. In order to quicken the process on resubmission into the Union the southern states had to agree to protect the basic civil rights of African Americans and grant them the right to vote.

For a brief time there were blacks elected into government positions and helped improve the south by creating public schools, funds for social services and update transportation systems. But once the southern states had all returned to the Union democrats started to replace many of these positions once held by blacks and republicans. Going as far to interfere with voting, implementing black codes all to restrict any new found rights that the 13th, 14th and 15th amendment had guaranteed to the African Americans.

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