Chapter 18 questions

Due on Tuesday, Nov. 3.

Chapter 18 Questions

1. Why did the Mexican Cession throw national politics into turmoil, and how did this turmoil weaken national unity? Describe the range of opinion regarding the extension/expansion of slavery in the wake of the Mexican War.

2. Why was the concept of popular sovereignty described as a “panacea?” Who was the “father” of this doctrine?

3. Why did Zachary Taylor receive the Whig nomination in 1848?

4. Explain the birth of the Free Soil Party and its specific reasons for attracting anti-slavery supporters. How did it act as a spoiler in 1848 and 1852?

5. Why did California avoid territorial status which was usually required before applying for statehood? Why was the admission of California potentially damaging to the interests of the South?

6. Pro-slavery Southerners had largely supported the Mexican War, and yet what was the irony regarding the probable status of most of the Cession once it was carved into states?

7. What were the problems with the Fugitive Slave Law of 1793, in Southerners’ eyes? Why did Southerners want a more stringent fugitive slave law by the 1840s, and how did they propose making the law stronger in terms of methods allowed in the pursuit of runaways?

8.  What catastrophe faced Congress in 1850? Who were the “immortal trio,” and how did they attempt to deal with this crisis?

9. Explain the main points of Daniel Webster’s “Seventh of March Speech.” (An excerpt is on the blog.)

10. What was the difference between the “Old Guard” and the “New Guard” regarding the nature of the Union and compromise to preserve it?

11. What was meant by the statement that Taylor threatened to “Jacksonize” the Texas hotheads who threatened to seize Santa Fe? (Hint: see pp. 264-5)

12. How did Taylor’s death help break the impasse?

13. What were the main provisions of the Compromise of 1850? Did anyone win?

14.  How was the new Fugitive Slave Law tipped against fairness? How did the new law backfire in the court of public opinion? Explain.

15. How many times does the word “spit show up on pp. 400-401, and what does this indicate? What were some ridiculous aspects of the election of 1852?

16. Why was the election of 1852 effectively the end of the Whig party?

17. How did Manifest Destiny cause the US to take interest in the isthmus between North  America and South America, and what other country maneuvered against US interests in the region?

18. Why did proponents of slavery turn their eye toward American expansion in the Caribbean and Central America? What were filibusters like William Walker trying to do? How was Cuba involved, in particular?

19. Compare and contrast the Treaty of Wanghia and the Treaty of Kanagawa.

20. Why was the Gadsden Purchase so important to maintain peace between North and South?

21.  How did the Kansas-Nebraska Act contradict the Missouri Compromise, and why was Stephen Douglas in favor of it?

22. How did the Kansas Nebraska Act wreck the Compromise of 1850 as well, and what were the political consequences?

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