While the Louisiana Purchase, the ratification of the Treaty

While the Louisiana
Purchase allowed for the United States to expand westward, the Treaty of Ghent
ended the War of 1812 (Yawp, 7).  This
war against the British, Canadian, and Native American troops had multiple
causes, one being the British attempts to restrict United States trade, the
British Royal Navy’s imprisonment of American seamen, and America’s desire to
move westward on the continent.  The
Treaty of Ghent was signed just twelve years after the Louisiana Purchase, the
ratification of the Treaty of Ghent allowed the United States to expand
westward with very little resistance. 
With the removal of all foreign infringement on American territory, the
United States was able to explore and expand into their newly purchased land. 

The
diminishing foreign involvement in America had a secondary effect on westward
expansion.  Without the protection of
foreign powers, specifically Britain, the region’s Native Americans lost all
protection they had as the Americans freely expanded westward.  The suppression of the Native American people
occurred in two extreme ways.  Indian
removal and the Trail of Tears.  The
passing of the Indian Removal Act gave the federal government the power to
trade Native-held land in the cotton belt east of the Mississippi for land in
the west (present-day Oklahoma).  While
the law stated that the government would “negotiate removal treaties fairly,
voluntarily and peacefully” (Yawp, 10), President Jackson and his government
blatantly ignored the law’s fine print and forcibly removed Native Americans
from their lands, on which they and their ancestors had lived for generations
(Yawp, 12).  One instance in which this
forcible removal occurred was in the winter of 1831, “the Choctaw became the
first nation to be expelled from its land altogether” (History, Trail of
Tears).  The Choctaw people journeyed
from their native land to Indian territory (Oklahoma) on foot, without food or
supplies.  This march is known as the
Trail of Tears, aptly described by a Choctaw leader: a “trail of tears and
death”. 

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!


order now

The
Trail of Tears created a period of immeasurable sadness and hopelessness for
the Native Americans being forcibly relocated. 
As the land east of the Mississippi was freeing up Americans then could
move westward with less resistance. 
While the federal government allowed for this clear violation of human
rights to continue they were able to expand into new land giving their citizens
access to agricultural profit and reward. 
The removal of the Native Americans was based on money and the idea that
they (White Americans) were better than Native Americans.  This stigma carries through today but
specifically in the fact that Native Americans were not considered citizens of
the United States until 1924.  The
suppression of the native peoples in our country was and is astounding.  The removal of Native Americans from their
land gave way to a nation-wide stigma that “Indians” were second class citizens
not worthy of the freedoms this country provides its people. 

Westward
expansion caused the United States to reevaluate their stance on slavery.  This reevaluation came to a turning point
when Missouri requested admission to the Union as a slave state in 1819.  As tensions rose between pro-slaver and
anti-slavery groups, Congress has to find a solution/compromise.  In order to keep the peace Congress
established a two-part compromise.  They
granted Missouri’s request to enter the Union as a slave state while also
granting Maine’s request to enter the Union as a free state.  This compromise was an effort to defuse the
social and political tensions (Yawp, 13). 
By allowing Missouri to enter the Union the balance of slave and free
states would be off balance.  Thus, the
Missouri Compromise gave the American people comfort that the balance would
continue to exist.  The second part of
the Missouri Compromise was an imaginary line that was drawn across the former
Louisiana Territory, this line acted as a boundary between free and slave
states. 

The
Missouri Compromise was criticized by both southerners and northerners.  Southerners felt that slavery was a state’s
issue not federal so by Congress passing the Missouri Compromise the federal
government was infringing on the state’s rights.  The northerners however felt that by Congress passing
the Missouri Compromise they were allowing the expansion of slavery.  This compromise was upheld for more than thirty
years, it was repealed by the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 (Yawp, 13).  The Kansas-Nebraska Act gave settlers the opportunity
to decide for themselves whether or not to allow slavery in their borders.  This caused an uproar in the country.  With the southerners being closer to the territory
they were more able to attend the vote thus allowing slavery to spread.  The spread of slavery would have a huge impact
on the development on the United States.  As slavery spread the divide in the country became
more and more evident.  This schism in the
country gave way to the Civil War (Yawp, 14).  While some may say that the war was about states
rights vs. federal rights it was most definitely about slavery.