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Nationalism And Sectionalism In The 1800's

926 words - 4 pages

The first six decades of the 19th century in American history are witness to the rival, contending forces of nationalism and sectionalism. Nationalism, a devotion to the interests and culture of one’s nation, played a major role is shaping our economy. The idea of expanding America had triggered a major movement to go west. The Monroe Doctrine, which was introduced to Congress by President Monroe himself, was an outcome of this great idea of expanding the nation. The Missouri Compromise had divided the slave states and the free states once and for all. Sectionalism, placing the interests of one region ahead of the welfare of the nation as a whole, offers two great examples in which the ...view middle of the document...

The government did not want to have an unequal number of slave states and free states because of representation in the senate. Until 1818, the United States consisted of ten free states and ten slave states. The government admitted Illinois as the eleventh free state in 1818 and therefore southerners expected Missouri to become the eleventh slave state. Before Missouri could become a state, Congressman James Tallmadge amended the Missouri statehood bill to require the state to gradually free its slaves. In between all of this controversy, Alabama was admitted into the Union and now Missouri’s status became crucial to the delicate balance. Under the leadership of Henry Clay, Congress managed to temporarily resolve the crisis with a series of agreements collectively called the Missouri Compromise. Maine was admitted as a free state and Missouri as a slave state, thus preserving the sectional balance in the Senate. The rest of the Louisiana Territory was split. The dividing line was set at 36° 30` north latitude. South of the line slavery was legal. North of the line, except Missouri, slavery was banned. President Monroe signed the Missouri Compromise in 1820. For a generation, the problem of slavery in federal territories seemed settled.
The National Bank, which was proposed by Alexander Hamilton, aroused a storm of controversy. Hamilton’s idea of the National Bank aroused a storm of controversy. James Madison claimed that the bank would forge an unhealthy alliance between the government and wealthy business interests. The National Bank would be funded by both the federal government and wealthy private investors. The North would want the bank because they make a lot of money through industries and the South, on the other hand, opposed the National Bank because they just lived by what...

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