International Border
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International borders have always been center of conflict, and the U.S.-Mexican border was no exception. With the European colonizing in the New World, it was a matter of time before the powers collided. The Spanish settled what is today Mexico, while the English settled what is to day the United States. When these two colonial powers did meet in what is today the United States Southwest, it was not England and Spain, rather the United States and Mexico. Both counties had broken off from their mother countries. The conflict that erupted between the two countries was a direct result of different national policies. The Manifest Destiny, the philosophy that America was destined—by God and history—to expand the North American continent, started the domino effect, which caused the Mexican War. The Mexican War brought up many problems that created sectionalism in the United States. These problems grew into hostility between the North and the South. The debates surrounding the Mexican War and its aftermath reflected the interests of each region, causing tension to grow among the North, South, and West.

President Tyler, before he left office, got congressional approval for the annexation of Texas. This created major problems about the extension of slavery into the western territories. In the North, people did not want slavery to be allowed the western territories. However, South wanted slavery to be legal in the western territories. As the sectional debates intensified, President Polk and many people proposed plans to solve the nation’s problem. President Polk proposed to extend the Missouri Compromise line westward 36o 30’N. Other supported a plan know as “popular sovereignty” which allows the people of each territory, acting through their legislature, to decide the state of slavery there. Whichever the territories chose, it would imbalance Congress. The South did not was this to occur since they were already in the minority in the House. The debates over the proposals dragged on for months and were unresolved when Polk left office.

Zachary Taylor, the next president, believed statehood could become the solution to the issue of slavery in the territories. Once these territories would become states, their own government would be able to settle the slavery question. Taylor wanted Congress to admit California as a free state and New Mexico, he felt, should be granted statehood as soon as it was ready and should like California, be permitted to decide for itself what it wanted to do about slavery. Congress disagreed with Taylor’s program, in part that, the whites Southerners feared that two free states would be added to the northern majority. Tempers started to rise to high levels and many moderate southern leaders were beginning to talk about secession from the Union. In the North, every state legislature but one adopted a resolution demanding the prohibition of slavery

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Sectional Debates And Zachary Taylor. (June 14, 2021). Retrieved from