The U.S. policy toward Mexico over Texas and the Southwest during the 1840s was primarily motivated by the need to fulfill Manifest destiny and the nationalistic ambition to expand the boundaries of the United States. The Manifest destiny was a strongly held belief that the entire American continent was pre-ordained for the Americans and hence, had the obligation to fulfill this destiny. At this time, James K. Polk was the US president, and he had primarily intended to negotiate with Mexico over territorial expansion without necessarily going to war. His decision to wage war against Mexico was thus driven by the need to push Mexico to negotiate with the US. Although he wanted a quick war and victory, the Mexicans fronted a major unanticipated resistance that would see the war protracting to a long period. However, in the eventuality, the president felt that he had compromised his country’s endeavor by engaging in a rather uncalculated fight.
There were many reasons that led to the mass migration of the Easterners to the west. Explorers and missionaries who had earlier on visited the west brought back good news that the west was a very good place to settle due to abundant natural resources and fertile soils for farming. Therefore, apart from economic reasons and the desire to make life better, many people were also migrating to this region for exploration and adventure. However, concentration shifted to the Southwest since there was a belief that California was to be annexed by America and as such families who feared conflicts and instability moved to the Pacific Coast and the Southwest.
The rift between the Northerners and the Southerners was one that could practically have been reversible. This is because; its cause was the differing political and social ideologies rather than any concrete differences that would call for a war. While both sides perceived that the conflict was based on fight for an end to the slave trade there were ideological differences as to why slave trade needed to be abolished. The Southerners perceived that the Northerners who were not entirely dependent on the slave trade for labor in the farms and industries were seeking to halt their progressive dependent on slave labor. The Northerners on the other hand believed that the continued slave trade would gradually infiltrate in their farms and industries; a move that would render the majority of the white laborers jobless since preference would shift to labor from slaves which was significantly cheap. The lack of political good will to bring the warring parties together, and the fact that the government of the day sided with the Southerners made it entirely possible to seek an amicable solution. Since the differences were ideological, the political systems would have thought measures and policies to ensure that each of the two parties’ rights and preferences were not altered.
Some of the American states considered as southern during the American civil war in 1850 include; Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi and Texas and Louisiana. On the other hand, states that were considered 'Northern' during the civil war included; Iowa, Michigan, Indiana, Minnesota, Ohio, Kansas and Missouri. The states were considered southern depending o n their position in regard to slavery whereby the southerners were in support of slavery while the northerners advocated the abolition of slavery. In addition, the southerners were regarded as agriculturalists while the northerners were regarded as industrialists. Currently, states that are considered as southern include the southeast central states, south Atlantic states, and the southwest central states. On the other hand, all the mid-west states are considered as northern states. Currently, the main reason as to why states are considered northern or southern is their political views and ideologies whereby most of the northerners are considered as republicans while the southerners are considered as democrats.
The Southerners were not justified in seceding from the Union since their foundations for secession was based on the need to protect their firms and industries from being deprived of cheap labor. They thought that the abolition of the slave trade would significantly limit their industrial commitments. The whole issue of secession was illegal since in the first place the use of slaves in farms and industries was unjustifiable and the Union had all the rights to use the military to force the Union to remain intact. The threats of secession meant a threat on the sovereignty of the Union by elements with vested interests as opposed to any practical and pertinent issues.
Being the commander in chief of the armed forces, Abraham Lincoln ordered the emancipation of all slaves in all the states that were rebellious to the union. Although, Abraham Lincoln’s primary intention was to save the union, it became apparent that the war to save could not have been won without freeing slaves. Most southern states economies depended on slave labor and as such emancipation of slaves would compel the South to reconsider their stand against the union. Emancipation of slaves for states that rebelled and legalizing of slavery for states that did not rebel could be termed as a reward-punishment strategy by Abraham Lincoln.