SouthCarolina’s defiance of federal authority, cited in Shi and Tindall (2016), assertedthat “it is disunion by force – it is secession by force – it is civil war.”This statement accurately states that the Civil War was inevitable. Theeventual secession of seven “cotton states” from the Union was anticipated byseveral major events within the fifteen years leading up to the Civil War. Theend of the Mexican American War in 1848, the Publication of Uncle Tom’s Cabinin 1852, the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, the Dred Scott Case in 1857, JohnBrown’s Raid on Harper’s Ferry in 1859 and the Outcome of the PresidentialElection of 1860 all contributed to the upcoming Secession of the lower South whichinescapably led to the Civil War.
TheMexican-American war was the first in which an American army fought on foreignsoil and conquered and occupied its capital. To acquire California and NewMexico, James K. Polk was eager to wage war against Mexico, even if he had tomanipulate the situation so that the possibility of Congress voting against adeclaration of war was avoided (Shi and Tindall, 2016). Polk strongly believedin Manifest Destiny, but his decision to wage war against Mexico was seen as”unprecedented” (Foner, 2014) as many feared that the “administration’s realaim was to acquire new land for the expansion of slavery”. Polk was hostile tothe belief that the war against Mexico was down to the expansion of slavery andinstead argued that “his efforts to extend the nation’s boundaries wereintended to replace sectional tensions with national unity” (Shi and Tindall,2016).
However, the new acquired territories did not strengthen the Union andinstead triggered an intense conflict concerning the role of slavery, and so Shiand Tindall (2016) rightly state that it was a “shameful war… bent onterritorial expansion for the sake of slavery.”