Question 2. The issues of sectionalism, slavery, and continuing expansion did not have a significant impact on the country. Supporting essay should discuss up to about 1850.

Between 1803 and 1853, the area of the United States more than tripled. As the nation expanded westward, the different parts of the country grew apart. The people of the North, the South and the West all developed different ways of life because of the different climates, kinds of land and natural resources in the three sections. Each section had its own problems and people wanted the national government to pass only such laws as would help their section. This attitude is known as sectionalism and it would cause great harm to the unity of the country.

In the past, people of the different areas had worked together because they all wanted the same things. Thus, the generations of Americans from the 1770s to the 1840s achieved great successes in territorial expansion. However, from 1820 to 1860, national unity lessened as sectional interests came first and people argued among themselves about tariffs, money, the building of roads and railroads and were divided over slavery (Kurth, 1996).

The social, economic and political conditions between the sections had diverged by 1850. In the North, factories were being built and were producing a wide variety of articles. There was a movement of the immigrant population to the West where fertile farms were made out of the wilderness and acres of wheat and crop were grown. In the South, cotton was king. The cotton economy of the South was based on the labor of the Negro slaves. As the cotton was milled, it was usually sent by ship to the textile factories in the North or to Europe. As the nation expanded in population and size, better transportation facilities were needed. The most important were the railroad, the steamboat and to a lesser extent, the canals. Most of them went from east to west, allowing the agricultural products of the West...