Point of No Return Activity
Ellie Davidson and Inaara Malick
Counter Argument: War with Mexico (1846-1848)
The War with Mexico was not a point of no return because the it was so far back (almost 20 years prior) that it only created other problems that caused the Civil War. As said by Frederick Douglass in “A Negro View of the Mexican War,” the Southern “machiavelism” regarding the expansion of slavery in the War with Mexico already made a crack which could widen into a split. By comparing the War with Mexico to a crack, Douglass establishes that it is going to take a lot more for the Union to actually secede, thus proving how the War with Mexico was not a point of return that caused the Civil War. The War with Mexico was not a war over slavery, but a war motivated by expansionist ideals. The South wanted to expand their slave territory to promote their economy, but because the North was highly industrialized, they disagreed with the South’s methods. Additionally, the War with Mexico only continued the ideal of white superiority that had already persisted before and continued to persist after the War. As said in “My Confession,” Samuel Chamberlain, an American soldier, describes the cause of one of the massacres in the war as the murder of one white man belonging to the Arkansas Regiment. The violence of the Americans who believe in white superiority only continued as they strove to expand into new territories; the war only proved to be the first of many examples of this idea.
Douglass, Frederick. "A Negro view of the Mexican War." EBSCOhost. 2009. Accessed November 17, 2015. <a href="http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=21212349&site=eds-live">A Negro view of the Mexican War.</a>
Chamberlain, Samuel. "My confession (atrocities during the Mexican/American war)." EBSCOhost. 2009. Accessed November 17, 2015. <a href="http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=f5h&AN=21213200&site=eds-live">My confession (atrocities during the Mexican/American war).</a>
Main Argument: Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854
"Kansas-Nebraska Act." EBSCOhost. May 30, 1854. Accessed November 17, 2015.
<a href="http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=f5h&AN=21212443&site=eds-live">Kansas-Nebraska Act</a>
“The Kansas-Nebraska Act.” U.S. History Online Textbook. Accessed November 13, 2015. http://www.ushistory.org/us/31a.asp
“Sam Houston on the Dangers of the Kansas-Nebraska Bill.” History Study Center. Accessed November 16, 2015. http://www.historystudycenter.com/search/displayHistoricalDocItem.do?QueryName=historicalDoc&ResultsID=150765317FB&SortType=relevance&fromPage=search&ItemNumber=1&QueryName=historicalDoc
Wrote the Kansas-Nebraska Act
Kansas-Nebraska Act Map
Shows the slave and free states of the Union
This cartoon details the party tensions that resulted from the creation of the Kansas-Nebraska Act.
To conclude, the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 proved to be the point of no return of the Civil War as it facilitated the demise of the Second National Party system over ideas such as popular sovereignty and voting rights, thus creating national tensions that were irreversible.