American History Homework Five Answers - Student Nine

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Katie B

1. (b) He welcomed immigrants into the United States. The ‘Know Nothing’ or American Party was founded specifically as an anti-immigration and anti-Catholic party.


2. The Whigs were very strongly opposed to slavery and adamantly for a national bank. Both of these were the opposite positions Jackson took which makes sense since the Whigs arose essentially to oppose him.

Not "very strongly opposed to slavery." From the lecture: the "Whig Party tended to side with the northerners and against slavery" (emphasis added). Both the Whig and Democratic Parties had pro-slavery elements. Otherwise your answer is excellent. (Minus 1).

3. The Mexican War was caused by boundary disputes involving Texas. When Texas had originally won its independence the settlers that lived there weren’t as concerned with lines in the sand. Once Texas was annexed to the States, it was only a matter of high tension and fierce disagreements about borders before Polk sent troops down to the border and then reported to Congress that the Mexicans had fired on them. Congress reacted by declaring war on Mexico. The war ended with the Guadalupe-Hidalgo Treaty on February 2, 1848.


4. I believe the most significant, if not the most important, person was Franklin Pierce. He signed the Kansas-Nebraska Act which is considered to be the biggest single step leading to the Civil War. The Act divided the States within themselves, causing violence and numerous fatalities as each side fought for dominance. Though the Act perhaps wouldn’t have ever passed the House and the Senate without Douglas’ pushing it through, it would’ve been stopped cold if it was vetoed, a power Pierce possessed and didn’t exercise.

Superb! Will use as a model answer.

5. “Bleeding Kansas” refers to the various violent and bloody conflicts that occurred in the state after the Kansas-Nebraska Act was signed.


6. In the Cartoon Columbia is ‘spanking’ Stephan Douglas whilst Uncle Sam watches the disciplining with approval. This illustrates the United States punishing Douglas for pushing the Kansas-Nebraska Act through when it hurt the Union so much. The cartoonist could have been anti-slavery, or even just unhappy with the effects the bill had on the country’s well-being.

Good analysis.

7. It is possible that the war could’ve been avoided, as are all things. However, it’s a bit much to accuse a single entity of being wholly to blame for either instigating or failing to avoid the war. There were many different things that added ‘fuel to the fire’ bringing about violent solutions, which first found a foot-hold decades earlier. Many people tried to keep war at bay in various ways, all of which obviously failed. So, could it have been avoided? Yes. Is it realistic to drop the weight of a divided country and the responsibility of stopping war from breaking out on to any one person? No. The war could have been stopped if people on both sides had acted like mature adults and sat down together and come to a reasonable compromise, but then again, maybe war was the only way to rid America of slavery.


(Sorry I didn't do the Honors Questions this week, my other schoolwork required more of my attention than usual)

Great work. Score: 69/70.--Aschlafly 12:30, 17 October 2008 (EDT)