The Compromise of 1850: America’s Final Attempt to Pretend Slavery is OK

The Compromise of 1850: America's Final Attempt to Pretend Slavery is OK 1

Imagine that your house is on fire.  You see it, but instead of calling the fire department, you turn your back and pretend that it’s not happening. And then you look again, grimace, and sign a compromise with the house saying you’ll get to dealing with it in a little bit.  Hopefully, the house can …

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Corps of Discovery: The Lewis and Clark Expedition Timeline and Trail Route

Lewis and Clark Expedition

A cool spring breeze whispers through the tall trees. The waves of the Mississippi River lap lazily against the bow of the boat — the one you helped to design.  There are no maps to guide you and your party, for what lies ahead. It is land unknown and should you continue deeper in, that …

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The Wilmot Proviso: Definition, Date, and Purpose

The Wilmot Proviso

Throughout the 19th century, during the period known as the Antebellum Era, Congress, and American society as a whole, was tense.  Northerners and Southerners, who never really got along anyway, were engaging in a White-hot (see what we did there?) debate over the issue of slavery — specifically, whether or not it should be permitted …

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Bleeding Kansas: Border Ruffians Bloody Fight for Slavery

Bleeding Kansas

Bleeding Kansas in Context The outbreak of the violence that dominates the Kansas territory in 1856 comes less than two years after you ventured west.  With nothing for you back in Ohio, you and your family had loaded up and headed into the unknown, past Mississippi and north of Missouri.  It was a long and …

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Westward Expansion: Definition, Timeline, and Map

Westward Expansion: Definition, Timeline, and Map 2

The very word “West” in American history has all sorts of different connotations; from cowboys and Indians to dust bowls and Davy Crockett, the American West is as diverse as it is expansive. The drive that led the Founding Fathers, and particular Thomas Jefferson, to seek agreements that would allow American soil to stretch from …

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