What Were the Immediate After Effects of the Western Expansion?


Quick Answer

Some of the immediate after effects of the Western Expansion in the United States were the intensification of the debate on slavery and dispossession of the Indian American lands. Other effects that emerged soon after the government started implementing the policy were the endangering of the natural forests and wildlife in the acquired lands.

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The debate on whether or not to allow slavery in the acquired states was a great concern to the nation’s leaders. The Missouri Compromise of 1820 partially solved the problem by establishing Missouri as a slave state and setting aside Maine to be a free state. The Missouri Compromise eased the tensions that threatened the fragile balance in the Congress at the time. It also stipulated that slavery was not to be allowed past the southern boundary of Missouri in the Louisiana Purchase. The Missouri Compromise, however, could not solve the problem further as the country continued expanding westward, and the issue of slavery continued to confront the country’s leadership.

Since the new territories in the Western Expansion were not initially vacant, the policy led to the displacement of Native American tribes who originally occupied the land. After the Louisiana Purchase, the government ordered the forceful removal of Native Americans who occupied the land. This policy resulted in some of the infamous tragedies in the history of the United States, such as the Trail of Tears that occurred during the forceful removal of the Cherokee. As settlers started occupying the acquired land, the Western Expansion posed a grave danger not only to the culture of the Native Americans, but also to the natural forests and wildlife.

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