Lead: One hundred and fifty years ago the Republic was facing its greatest crisis. This continuing series examines the American Civil War. It is "A House Divided."

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Manifest destiny was the idea that it was the birthright of the United States to stretch unimpeded from coast to coast. Abolitionists, those opposed to slavery, were generally supported of this expansion, but also had nagging doubts that the whole enterprise was a conspiracy to expand slavery and continue the South’s domination over the Federal Union it had maintained since the Revolution. And they had a point. Through the 1840s expansion had tended to benefit the slave interest. In the years following 1800 many more slave states had entered the Union than free ones. Future expansion, because it would come largely in the southwest, would simply confirm this trend.


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