Mexican War & Sectionalism

Last Updated: Mar. 18, 2016

The Mexican War & Sectionalism (Third Turning, 1844–1860) was an era of “almighty dollar” commercialism, western “gold fever,” Whitmanesque self-worship, and nativist slogans against Mexicans and Irish. Beneath trimming national leaders, rising tempers launched competing moral crusades. By the late 1850s—from Kansas to Harper’s Ferry, Dred Scott to the Underground Railroad—visions of the nation’s future were separating into two irreconcilable regional loyalties.

  • Compromisers entering elderhood
  • Transcendentals entering midlife
  • Gilded entering young adulthood
  • Progressives entering childhood

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