Western Expansion and Reform (1829-1859)
Presidents Andrew Jackson, James Polk, and John
Tyler, like many Americans of this time, embraced
the notion of enlarging the "empire for liberty."
In other words they wanted to expand the borders
of America westward. While some pioneers
headed west to California, others attempted to
expand the idea of what "liberty" in America
Abolitionists opposed laws that kept
African Americans enslaved, and advocates of
women's suffrage argued that wives, mothers and
daughters should play a more significant role in
society by voting, holding office, and working
outside the home.