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The West plays a major role in American mythology - Essay Example

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Name Date Course Section/# The American West and the American Mythology Whereas nation’s intrinsic geographic boundaries have always played a profound role in the way that the individuals within a given nation develop their identity, the role that the existence, conquest, and settlement of the American West has profoundly impacted the American dynamic, the understanding of boundaries, identity, and the creation of what can be termed the American mythology…
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The West plays a major role in American mythology
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Download file to see previous pages However, rather than having a determinant beginning and especially a determinant end, the expansionism that contributed to the “taming” and settlement of the American West by mainly European immigrants had a profound effect on the American consciousness and an understanding of imperialism that has continued to develop up to and including the present time. Firstly, the definition of this “frontier” was necessarily those areas that were not officially incorporated states within the Union. As a function of a series of treaties and more than a few land purchases, as well as wars with Old European powers, the “frontier” was officially defined as a place in which the United States could experience a level of what came to be termed “Manifest Destiny”.1 Although the term itself reeks of the hubris of racism and the divine right of non-native peoples to invade, conquer, and settle the lands of others, it nonetheless played a powerful and continual role in defining the American consciousness. ...
realizing the dream that Manifest Destiny had first espoused – creating a North American continent that was dominated by a United States that stretched from “sea to shining sea”. Moreover, the Gilded Age was important in the colonization and development of the American West as it provided the tools, skill, technology, and rapid development that was necessary to radically transform and “civilize” the West. Without the availability of processed and finished goods from back East during the era in which the West was being colonized, the existence of the railroad, and the constant support from the US Army to squelch any native uprisings that resulted from the theft of their lands, the private and public partnership was congealed. This public and private partnership between big money and politics is sadly a marriage that continues to define the current world in which the United States operates. However, of perhaps equal importance to the actualities that Manifest Destiny is the level of understanding and subconscious determinants that such a cultural phenomena espoused. As a direct and measurable result of doctrine of Manifest Destiny, once the age was over, there was latent energy within American society that it was also the “destiny” of the United States to control North American and beyond. As a function of this, there was an era of imperialism that was engaged upon which has continued almost unabated until the present.2 For this reason, expansion into the Caribbean and later the Pacific would be a trend that began to manifest itself more and more as the years of Western expansion drew to a close. Of course it cannot be stated that this level of conquest affected all groups equally. As can be noted from an even cursory review of history, the way in which ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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