Manifest destiny was an idea, which influenced American policy in the twentieth century. The concept was motivation behind the tremendous and rapid expansion of America into the West from the East…
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It is vital to note that manifest destiny was not an official government policy but it led to enactment and passage of policies such as the Homestead Act, which in turn motivated colonization of the West and acquisition of territories. More so, it played a vital part in the American thought of 1800s. An American newspaper editor known as John O’Sullivan was the first person to use the term manifest destiny when he was writing about the proposed annexation of Texas. It was stated that the American manifest destiny was to dominate and over-spread the continent in that via this expansion, America could be recognized economically, socially and politically superpower. In sum, O’Sullivan stated that American was chosen to play the role of expanding westward and establishing civilization (Woodworth 33). It was argued that it was the role of America to spread democratic institutions and liberty to other parts of the world. The main underlying aspect of this American mission was a strong feeling of racial and cultural superiority. Additionally, the Anglo-Saxon America stressed that they had the right to spread to the west while bringing them ideas of Protestantism and self-government. The American conflict with Mexico coincided with American’s desire for expansion. Mexico that had attained independence from Spain had initially accepted and encouraged U.S settlers in Texas but its ruler Santa Anna banned further U.S immigration. However, when Texas announced its own independence from Mexico, Santa opposed the move and vowed to put down the insurrection. This led to annexation of Texas was very controversial due to the issue of slavery. It was believed that Texas was going to add another slave state thus its bid to join the Union was threatened by the issue of slavery as it was believed that it would divide the Democratic Party. Polk encouraged and supported annexation of Texas because of the Country’s compromise on expansion. The Oregon trial was part of the concept of manifest destiny because manifest destiny was the concept that required America to expand into the western territory. Therefore, the Oregon Trail was the people who were moving or travelling from East to the West. This illustrated manifest Destiny because people on the Oregon trial were travelling and spreading out to the West, which was the central concept of manifest destiny (Rick 41-42). The idea of manifest destiny is well demonstrated in the California gold rush where gold mining led to influx of Chinese immigrants in California. This development was criticized by the Americans who lived in California because they believed that no person from other continent cold conduct business in their territory. The idea of manifest destiny was well illustrated in 1845 when James K. Polk became the president in that he initiated an aggressive expansionist plan. At this time, most of Mexican territories had been inhabited but America ignored this development and dismissed as baseless. More so, many people believed that English speaking Americans, protestant were better prepared and equipped to rule Mexican territories than Spanish speaking Mexicans or American Indians (Anders 64). The United States of America tried to purchase California and New Mexico in 1835. However, the U.S battled in the Mexican-American war, which enabled it to acquire the territories of New Mexico and California. The Missouri Compromise of 1820 During the early 1800s, slavery was the most divisive issue in the United States of America. After the revolution, most States in North of Maryland started programs of slowly outlawing slavery, and in the early years of 1800s, the States that still practiced Slavery were in the South. The Missouri compromise in 1820 was a
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The ideology and practice of Manifest Destiny which included expansionism based on nationalism, “influenced United States Policy particularly in the last six decades of the nineteenth century” (Mountjoy 2009: 13). This justified the forcible removal of American Indians, the annexation of Mexican land, and the war with Mexico in the 1840s.
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Widespread beliefs regarding religion, health, and medicine were greatly impacted by the culture of the “rush” mentality, whose adoption was silver, gold, and the aggressive seeking of land. The phenomenon of the Westward Expansion refers to the manner in which United States exploded both in population and size during the era of the 1800s.
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