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The Mexican War and Manifest destiny - Essay Example

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The Mexicans attacked American troops next to the Southern border of Texas. During this war, a number of factors served as incentives to the expansion of…
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The Mexican War and Manifest destiny
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The Mexican War and Manifest destiny The Mexican War and Manifest destiny According to Meed (2002), the Mexican war, fought between the United States and Mexico, began on the 26th of April in 1846. The Mexicans attacked American troops next to the Southern border of Texas. During this war, a number of factors served as incentives to the expansion of the west. Mountjoy (2009) contends that these factors included the idea of the manifest destiny, the policy of the federal government, and cheaper and faster transportation. The manifest destiny was an idea based on the belief that God had destined the people of the United States to civilize and conquer the whole of North American continent. This encouraged western expansion, with the ultimate aim of controlling the entire North America. The federal government policy also served as an incentive to the expansion of the west. This can be related to the Homestead Act of 1862 that encouraged the development of the agricultural west.
Another incentive for the expansion of the west was the development of transportation. The economy of the west was based on cultivation of cotton. As a result, the canal system developed because of steam boats. Development of railroads also played a significant role in the development of the west. For example, the transcontinental rail road played an essential role in the growth of the population and trade (Mountjoy, 2009).
Despite the expansion of the west, several factors can be associated with the opposition to the expansion. The expansion of the west faced massive opposition from anti-slave Northerners, who believed that additional territories would encourage the legalization of slavery. They purported that western expansion would ensure that slave states outnumbered slave free states. As a result, this would lead to legislation that would favor slavery (Meed, 2002). Although some Native Americans, such as Indians, opposed the expansion of the west, American settlers defeated them. They could not withstand the movement of thousands of settlers because the army defeated them in a number of battles. They were also confined into reservations; the US president, Andrew Jackson, passed the Indian removal act, which encouraged coercive removal of Indians.

References
Mountjoy, S. (2009). Manifest Destiny: Westward Expansion. New York: Chelsea House Publishers.
Meed, V. D. (2002). The Mexican War 1846-1848. Oxford: Osprey Publishing. Read More
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