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Both the terms share the common goal of advocating territorial expansion and link it to superior American traits. ‘Manifest Destiny’ uses the philosophical belief in the divine sanction, the propagation of democratic institutions and economic compulsions to support its stand. It was largely based on feelings of cultural and racial superiority (MacKay). The ‘Frontier Thesis’ holds that the very character of the American people was shaped by Westward expansion. Here again, territorial expansion is linked to superior American traits, such as democracy and individualism (Hietala).
These terms are significant in American history because they form the basis of the American policy of expansion: first on the continent and, later for US imperialism across the globe. The annexation of Texas in 1845, the acquisition of Oregon from Britain in 1846, the conquest of California and New Mexico in the American-Mexican War of 1846, and the appropriation of land from the Native Americans were all partly justified on the principle of ‘Manifest Destiny’ and approval of the ‘Frontier
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Introduction In the period between 1870 and 1910, there were demographic upheavals in the US connected to reorganization of racial order with social and political boundaries between groups shifting, new groups emerging, others disappearing marked by a change of notion of who belonged to which category.
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