The Impact Of Westward Expansion And Manifest Destiny On America

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Less than a century since splitting with the British Empire, the United States had gone a long way to establish its empire. Having turned a community of sparsely settled colonies into a continental force with huge potential, most Americans felt the feat was so incredible it was evident. It was a justification for them that Christ had wanted to grow and flourish in the United States. Yet in a story as old as the transformation of ancient Rome from republic to empire, it was not found encouraging by all Americans. Those dissidents saw rapid expansion as contrary to a true republic’s principles, predicting the empire’s cost would be high and its consequences would be dangerous.

While speaking about the westward expansion of the United States, John L. O’Sullivan was the first man to coin the term ‘Manifest Destiny.’ Manifest Destiny suggests the idea the United States has a god-given right to all of North America’s lands from the Caribbean to the Pacific Ocean. When combined with the political, economic, and technological realities of the mid-nineteenth century through the early twentieth century, this assumption contributed to the rapid expansion of the United States to the West. The United States’ changing geography was a factor in Western expansion. The amount of land held by the United States doubled over one hundred years. Together with a rapidly growing population in the eastern states, this realization encouraged people to migrate to these newly acquired western lands. Changing economic realities also contributed to expansion towards the West. Wages had stagnated for many in the east. Gold and new fertile lands were discovered as an opportunity for a better life. During this time, economics coupled with this belief in Manifest Destiny proved to establish a great pioneering spirit. But it was difficult and costly to get to these western lands. Improvements in transportation technology overcame this hurdle. Many argued the progress in infrastructure technology such as steamboats, canals, and railroads did more than anything else to stimulate the western expansion in the United States. Certain inventions such as the cotton gin, the steam-powered steel plow, and the automated reaper allowed many traveling west to utilize the land more thoroughly, thus facilitating even more western migration. In history, the supposed inevitability of the continued territorial expansion of the United States and the idea of Manifest Destiny were used before the American Civil War to validate national expansion. The United States population increased from around five million inhabitants in eighteen hundred to over twenty-three million by eighteen fifty, due to a high birth rate and rapid immigration.2 This rapid growth, as well as two financial depressions in eighteen nineteen and eighteen thirty-nine, would push millions of Americans westward in search of new ground and new opportunities. President Thomas Jefferson began the western expansion of the country in eighteen oh three with the Louisiana Purchase, which nearly doubled the size of the United States at about eight hundred and twenty-eight thousand square miles.3 In addition to supporting Lewis and Clark’s western exploration, Jefferson frequently concentrated on Spanish Georgia. Cries of Texas ‘ ‘reannexation’ intensified when Mexico gained independence from Spain and passed a law in eighteen thirty to stop the United States. immigration to Texas and in eighteen thirty-six, when Texas achieved its autonomy, the new leaders decided to reform the United States.4 Both Andrew Jackson’s and Martin Van Buren’s governments opposed these demands, anticipating both conflict with Mexico and resistance from Americans who suspected annexation proposals were connected with slavery expansion. In April eighteen forty-four, an agreement made Texas liable for membership as United States territory, and probably as one or more states later.5 James K. Polk won the eighteen forty-four vote despite opposition to this treaty in Congress, and Tyler was able to sign the legislation before he left the office.

A wonderful example of a historical assignment is the journal ‘John L. O’Sullivan and His Times.’ The editor of a magazine and a partisan newspaper, John L. O’Sullivan, first wrote about ‘manifest destiny’ in eighteen forty-five, but at the time he did not think the words were profound. The term was hidden halfway through a section of a long essay in The United States Magazine and the Democratic Review on the need to annex Texas and the inevitability of American growth. O’Sullivan was complaining against European intervention in American politics, especially by France and England. O’Sullivan’s observation was a complaint rather than a call for aggression. However, when he expanded his idea in a newspaper column, his reference to divine superintendence was seized by the wider audience. Discussing the controversy over the Oregon nation with Great Britain, O’Sullivan once again referenced the statement to the right of manifest destiny to overspread and conquer the entire continent which God has granted us for the establishment of the great experiment in liberty and federated self-government assigned to us. Some were intrigued by the opinion, but others were simply irritated. The Whig Party attempted to discredit Manifest Destiny as both belligerent and pompous. Unabashed Democrats, however, took Manifest Destiny as a slogan.6 The term also emerged in Oregon-related discussions, sometimes as a roaring slogan and sometimes as cynical derision. Over the years, O’Sullivan’s position in developing the expression was overlooked, and he died in obscurity some 50 years after first using the word ‘manifest destiny.’ Notwithstanding disputes over the nature of Manifest Destiny at the moment, O’Sullivan had come upon a common collective sensation. Although it became a rallying cry as well as a foreign policy argument reached its peak in eighteen forty-five through eighteen forty-six, the mentality underlying Manifest Destiny had long been part of American history.7 The restless English who in the sixteen hundreds and seventeen hundreds colonized North America immediately looked westward and instantly found strategies to move into the forest and conquer it. The origin of this persistent wanderlust differed from region to region, but within one century the practice became a norm. It would beckon to the western horizon, and Americans would obey. The rapid progress of the cotton monarchy in the South after the American Revolution mirrored the appeal of the Ohio Valley in eighteen oh three.8 As the United States pacified and consolidated unstable territories, the subsequent land seizure typically weakened ties with neighbors, setting off a process of turmoil that enabled further annexations. Caught in the turmoil that came with development, Southeast Native Americans bowed to the burden of increasing colonization by ceding their property to the United States and then were forcefully relocated to the west of the Mississippi River. The Native American’s tremendous struggles in the period were exemplified by the Cherokees’ destruction on the notorious Trail of Tears, which sparked nationalist outrage from both the political class and the citizenry. In the eighteen forties, diplomacy resolved the dispute with Britain over the Oregon Country, and victory in the Mexican-American War ended a period of dramatically rapid growth for the US.

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After the Civil War, the nation became consumed with the restoration of the Confederacy and the development of the manufacturing boom that rendered the United States. a leading economic force. However, in the eighteen-nineties, the United States and other major powers embraced geopolitical doctrines derived from the writings of a naval officer and historian Alfred Thayer Mahan, who posed national grandeur in a competitive world derived from the ability to control sea navigation. The irony of Mahanian theory appearing in combination with the conviction of Herbert Spencer that development was encouraged by unfettered rivalry contributed to a maritime arms race revolutionized seagoing technology and rushed the substitution of shipping with steam. Americans called the ‘Old Manifest Destiny’ a newly found political pursuit. As before, in a higher purpose supposedly decreed by God, it was a means of tormenting imperial ambitions. The Spanish-American War of eighteen ninety-eight emerged from public indignation over the supposedly oppressive imperialist actions of Madrid in Cuba and, more specifically, in reaction to the loss of the United States battleship Maine, but it concluded with the United States gaining remains of the declining global empire of Spain.9 Likewise, Hawaii’s annexation in eighteen ninety-eight provided the desirable port facilities at Pearl Harbor to the United States Navy. The New Destiny Manifest oddly changed the forbearer’s political lines of support. Manifest Destiny in the eighteen forties was largely a philosophy of the Democratic Party against Whig opposition, but the New Manifest Destiny was a Republican policy, especially under Pres. The aggressive support of it by Theodore Roosevelt and Republicans continued to respond to it. Nevertheless, the parties’ Radical sides gravitated to promote Western idealism, contributing to involvement in the First and Pres World Wars. The Fourteen Points by Woodrow Wilson as a declaration of strong globalization. Ironically, Wilson’s plan failed to maintain a majority among the American people. As expansionism fell under, the slavery dispute was pressing before the Civil War. After the war, Wilsonian internationalism retreated from the conventional isolationism of the United States.

The principles of American Manifest Destiny were first codified by the writer Albert K. Weinberg in his nineteen thirty-five novel Manifest Destiny. While others have explored these concepts and reinterpreted them, they remain a good base for describing the theory. That is, they needed a country of national proportions, not a bunch of small nations on a continent. That would give the United States a few limits to think about and encourage it to follow a coherent foreign policy. Americans claimed God has allowed them to create the supreme state by physically dividing the United States from Europe. Then it was reasonable He wanted them to spread the government to unenlightened people as well. Which applied immediately to the Native Americans. After the United States, the word Manifest Destiny has gone out of use. Civil War, partially because of the concept’s racist overtones, but it came back in the eighteen-nineties to explain American involvement in the Cuban uprising against Spain.10 This contributed to the Spanish-American War of eighteen ninety-eight. The war brought to the theory of Manifest Destiny further contemporary ramifications. While the United States did not fight the war for real expansion, a rudimentary empire was developed by the United States After quickly beating Spain, both Cuba and the Philippines were in control of the United States. American officials, including President William McKinley, hesitated to let nationals run their affairs in either place, for fear of failing.11 Simply put, most Americans claimed they needed to take Manifest Destiny to American waters to expand American democracy, not for land acquisition. The pride in this conviction was itself discriminatory. From nineteen thirteen to nineteen twenty-one, Woodrow Wilson, president, became a big believer in modern Manifest Destiny.12 His speeches was full of the idea only Americans could provide political training was a staple of Manifest Destiny. Wilson directed the United States. Navy to execute ‘saber-rattling’ drills along the Mexican coastline, culminating in small combat in Veracruz city. In nineteen seventeen, attempting to justify America’s entrance into the First World War, Wilson claimed the United States should ‘make the world free for freedom.’ The modern implications of Manifest Destiny have been so clearly characterized by few statements. It would be difficult to classify American engagement as an extension of Manifest Destiny in World War II. During the Cold War, you can make a bigger argument for its strategies. Yet George W. Bush’s actions against Iraq align nearly perfectly with contemporary Manifest Destiny. Bush, who said he had little experience in ‘nation-building’ in a 2000 argument with Al Gore, continued to do that in Iraq.14 In March two thousand three, when Bush began the war, his obvious reason was to find ‘weapons of mass destruction.’ He was bent on depositing Saddam Hussein as the Iraqi tyrant and establishing an American democracy model in his place. The resulting rebellion against American occupiers showed how tough it would be for the United States to continue to push the Manifest Destiny product.

Manifest Destiny has caused controversy among historians who are trying to sort out their origins and evaluate their meaning. The New Western Historians emphasized the role of the government coalition and influential corporations in overwhelming indigenous peoples. Furthermore, they did not see the West influencing American exceptionalism profoundly, the reality of which they in any case questioned. Rather, they concentrated on how different communities blended to create a unique legacy that was wide and varied, however. Whatever the nature of these conflicting views, Manifest Destiny articulated an age-old appetite for progress, transformation, and development in the simplistic definition. Those who supported it might have done so for venal and noble purposes, and those who resisted it seemed to have been vindicated by the Civil War with their bleak predictions about the high costs of expanding imperialism, but the circumstances of American expansionism have been a tale more than twice-told throughout memory. 

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