Before I read May 's book, my knowledge on the Manifest Destiny was rather limited. I wouldn 't say I saw it as a positive concept, because I 've known the term was just an excuse for white people to take what they believed to be rightfully theirs from the people who had already laid claim to it, but I was conscious of the fact that most American high school history classes rarely focused on the more negative aspects of it. I also understood that Americans used Manifest Destiny under the guise of it being their “god given right,” but I was unaware that they actually thought they were helping the indigenous people. It seems rather ridiculous, but at the same time on par with the rest of colonialism and imperialism, that the Americans actually viewed themselves in such a positive light that they could turn “stealing land from a well established race of people” into “helping savages become more modern.”
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...lorified president had.
After attending an average American high school for four years, I became quite numb to the idea that most history classes at that level supply their students with somewhat biased information. Lincoln freed the slaves, Manifest Destiny was good, and America always does what 's right. It 's refreshing to enroll in college courses that teach the same information, yet manage to capture the whole image of history, even when it isn 't the most flattering. May 's Slavery, Race, and Conquest in the Tropics certainly complicated my knowledge about two subjects I mistakenly thought I knew rather well, but it does so in a way that makes me grateful. I 'm glad to have learned about the uglier side of both Manifest Destiny and Abraham Lincoln, because now I can affirm that I have a more wholesome and accurate depiction of what this time period stood for.
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