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American Manifest Destiny

Powerful Essays
Expanding Nation

The United States, as a young nation, had the desire to expand westward and become a true continental United States that stretched from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Various factors, strategic and economic, contributed to the desire to expand westward. According to John O’Sullivan, as cited by Hestedt in Manifest Destiny 2004; "the U.S. had manifest destiny to overspread the continent allotted by Providence to the free development of our yearly multiplying millions" (¶2). As Americans ventured westward to settle the frontier, their inherent superior beliefs, culture and the principles of democracy accompanied them. America’s ruthless ambition to fulfill its manifest destiny had a profound impact on the nation’s economy, social systems and foreign and domestic policies; westward expansion was a tumultuous period in American History that included periods of conflict with the Native Americans and Hispanics and increased in sectionalism that created the backdrop for the Civil War.

Westward Expansion and U.S. Economic Growth

After the Revolutionary War, the developing U.S. economy was significantly affected by westward expansion. When settlers migrated west, new land was obtained and made available for farming. Additional land provided increase in production of good that could be sold in the economy. Advanced forms of transportation and improved communications helped spur economic growth and the advance westward.

The development of canal, steam boats and railroads provided a transportation network that linked different regions of the nation together. When farmers began migrating westward and acquiring land for crops, cheaper forms of transportation provided the means to transfer their goods to other regions for s...

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Davidson, J. (Ed.). (2002). Nation of nations: A concise narrative of the American republic (3rd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.

Hawley, C. (2003). U.S. foreign policy. Encyclopedia of American history: Expansion and reform, 1813-1855, 4, Retrieved August 14, 2008, from Facts on File: American History Online database.

Hestedt, G. (2004). Manifest destiny. Encyclopedia of American foreign policy. Retrieved August 14, 2008, from Facts on File: American History Online database.

Hestedt, G. (2004). U.S. indian policy. Encyclopedia of American foreign policy. Retrieved August 14, 2008, from Facts on File: American History Online database.

Rohrbough, M. J. (2003). Migration during the antebellum period. Encyclopedia of American history: Expansion and reform, 1813-1855, 4. Retrieved August 14, 2008, from Facts on File: American History Online database.
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