Americans always had the desire to do great things and expand their influence abroad. It was their ideal that god destined them to do so. Manifest Destiny was a term coined by John O’Sullivan during the 19th century that describes the American’s expedition to further their land, and stretch it from coast to coast. There westward motivation was made possible most notably during the reign of James K. Polk. However, expanding and gaining new land wasn’t a simple scheme.
Manifest destiny is the idea that Americans had, and have, the inherent right to expand the United States from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. As we know, this eventually happened, but it took a lot of time, money, blood, and effort in order to achieve this divine goal. We take for granted the size and span of our country, when for a good part of the 19th century, we shared the land mass with Spanish Mexico. It’s important to understand what drove us to pursue this goal, and the struggles that we encountered in obtaining, exploring, and settling the land. Europeans, for centuries, have been obsessed with the idea of conquest.
In order to acquire new territories, the United States implemented methods of expansionism and later imperialism in the first and second phases, respectively, of its expansion. These two means of self-establishment had several striking similarities between them. Through expansionism in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the main logic behind annexation was for the country to grow and establish itself within its continent. Of course, the desire for increased political power in new states led to conflicts such as Bleed... ... middle of paper ... ...eign they may be to American values. On paper, it was now lawful for the United States to forcefully implement American traditions upon newly annexed foreign citizens under the reasoning that their lives would be bettered by such imperialistic control over their own customs.
Throughout the history of the United States, America always had a desire to expand its territories. They acquired most of their land during the nineteenth and early twentieth century- continuing their expansionism. From the first half of the nineteenth century the manifest destiny played a huge role in expansionism. Because it was essentially a radical “God-given” duty to expand and spread its influence. Senator Albert J. Beveridge.
The United States continually found itself at war and various disputes because of the urge for foreign expansion. It is safe to say that because of the prevailing opinions of superiority and divine rights, some actions were skewed in their executions. The ideals created, and perhaps still do create, a vicious cycle. Each generation of Americans has seen itself as the ones to conquer the globe. When others failed, they believed they could do it right, until they actually tried to.
As Stephanson puts it the major driving force behind expansionism and the politics behind it were driven behind the media and the press. O’ Sullivan especially followed the ideology of Jackson democracy and wanted territorial expansion and the integration of the territories eventually into the Union over time. They believed that God and Christianity were behind them to expand the United States to the vast territories in the continent. As Stephanson explains it O’ Sullivan was even willing to wait many years for these territories such as Mexico and other nearby nations to join the Union which he believed naturally belonged to the United States because of their connection with various rivers and oceans. In Stephanson’s writing you get the idea that manifest destiny was a short term manifestation of a long term ideology and a temporary messianic impulse.
Although the U.S hoped for logical foreign policy, they seemed to abuse their economical power at the same time, by looking out for the "growing production of the country" (Doc C) and it's promotions that "enables a country to extend its influences outward" ( Doc C). The a... ... middle of paper ... ...her hand, as the immigrants began to enter the American work force, Roosevelt used his "Square Deal" to declare that he would use his powers as a president to safeguard the rights of the workers. Within America and throughout foreign countries, the efforts of expansion by the United States proceeded to continue their old goal of maintaining Manifest Destiny and expanding their economic power globally. Yet, they began to form a new course of expansion which leads to the support of world wide stability and order. Their way of thinking for achieving this was not obtained by believing to become a world superpower, yet brought upon the United States by the foreign masses of underdeveloped countries, which relied on them for political, economical, and social stability in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.
Zuhayr Alvi Mr. Tweed Honors US History II September 4, 2014 Growth of America There is a very fine line between expansionism and imperialism. Expansionism is defined as a policy to increase a country’s size by expanding its territory, while imperialism can be defined as a policy of extending a country 's power and influence through diplomacy or military force. Expansionism is a good thing; if it were not for expansionism, the United States of America would not be one of the biggest powers in the world as it is today. Imperialism however is immoral and unjust. Unfortunately a lot of the “super power countries” began to turn away from expansionism and towards imperialism.
Following the Civil War and Reconstruction Eras, Americans began to set their eyes on other shores. With new technology and equipment such as the telegraph and the railroads, the United States had shrunk. No longer was the United States a vast expanse of uncharted territory, but instead, it was a conquered land with a growing population and growing cities. Imperialism was born out of this desire to look across oceans for more land and trade posts for America’s expanding population and economy. Following the Reconstruction Era, the United States debated imperialist policies based on economic, social, military, and political beliefs which ultimately propelled the country to achieving a dominating international reputation.
The US also joined in on the trend of expanding west. They had already claimed as much continental land as they could win in battle or buy. The US now had to ignore their isolationist upbringings and look to foreign land to conquer. Many considered the US the “highest civilization” and that they were destined to take over the world (Josiah Strong). This way of expanding outside of our boundaries quickly became popular because it made us a world power, but some felt that expansion was wrong.