Whether he took the correct actions or not in the Mexican war the result showed that it created a much bigger America. Manifest Destiny was a term coined by John L. O’Sullivan in 1845. He said, “justification for white settlers to take land they coveted”. (Roark 370) It was the idea that the United States was predefined by god to expand and control land throughout North America and exercise dominance over its neighbors. Americas population was increasing dramatically because of immigrants pilling in, “Our populaition has increased from three to twenty million”.
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.
Overall, the purpose of Manifest Destiny was to spread American values and expand the geographical borders of the nation. To begin with, the need Americans felt to expand west caused the government to seek more geographical territory and “Expansion westward seemed perfectly natural to many Americans in the mid-nineteenth century.”. The Louisiana purchase was one of the first expansions that made a big impact on the United States and initiated this movement. Events such as the Texas annexation and the Oregon Treaty of 1846 were parts of Manifest Destiny. These events expanded the national territory and encouraged people to settle further west, north, and south.
All the struggling and changing of the foreign and domestic policies from 1840 to 1850 eventually brought about a vast new territory into the West. After compromising with the British over Oregon, dealing with the annexation of Texas, and fighting Mexico over California and New Mexico, the United States nearly grew half in size. The new land had much to offer for those who were struggling and seeking to start fresh. Many moved out and spread out to the West through trails established from the East, such as the Oregon and California trail. As a strong advocate of Manifest Destiny, James K. Polk was successful in fulfilling the dream of his and of many Americans to stretch the land from coast to coast.
In the mid-19th century, the West drew increasing numbers of American settlers despite the hardships of the journey and the difficult living conditions that waited them at their journey’s end. Thus Americans were immediately sized on the phrase “ Manifest Destiny”- believing that United State’s destiny is manifest, inevitable, to expand to the Pacific Ocean and into Mexican territory. Various factors in the United States in early 1800’s caused the nation to become grabbed with the Western Expansion. First, there were geographical and psychological issues. After Thomas Jefferson’s Louisiana Purchase in 1803, which had doubled the United States’ size, Americans explored this huge territory in limited numbers.
American expansionism in the late 19th century and early 20th century was a continuation of past expansionism, as the united states probed their cultural influence on different lands. America has not only taken the label of an expansionist country, but an robust imperialist one as well. As the United States began to acquire a colonial empire however, it became apparent that the allegedly noble social motives of Manifest Destiny and the spread of liberty merely served to justify the true secular intentions beneath imperialism: a desire for commercial gain and international power. Thus, the expansionism of the united states ultimately a pursuit of these essential self-serving needs that powered American imperialism in to new realms and catapulted the nation to a position of dominance, as they took over worldwide power.
The people were, more so at this time, attempting to represent themselves, outside of the confines of Parliament and the King. Subsequently, the divide furthered between America and England. The Sons of Liberty rose in opposition to the tax crisis felt in America. Sons of Liberty used the terms freedom, slavery, and liberty to further motivate followers. “As this denial, and execution of that Act, involves our slavery, and would sap the foundations of our freedom.” Again the Sons reiterated that it is wrong to impose taxes on the people without said people’s consent.
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.
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.
AP US History As the United States grew in power, so did her ideas of expansion. The foreign powers were beginning to move out of their continents and seek land in other countries. The United States soon followed. They followed in their founder’s footsteps and tried to occupy lands in the far seas. However, in the beginning, this need for more land was called Manifest Destiny.