The Manifest Destiny

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The Manifest Destiny is the idea of continental expansion by the United States, from the Atlantic to the Pacific Oceans, which naturally occurred out of a deep want and need to explore and conquer new lands and establish new borders. This idea contributed to several wars, including the US-Mexican War.

Mexico and the United States had its share of territorial issues. With only four more days of his presidency, on March 1, 1845, President John Tyler signed the Texas annexation bill. When the United States formally offered annexation to Texas in 1845, Mexico, protested. On December 29, 1845, Texas was formally admitted to the Union. Mexico refused to accept the loss of Texas, as written in the Treaty of Velasco that was created after the Battle of San Jacinto, in April 21, 1836, and still considered Texas to be Mexican territory, which obtained independence from Spain in 1821, that was under temporary rule of a rebel government. Mexico declared that the annexation of Texas was the same as an act of war. Around the same time, American President, James K. Polk (who took office on March 4, 1845) sent diplomat John Slidell to Mexico with an offer to buy Texas, New Mexico and California for about $30 million. Mexico rejected the offer.

President Polk wanted to define the “borderline” of America. He sent orders to US Army General Zachary Taylor to set up a defense system on the north bank of the Rio Grande River. In addition, Polk also wanted to influence the people who lived in the region to pressure the Mexicans to sell off the territory that was not actually under any established form of government at that time since Mexico’s frontiers had no formal king or leader. Polk ordered US Colonel Stephen Kearney to the New Mexico territor...

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... and the Oregon Territory establishment with Britain, along with the Missouri Compromise ended in a political aftermath of irreconcilable conflicts between the North and the South over the expansion of slavery, led to the beginning of the Civil War.

Source Cited

1. Hofstadter, Beatrice K. and Richard. Great Issues in American History, Volume II: From the Revolution to the Civil War, 1765 - 1865. Alfred A. knopf, Inc. and Random House, Inc., NY (1958) page 341.
Note: Document of the James K. Polk, War Message given to the US congress on May 11, 1846.

Other Recourses

PBS, "The U.S. - Mexican War: Homepage, " KERA, (accessed 11.3.2006, 2006).