The United States ' Territorial Expansion Essay

The United States ' Territorial Expansion Essay

Length: 1037 words (3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

In order to organize and understand the factors that drove U.S territorial expansion, it is imperative to first briefly review two key territorial acquisitions and one doctrine chronologically; beginning with the Louisiana Purchase, continuing to the Monroe Doctrine, and concluding with the acquisition of Oregon Country and Mexican Cession. After exploring these time periods, it becomes apparent that the factors most responsible for westward expansion are internal momentum and the pull of empty land with relation to Manifest Destiny.

Following the American Revolution, the United States saw its first largest territorial expansion during Thomas Jefferson’s term. Jefferson envisioned “freehold farmers as a sort of chosen people of God, calling no one master and redeeming humanity by their example of unfettered liberty even as they tilled the soil”.In essence, Jefferson desired a United States that was self-sufficient and not reliant on foreign help. Furthermore, he believed “their virtue would be sustained and their nation’s uniqueness [would be] assured”. In order to accomplish this, however, the need for territory was absolute. Jefferson looked to purchase the territory from France; it was able to do so because France had lost its Caribbean colonies during the Haitian War and Napoleon found little use for the Louisiana territory. As a result, the Louisiana Purchase occurred in 1803, nearly doubling the size of the United States.

Next, the emergence of the Monroe Doctrine is key because it is official documentation claiming the Western Hemisphere as “rightfully” belonging to the United States. Created under President James Monroe and his Secretary of State John Quincy Adams in 1823, the Monroe Doctrine ultimat...

... middle of paper ...

...n of the pull of empty land. The U.S had just acquired Oregon Country at this time and was no longer in need of resources or land to provide homes for their population, but rather they figured why not, it was available.
By reviewing key decisions such as the Louisiana Purchase, the Monroe Doctrine, and the territorial acquisitions under Polk, the United States’ motive to expand westward was better understood. While there are multiple reasons why the United States took initiative to move westward, the most prominent factors include internal momentum due to economic interests and population growth, but more importantly the allure of open land and the idea of Manifest Destiny. More importantly, however, the fact that the United States nearly triples in size within one hundred years, forebodes the upcoming threat of the U.S to international stages in years to follow.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Effect Of Territorial Expansion During The United States Essay

- Between 1800 and 1850 the United States of America was an evolving nation in almost all possible ways including national unity. Many factors effected the change in national unity but none quite as much as territorial expansion. During this time period the United States more then doubled in size and by the end of its expansion reached from atlantic coast all the way to the pacific. When the nation first started to expand it brought with it the “era of good feeling”. With new states being created, the rapid growth of white settlement, and the economy expanding a rising spirit of nationalism was was consuming the United States in the years after the war of 1812....   [tags: United States, Slavery in the United States]

Better Essays
894 words (2.6 pages)

American Territorial Expansion Of America Essay

- When the shape of America first started to grow from just land to the 13 colonies to the westward expansion of our country in less than a century, it sure feels like hopes and dreams came true. Though it might have seemed like an easier task, it took luck, labor, and intense warfare. The long process of American territorial expansion was justified by a mid-century ideology known as Manifest Destiny (pg 1). The one people we seem to forget about when we discuss the growing settlement of our country are the Native Americans....   [tags: United States]

Better Essays
1528 words (4.4 pages)

Territorial Expansion Made The Divisive Issue Of Slavery Impossible Essay

- Territorial expansion made the divisive issue of slavery impossible to ignore. The North and South each had different visions for the new territories acquired by the United States and neither side was willing to let the other become the dominate force in America. Key events regarding territorial expansion, and the figures who enacted them, drove the wedge between the North and South farther and farther until the eruption of the Civil War. Some of these events included the war with Mexico, the “Wilmot Proviso”, the “Compromise of 1850”, the “Kansas Nebraska Act”, the “Dredd Scott Decision,” the formation of the “free soil party” or the new Republicans, and John Brown 's attacks on pro-slavers...   [tags: Compromise of 1850, Slavery in the United States]

Better Essays
1239 words (3.5 pages)

Political Intervention And Economic Expansion Of The United States Essay

- As Cuban and Puerto Rican nationalists found by the last half of the 19th century, new world powers seized the nation-state model and extended their borders and influence. The United States was an unstable new republic as the European empires controlled the remaining lands of the Americas. However, by the 1900s, the United States and Canada had enveloped the rest of the North American landmass, and a large portion of Latin America would break free from European rule. Nevertheless, European forces and the United States of America would increase their sphere of influence on world issues through political intervention and economic expansion....   [tags: United States, Americas, Latin America]

Better Essays
808 words (2.3 pages)

Essay on The Yuma Territorial Prison As A Beacon Of Civilization

- The Yuma Territorial Prison is one of the main pillars in the growth of Arizona as the wild west was tamed. Its existence served not only as a beacon of civilization but that of consequence for those who resisted human expansion’s natural progression. As it existed many thought of it as a joke giving those inside the easy life or the likes of a concentration camp but in the middle of civilian held war, the prison stood toward the future. From near modern advances to holding those refusing to be held and even continueing on helping those of Yuma for years to come....   [tags: Prison, Yuma Territorial Prison, American Old West]

Better Essays
1433 words (4.1 pages)

Essay New Imperialism : A Period Of Territorial Expansion

- New Imperialism was a period of territorial expansion by the countries of Europe, the U.S. and Japan which began around 1870 and lasted until the mid-twentieth century. During this time, these imperial nations colonized vast swathes of Asia, the Middle East and Africa. It was the time of the New imperialism, when powerful industrialized nations fought for control of territories and there resources all over the world. Applied science and industrial productivity powered the technological, economic way and military that powered the New imperialism....   [tags: British Empire, Africa, New Imperialism]

Better Essays
1017 words (2.9 pages)

Essay about The Truth about the War with Mexico

- United States started the war with Mexico due to its imperial ambitions and need for territorial expansion. America was modernizing itself and getting ready to engage in competition with Europe. Capitalism and modernization fueled the competition for resources to feed the industries, and the markets to sell the manufactured goods. A country in this world was either an exploiter or the exploited by that order of things. Being neither one of those was the hardest to achieve. Americans decided to be exploiters; therefore, they needed to engage in competition with Europe, a group of empires dominating the world....   [tags: modernization, territorial expansion]

Better Essays
1229 words (3.5 pages)

Essay on Manifest Destiny And Its Impact On The United States

- Manifest Destiny Territorial expansion was a top objective in the United States during the eighteenth and early nineteenth century. As president, Andrew Jackson seized thousands of acres of land from Native American and drove them from their lands. He also sponsored the legislation of The Indian Removal Act of 1830 which promised Native Americans lands to the west of the continent. Years later, however, the promise was broken. One of the most significant action that helped to solidify the United States’ authority over America was during James Monroe’s presidency known as the Monroe Doctrine....   [tags: United States]

Better Essays
737 words (2.1 pages)

Manifest Destiny : The United States During The Nineteenth Century Essay

- Jhanine Senior HIS166-86387 Manifest Destiny Territorial expansion was a top objective in the United States during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. President Andrew Jackson seized thousands of acres of land from Native American and drove them from it. He also sponsored the legislation, The Indian Removal Act of 1830 which promised Native Americans lands to the west of the continent. Years later, however, the promises were broken. One of the most significant actions that helped to solidify the United States’ authority over America was during James Monroe’s presidency known as the Monroe Doctrine....   [tags: United States]

Better Essays
709 words (2 pages)

Essay on Territorial Expansion

- Territorial Expansion " Almost all people have, at one stage or another in their history felt and expressed the need to extend their territory and also to explain and justify their need both to the world and to themselves." ( John A. Hawgood, Manifest Destiny, p126) When North America was first being colonised in the early 17th century, the settlers made their home along the coasts of the ocean and the shores of the nearby rivers. Nevertheless, as the population kept growing, adventurers, trappers and many mores, started to move west, farther from waterways and from the Atlantic coast....   [tags: Papers]

Better Essays
1638 words (4.7 pages)