Manifest Destiny And American Territorial Expansion Summary Essay

The United States had a belief that American settlers were meant to stretch from coast to coast. In the 1840s, Manifest Destiny enhanced western settlement and provided a motivation for continued territorial expansion. It formed war with Mexico and Native American removal. The fact that the American people were historically connected to English civilization caused Manifest Destiny. This made them feel superior in America because they got power and control over the other peoples who lived there.

The Americans were white and educated so they felt they were better than the Indians. They felt that the Indians’ lack of knowledge made them less worthy than anyone else. The Americans realized all of this and felt they can take over Indian lands. They believed they were better than everyone. They felt England was better than Spain. They also felt that their Protestant religion was superior to Catholicism. The Americans felt they were superior to others and deserved to dominate all of North America. Manifest Destiny was very important to Americans.

Manifest Destiny is a period in American History where individuals are poised, to some extent, in making choices between both how the history is viewed and how it is told. ” “Manifest Destiny has been a major force in US history. It was very important in causing the expansion of the US in the 1800s. America and American civilization should take control of as much land as possible and that this should be done because Americans had a culture and government that were superior to those of the people around them.

The major impacts of the concept were the expansion across America and the Mexican-American War. We used it as a justification for taking land from the less-developed people — the Indians and the Mexicans and then overseas places such as the Philippines. The idea that we should spread our ways to other people and other parts of the world is part of what has caused us to do things like invade Iraq in modern times. Manifest Destiny is the belief that it was America’s right and duty to spread across the North American continent.

It was so important to the westward spread of the US because people thought it was their God-given right to expand westward and take over land. Manifest Destiny took many forms. America grew through treaties, through settlement, and through war. Manifest Destiny was the ideology that the United States was somehow entitled to all of the land between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. Why it was so appealing was that as the population of the nation grew people needed new land to settle on.

The land of the northeast was not really suited for agriculture and the south was bound in the slave economy before the Civil War and in Reconstruction so it was not a place to settle. Hence, the west was the only place the nation could expand. The US felt that it had a right to these lands so they drove the Indians off of the land and settlers began moving west towards the Pacific Ocean where land was plentiful. The idea of Manifest Destiny justified their taking the Indian lands in their minds. Amy S. Greenberg, “Manifest Destiny became one of the most influential ideologies in American history.

It justified the relentless displacement of Native Americans from the colonial era forward; a war of aggression against Mexico in 1846 that stripped it of half its land; attacks on Canada, Mexico, Cuba, and Central America by private American mercenaries known as filibusters; and military action to gain overseas colonies in the late nineteenth century. ” Greenberg focuses on the social, cultural and political context that gave rise to Manifest Destiny.

She explores how American expansionism evolved from its colonial roots and accompanying notions of exceptionalism to ecome a fully articulated rationale in the 1840s for expanding the nation’s borders and seizing lands from Native Americans and Mexico and later from Cuba and Central America. Documents — including diary and personal narratives, letters, political speeches, contemporary illustrations, newspaper accounts, essays, appeals, and a song – highlight the origin of the term itself, ideological support and rejection of Manifest Destiny, and the voices of those most painfully affected by American expansion. In the book, “Manifest Destiny and American Territorial Expansion, A Brief History with Documents by Amy S. Greenberg.

Not only does the book contain many primary source documents that have not been seen in other readers, but it also spans a very wide time period from 1630 to the end of the nineteenth century. Greenberg’s definition of manifest destiny is much broader than the definition seen in many history books and links together westward expansion on the American continent as well as expansion westward to Asia in a very similar fashion to the re-designed course. The book express general ideas about the settlement of the west, and articulate arguments for and against American expansionism.

Greenberg’s book is divided into two distinct sections: Part One provides a brief history of territorial expansion from the 1600s to 1898, focusing on the social and cultural roots of aggressive expansionism and placing manifest destiny in a hemispheric context. This section focuses on both the Americans moving westward as well as the people who were impacted by that movement such as Native Americans and Mexicans. Numerous maps show the Indian nations in North America c. 1750 as well as Indian land cessions from 1810 through 1890.

Of particular interest is Professor Greenberg’s linkage of ideas and theories of racism with aggressive expansionism and her weaving of ideas of American exceptionalism throughout the narrative and introductions to the various documents. Part Two contains the documents, themselves, divided into eight sections: Ideological Origins, Expansion in the Early Republic, Pushing West, Texas and Oregon, War for Empire, Expanded Horizons: Cuba, Hawaii, and Central America, Sectionalism Trumps Manifest Destiny, and Manifest Destiny Reevaluated and Redeemed.

Five documents spanning the period from 1811 to 1865, were written by Native Americans, four by foreign authors from England, Mexico, and Jamaica, and a many others by Americans who traveled west giving eye witness accounts of what they saw and felt about the inevitability of manifest destiny. Manifest Destiny supports the idea of the United States as an exceptional nation. American exceptionalism is the concept that America is different in a special and unique way, such that it merits evaluating with different, or exceptional, criteria from that of other nations.

In other words, the rules which apply to the rest of the world, must be re-thought when considering America, because America is “exceptional”. It is a concept which has been the object of much ridicule in recent times, but, one which past generations of Americans consciously or unconsciously embraced. Manifest destiny is the thoughts of Americans wanting to grow. Many felt it was a higher plan, that it was god’s plan. To make progression, that the united states control as much as possible to concur all they can.

American exceptionalism is the thinking that the U. S. s a unique character of the world. Basically we are the best. That the United States is a nation based on personal liberties and democratic ideas. ” Manifest Destiny continued to have significance for the United States and the rest of the world. The idea of Manifest Destiny remains with us today because we continue to try to remake the world in our image. One aspect of Manifest Destiny was the idea that we had the best culture and government in the world. This gave us the right to spread out and take more territory so as to put more of the world under that culture and that government.

Today, we no longer believe that we have the right to more territory. But we do believe that we have the best system of government. We have gone to great lengths to try to make other countries of the world be more like us (Iraq and Afghanistan come to mind). This can be seen as evidence that the idea of Manifest Destiny remains with us today. I think that Manifest Destiny has transformed into being more about policies than territories. We are not so concerned with occupying other countries, but we do want them to have the same or at least similar policies that we have in the US.