Manifest Destiny asserted that expansion of the United States throughout the American continents was both justified and inevitable; it not only influenced the idea of expanding land but also the expansion of democratic institutions and Protestantism, and became a philosophy which can be compared to the idea of imperialism. The term “Manifest Destiny’ was the belief that the expansion of the U. S. Was ordained by God to spread over the entire continent, but also many just saw it as a slogan to promote expansion. The term first came about by a man named John L.
Sullivan in 1845, who expressed the idea that Americans had the God-given right to settle all of North America. This term was used widely by the people who supported the campaign of annexing western territory but also the people who wanted to expand to the Pacific. In John L. Salvation’s article, “Annexation” he exclaims, the right of our manifest destiny to over spread and to possess the whole of the continent which Providence has given us for the development of the great experiment of liberty and federative development of self government entrusted to us.
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It is right such as that of the tree to the space of air and the earth suitable for the full expansion of its principle and destiny of growth. “(1) Once the concept had been given the name ‘Manifest Destiny’ it became widely used, appearing in newspapers, abates, paintings and advertisements. Salvation’s original conception of Manifest Destiny was not a call for territorial expansion by force. He believed that the expansion of the United States would happen without the direction of the U. S. Government or the involvement of the military.
Sullivan did not originate the idea of Manifest Destiny, while his phrase provided a useful label for ideas which had become particularly popular during the asses, the ideas themselves were not new. Ideas from manifest destiny were emphasized in the Monroe Doctrine, and also the colonial times as Americans ride to break away from their mother country. The Monroe Doctrine of 1822 stated that Britain couldn’t settle anywhere in the western hemisphere, hence the reason why America wanted to place keeps on the land around them.
The ideas were also developed in colonial times when the colonists were trying to break free from Britain, and the revolution added the sense of nationalism that this concept illustrated. John L. Salvation’s exert from his article definitely opened the idea to Americans more so than ever. It became the leading light for westward expansion and during this period in history husbands of people packed up their families and belongings and moved west to new territories to gain land and to make a fortune.
The term Manifest Destiny conveyed the idea that the rightful destiny of the IIS included imperialistic expansion. In 1836, the Republic of Texas declared independence from Mexico and, after the Texas Revolution, sought to join the United States as a new state. The annexation of Texas became a big deal, and with the idea of nationalism and the Americans “destiny they were able to accomplish annexation, but Mexico refused to see them as independent. The annexation of Texas was controversial, however, since it would add another slave state to the Union.
Presidents Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Burden declined Texas offer to join the United States in part because the slavery issue threatened to divide the Democratic Party. Although elected by a very slim margin, Polk proceeded as if his victory had been a mandate for expansion. As he came to office congress had already approved the annexation of the area of Texas. Polk decided to occupy a portion of Texas which was also claimed by Mexico, paving the way for the outbreak of the Mexican-American War on April 24, 1846.
After success on the battlefield some Americans came up with the idea “All Mexico” to try and annex all of Mexico into the country because it would ensure future peace in the region. This led to controversy because the argument was very two-sided. Many Americans were racist and didn’t want any non-Anglo Saxon people apart of their country, but also because it forced a whole country to be a part of the U. S. Which imposed their will as people. The controversy was eventually ended by the Mexican Cession, which added the territories of California and
New Mexico to the United States, both more sparsely populated than the rest of Mexico. Manifest Destiny played its most important role in the Oregon boundary dispute with Great Britain. The Anglo-American Convention Of 1 818 had provided for the joint occupation of the Oregon Country, and thousands of Americans migrated there in the 1 sass over the Oregon Trail. The vast majority of men and women who crossed the continent on the Oregon Trail in the mid-asses did so for personal reasons. They were looking for a less crowded and more fertile place to farm, or they planned to make money selling trade goods..
Americans settled in Oregon Country as early as 1 831 with their wagons and pride they traveled two thousand miles through prairie, desert, and mountain terrain just to reach this new land. They developed this sense that the land there had a better hope, so many dropped everything they had to start a future in the Oregon Country. The idea of manifest destiny played a huge role in the 1844 election, James K. Polk vs.. Henry Clay. The democratic candidate, James Polk, favored expansion he wanted to add California, New Mexico, Texas, and Oregon to the United States.
Oregon was a big issue during his campaign. During this time the United States shared occupation of Oregon with Great Britain. In his campaign, Polk pushed for taking over all of this territory with his slogan “Fifty-four forty or fight! “, “Reoccupation of Oregon! ” “All the way to the 54’40! “(2) Instead of fighting for the territory, he settled for half. After Polk was elected President in 1844 the boundary between British Canada and the United States was permanently extended along the 49th parallel all the way to the Pacific Coast.
This election definitely contributed to the democratic institutions of manifest destiny and how the idea not only appealed to the people but politics too. Americans settled in Oregon Country as early as 1831 certainly had manifest destiny on their minds while traveling that great distance. Around the same time a man by the name of John Fremont decided to lead an expedition into the area of California to survey the land. He was sent to map the west coast for the U. S. Army, but he was accused of encouraging American settlers to revolt against the Mexican citizens so he was told to leave the territory.
Four days before the United States declared war on Mexico, Fremont received information that the Mexican military commander as going to order all American settlers to leave California, so he went back to California to let the American settlers know. On June 14, a group of twenty men moved on Sonoma, captured General Vallejo and declared California a republic with the raising of the Bear Flag, hence the name of the Bear Flag revolt. When U. S. Forces arrived in early July, Fremont organized the Bear Flag revolvers into a military-like group and worked to complete the conquest of California.
On January 13, 1847, Fremont received the final surrender of the Californian(descendants of the Spanish and Mexican conquerors who had once ruled California) with the signing of the Treaty of Exchange. Ferment’s activities in California were the expression Of the idea Of Manifest Destiny. Through his explorations and reports, he helped the U. S. Develop interest in settling the West. By encouraging settlers to revolt against the Mexican authorities, Fremont sought to pave the way for the annexation of California by the United States, and named up the drive of the Americans to settle the west.
After the Mexican-American War ended in 1848, many expansionists decided to take it upon themselves to look for more land to settle and call heirs. Without official government support, the most extreme advocates of Manifest Destiny increasingly turned to military filibustering. Filibustering was the act of a person who engages In a private military action in a foreign country. Though illegal, the filibustering operations in the late 1 8405 and early asses were emphasized by the U. S. Press, and became very important to Polk. The United States had long been interested in acquiring Cuba from the declining Spanish Empire.
As with Texas, Oregon, and California, American policy makers were concerned that Cuba would fall into British hands, which old cause a threat to the interests of the Ignited States. Polk was interested but his attempts at getting the island of Cuba failed. F-liberates like William Walker continued to catch headlines in the late 1 sass, but with the outbreak of the American Civil War in 1 860 the idea of expansion began to focus on that dealing with the north and south. Expansionism was among the various issues that played a role in the coming of the war, but it had to do with the slavery.
As the Civil War came to a close and reconstruction took its toll, along with the close of the frontier Americans became land hungry for places outside of the United States. America tried to gain land in Venezuela, Cuba, Chile, Puerco Rich and the Philippine Islands. America also had already purchased Alaska from Russia and was able to acquire Hawaii as well. In 1898, after the sinking of the ISIS Maine in the harbor at Havana, Cuba, the United States intervened on the side of the Cubans who were fighting the Spanish Empire, beginning the Spanish-American War.
Although advocates of Manifest Destiny in the 1 8405 had called for the annexation of Cuba, the Teller Amendment, passed by the U. S. Senate before the war, proclaimed Cuba ‘free and independent” and disclaimed any U. S. Intention to annex the island. After the war, the Plat Amendment (1902) established Cuba as a future colony of the United States. Unlike Cuba, the United States did annex Guam, Puerco Rich, and the Philippines after the war with Spain. The acquisition of these islands marked a new chapter in U. S. History.
Traditionally, territories were acquired by the United States inside of the borders but now they’ve acquired land outside expanding further than just west. Although the idea of Manifest Destiny died down a bit after the 19th century some Americans tried to continue the slogan throughout history. People like Woodrow Wilson, attempted to redefine both Manifest Destiny and America’s “mission” on a broader, worldwide scale. Wilson led the United States into World War I with the argument that “The world must be made safe for democracy. (3) In his 1 920 message to Congress after the war, Wilson stated: “l think we all realize that the day has come when Democracy is being put upon its final test. The Old World is just now suffering from a wanton rejection of the principle of democracy and a substitution of the principle of autocracy as asserted in the name, but without the authority and sanction, of the multitude. This is the time of all others when Democracy should prove its purity and its spiritual power to prevail. It is surely the manifest destiny of the United States to lead in the attempt to make this spirit prevail. (4)Wilson wanted the American people to realize how much manifest destiny affected them as a whole but also the democratic institutions involved with the concept as well. To some, Manifest Destiny was based on the idea that America had a divine providence. It had a future that was destined by God to expand its borders, with no limit to area or country. All the traveling and expansion were part Of he spirit of Manifest Destiny, a belief that it was God’s will that Americans spread over the entire continent, and to control and populate the country as they see it.
Many expansionists conceived God as having the power to sustain and guide human destiny. “It was white man’s burden to conquer and Christianize the land” (5), meaning its affiliation with God gave people the notion to do so. For example, the idea that the Puritan notion of establishing a “city on a was eventually turned into Manifest Destiny, a religious destiny. These concepts contributed to the big bowl of ideas created by manifest destiny. There is much debate on whether Manifest Destiny played an important role in American history and whether it actually helped America or made matters worse.
Some objections to the idea could be the treatment of Indians, and other native people to an area America tried to acquire, but also the named up egotistical and self-interested attitude it gave many Americans. For example, during the settling of the frontier Indians were treated very badly. They were forced out of their original land and place in Indian reserves, under the Indian Removal Act. The Americans treated the Indians as if they were of lesser value than them. They massacred villages, killed many men, women, and children, and lied to the Indians just to acquire their land.
Americans tried to assimilate them into their society, by forcing them to learn “white” customs and language but also how to be civil, basically striping them from all of their customs and traditions. An Indian chief exclaims, “The Great Spirit raised both the white man and the Indian. I think he raised the Indian first. He raised me in this land, it belongs to me. The white man was raised over the great waters, and his land is over there. Since hey crossed the sea, I have given them room. There are now white people all about me. I have but a small spot of land left. The Great Spirit told me to keep it. (7)He expresses the great deal of loss him and the rest of the Indians had to go through because of the Americans and their “right” to the land. This also was a problem during the period where America tried to settle California and the Californian were killed right on the spot if they did anything to protect their land. Also during the beginning of the slogan many Whig, or a member of a U. S. Political party formed in opposition to the Democratic Party and favored high tariffs and a weak presidency, condemned the idea of manifest destiny stating that the moves for expansion were unprincipled and made the Americans look greedy.
Overall these ideas contributed to the side of manifest destiny that is often overlooked, but influenced American history greatly. Manifest Destiny definitely played an important role throughout history. It controlled America’s destiny and was responsible for man’s travels throughout history. With this said, America would not be America without the great idea of Manifest Destiny. The philosophy that was built off of manifest Sistine gave Americans the drive and force that expansionists everywhere used to justify territorial growth.