Sunday, September 4, 2011

Manifest Destiny Essay

Manifest Destiny Essay

Manifest Destiny is a historic duty, in the 1800's the Americans believed that the manifest destiny of the United States was to expand to the pacific ocean. The United States started as costal colonies but eventually the fulfilled their manifest destiny and expanded buy conquering and purchasing land. The Americans gained more land by buying it from France in the Louisiana Purchase and they also acquired land by cession as they did in the Mexican Cession. Other ways of expanded their land was to take it by force, many settlers killed the Indians and stole their land from them.

The Americans in the 1800's believed that it was the historic duty of their nation to expand to the pacific ocean. They believed that the land was rightfully theirs. They ignored the fact that the land was already occupied and began to move west. They did not recognize the Indians as people, they saw them as potential slaves, so they simply killed them and took their land. Much of the land was bought from France in the Louisiana Purchase, but other lands such as Texas, California and Oregon was not theirs. Using both military strength and negotiations, the US was determined to fulfill their historic duty.

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The main difference between the border issues of Oregon and Texas is the way these issues were settled. The Texas issue resulted in a war with Mexico, which gained land and lost soldiers. However, this did allow the US to gain more land than just Texas. The Oregon issue, on the other hand, was more peaceful. The US negotiated and made a treaty with Britain instead of going to war with them. However, both these issues were different ways the US gained land and expanded their nation.

James K. Polk and Franklin Pierce were both former presidents of the United States and were both known as "dark horse" presidents. Both Polk and Pierce studied law. Polk later became Governor of Tennessee. Polk, although unknown, linked the Texas and Oregon issues to gain favor in both the North and the South and become president. During his presidency, Polk gained California and New Mexico after a victory in the Mexican War. Pierce, on the other hand served in the Mexican War and was nominated for president in 1852. The slightest hint of expansion set off the wrath of the North. After events like the Kansas-Nebraska Act, the Gadsden Purchase and Bleeding Kansas, the democratic party refused to renominate him.

The two viewpoints on the issue of Texas would be the American viewpoint and the Mexican viewpoint. The Americans believed that the land west of them should belong to them, they had no respect for others. They simply moved in and declared it their land. From the Mexican viewpoint, this was stealing the land, the Americans did not think the same way, so that brought up a conflict. The Mexicans saw the Americans as the enemy, and vice versa, so they started fighting. Finally, after a bloody war, the Americans won and got to keep Texas.

The US Government used both negotiation and military strength to gain territory. The addition of Oregon was an example of the US government using negotiation. Most of the time, the US used peaceful means to acquire land, they bought or traded land from other countries that occupied the surrounding area such as Britain and France, this is how the US gained the Oregon Territory. However, when a country was not willing to give up its land, they would take it by force, the Mexican War is an example of this. After their defeat, the Mexicans gave up the California region in the Mexican Cession. These means were successful and the US expanded to the pacific ocean.

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