The idea of manifest destiny.

Essay by lizet_2004College, UndergraduateA+, June 2003

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Manifest destiny is belief held by many Americans in the 1840s that the United States was destined to expand across the continent, by force, as used against Native Americans, if necessary. The controversy over slavery further fueled expansionism, as the North and South each wanted the nation to admit new states that supported its section's economic, political, and slave policies. By the end of the 19th century, this belief was used to support expansion in the Caribbean and the Pacific. In the following paragraphs I will explain in detail the manifest destiny and express my opinion about it.

Manifest destiny was the idea of the supposed inevitability of the continued territorial expansion of U.S. boundaries westward to the Pacific, and even beyond. The idea of "Manifest Destiny" was often used by American expansionists to justify U.S. annexation of Texas, Oregon, New Mexico, and California and later U.S. involvement in Alaska, Hawaii, and the Philippines.

No nation ever existed without some sense of national destiny or purpose. Manifest Destiny was a phrase used by leaders and politicians in the 1840s to explain continental expansion by the United States -- revitalized a sense of "mission" or national destiny for many Americans. And while the United States put into motion a quest for its Manifest Destiny, Mexico faced quite different circumstances as a newly independent country. Mexico achieved its independence from Spain in 1821, but suffered terribly from the struggle. Recovery was difficult.

To understand the significance that the history of the war against the United States had for Mexico, we must remember the significance this history has for these two countries. I believe we have to start by looking at the meaning history has in both countries. By the mid-19th century, Mexicans had been living in Mexico for more...