The Ideals of Manifest Destiny and Expansionism

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 11th grade February 2008

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The phrase 54 40 or fight was the grassroots foundation for the American ideals of Manifest Destiny and Expansionism. Throughout the later years of the 19th century and the early years of the 20th century, little had changed when it came to Americans seeking to expand their influence; for it was the "white man's burden" to help rid the world of suffering and to convert as many people as possible to follow American ideals. Neither Manifest destiny nor American expansionism had changed by the turn of the 19th century, for the US still sought to influence those and "help" them in as many socioeconomic ways as possible. However, the United States in its newfound power no longer tried to control those within its continental borders, for it strove to assert its large sphere of influence over many a sovereign overseas. The American thoughts of expansion to better the country were exemplified when they sought to expand their territory.

Developing into a major world power came with the craving of new trade and opportunities. The powerful countries of the world saw it necessary to divide the world as they saw fit. The power they withheld gave them the “right” to control the lands(doc A). For the country to protect its valuable territory, it must build itself from within. By protecting itself, they are keeping their chances of colonization high. The United States sought to obtain some of the new territory so that they may protect themselves not only economically but militarily. Alfred T. Mahan wrote text on how the United States should control many islands in the pacific so that they could be used as “coaling stations”(doc C). They saw this strategy as an advantage in battle tactics in case of war. Many economic benefits came with the new territory. The...