Manifest Destiny

Essay by flatfoot1989High School, 11th gradeA+, April 2006

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Manifest Destiny was a term used in the 1840s to justify the United States' westward expansion into such areas as Texas, Utah, Oregon and California. There was a widely held underlying belief that Americans, the chosen people, had a divinely inspired mission to spread the fruits of their democracy to the less fortunate (usually meaning Native Americans and other non-Europeans).The idea of an almost religious manifest destiny was a common staple in the speeches and newspaper articles of the time. Manifest destiny was later applied to American interests in the Caribbean and the Pacific, sharing much with the practice of imperialism. Critics, both at that time and today, saw the manifest destiny rationale as a thinly veiled attempt to put an acceptable face on taking lands from other peoples. Motives were often described as well-intentioned efforts to improve the lot of backward masses, but in truth the motivation was greed and control.

This territorial expansion in the United States had many political, social, and economic consequences.

From a political stand point the US expansionism entirely changed the Foreign Policy. The Mexican-American War was fought between the United States and Mexico between 1846 and 1848. In the U.S. it is known as the Mexican War or Mr. Polk's War; in Mexico it is known as the U.S. Intervention, the U.S. Invasion of Mexico, and the United States War against Mexico. The Mexican-American War grew out of unresolved conflicts between Mexico and Republic of Texas and from the desires of U.S. expansionism, a.k.a. Manifest Destiny. The Texas Revolution in 1836 left open a border dispute between the Mexican government and the newly formed republic. Mexico refused to recognize the existence of the Republic of Texas, declared its intention of recapturing the breakaway province, and warned the United States it would be...