history sg 3 - Manifest Destiny the belief that American...

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Manifest Destiny the belief that American expansion westward and southward was inevitable, just, and divinely ordained was first labeled Manifest Destiny in 1845 by John L. O’ Sullivan editor of United states magazine and domestic review. The annexation of Texas he wrote was the fulfillment of our manifest destiny to overspread the continent allotted by Providence for the free development of our yearly multiplying millions. Armed with such sentiments expansionism reached a new fervor in the 1840s. Since the colonial days Americans hungered for more land. Acquisition of the Louisiana Territory and Florida and Indian removal had set the process in motion. As the proportion of Americans living west of the Appalachians grew from ¼ to ½ between 1830 and 1860 both national parties joined the popular clamor for expansion. Agrarian democrats sought western land to balance urbanization and Whigs looked for new commercial opportunities the west offered. Southerners envisioned the extension of slavery into more slave states. Fierce national pride spurred the quest for land. Subdued during hard times it reasserted itself after 1843 when the economy had recovered and during the decade expansionism reached a new fervor. Americans were convinced that theirs was the greatest country on earth with a special role to play in the world. As reform sought to perfect American society so too expansion promised to extend the benefits of America’s republican system of government to the unfortunate and the inferior. In part racism contributed to manifest destiny as well. The impulse to colonize and develop the west was based on the belief that the Euro-American’s viewed the Indians and Hispanics as inferior peoples best controlled or conquered thus the same racial attitudes that justified slavery supported expansionism. Also the desire to secure the nation from perceived external threats also fed expansionist fever. The internal economies of the 1830s seemed pale in comparison to the opportunities American’s perceived along their borders in the 1840s. expansionism some believed was also essential to preserve independence. Annexation of Texas among the long standing objectives of expansionists was Texas, Mexico’s remote northern province that in addition to present day Texas included parts of Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, and New Mexico. After winning its independence from Spain in 1821, Mexico had encouraged the development of Texas, offering large tracts of land virtually free to US settlers called Empresarios. The settlers in turn agreed to become Mexican citizens, adopt the Catholic religion and bring hundreds of American families into the area. Moses and Stephen Austin who had helped to formulate the policy responded eagerly. By 1835 35,000 Americans including many slaveholders lived in Texas. As the new settlers numbers and power grew they tended to ignore their commitments to the Mexican government. In response dictator Santa Anna tightened control over the region. In turn the Anglo immigrants and Tejanos—Mexicans
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This note was uploaded on 04/25/2008 for the course US HISTORY to 1877 taught by Professor Dr.cook during the Fall '07 term at University of Houston.

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history sg 3 - Manifest Destiny the belief that American...

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