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amstfinal - Will Masterson Amst 301 America, the Frontier,...

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Will Masterson Amst 301 America, the Frontier, and the New West Professor Gustafson Final Anthology Paper December 9, 2006 The American Conquest Columbus didn’t discover America. The founding fathers didn’t colonize the east coast. The Oregon Trail had already been paved. Who did we really “purchase” the land of the Louisiana Purchase from? All of these American stories of discovery and triumph are really just ways to conceal the truth that the history of our nation is based on conquest. The conquest of indigenous people who inhabited the land between the Atlantic and the Pacific since humans first existed. But the story of human existence is a story of constant struggle between different factions =who perpetually take over each other. The American story for this is known as Manifest Destiny. Manifest Destiny primarily took place in the United States during the 1800s as a defense for U.S. territorial expansion. The concept was that God had destined the American people to a divine mission of American movement and conquest in the name of Christianity and democracy. The man responsible for these presumptions of Manifest Destiny was a New York editor named John O’Sullivan. He first wrote the phrase that captured this mood in 1845 when he attempted to explain American’s thirst for westward expansion. He wrote, “the fulfillment of our manifest destiny to overspread the continent allotted by Providence for the free development of our yearly expanding millions.” There are two components that make up Manifest Destiny. One is the religious influence and the other is the need and desire for westward expansion. There was an ideal existed that
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Americans had the divine right from God to expand its’ borders without limit on area or country. Thus, it was the will of God for the expansionist to spread throughout the country to control and populate it as they see fit. 1) Kennedy, John F. Speech. July 15 th , 1960. “Let the Word Go Forth”: The Speeches, Statements, and Writings of John F. Kennedy . (New York: Delecorte Press, 1988) Pgs 100-102. From the lands that stretch three thousand miles behind me, the pioneers of old gave up their safety, their comfort, and sometimes their lives to build a new world here in the West. ..They were determined to make that new world strong and free, to overcome its hazards and its hardships, to conquer the enemies that threatened from within and without. When delivering this speech, the president-to-be, John F. Kennedy, spoke of the “west on what was once the last frontier.” Here he was telling the American story of westward expansion – the Manifest Destiny. By victimizing the pioneer’s struggle , the audience immediately sides with the Americans. As recently as 1960, the “enemies” that the president of the United States most likely is referring to are either a combination of natural forces or Native Americans. 2) McWilliams, Carey. Southern California: Island on the Land
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amstfinal - Will Masterson Amst 301 America, the Frontier,...

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