The Question of Whether the Manifest Destiny Is God Given Right or Wrong
In 19th century America, a term came into use to describe the expansion and movement of Americans across our continent. The term was Manifest Destiny, this was the social theory or belief that USA. and its population of predominately white and Christian citizens were chosen personally by God, to divinely expand across the country, and they did, expansionists aspirations also included a geographical element marked by the perceived. God given, natural right of Americans to expand the nation. Despite the fact that there were preexisting landowners to the lands they settled so divinely in the name of God in the near future we will see that the practice of Manifest Destiny will share much in common with that of the policy of imperialism.
The term was coined in 1845 by a Democratic journalist. John L. O‘Sullivan, in an article about the annexation of the Republic of Texas. The theory of Manifest Destiny is based off the 19th century idea of continentalism . This was the belief that the United States would eventually engulf all of North America. The idea of Manifest Destiny was primarily directed to lands inhabited by Indians and Mexicans, this brought upon some dark time in our nations past. After the annexation of Texas to the Union, all diplomatic ties between the US. And Mexico was abandoned. But with war, comes land, In it’s height of popularity, Manifest Destiny brought onto our plate the Mexican-America War, and tensions with Mexico coincided with America’s quest for expansion.
With America’s territory hungry instinct’s and that of it’s high command, we drove into war in 1846. Dispute over land and border’s between Mexico and the United States was a pushing factor towards war. When rumors of Mexican invasion caught the capitals attention, 3,500 troops sent by President Polk were sent to the Rio Grande to defend Texas and met with Mexicans, a few of the troops were killed and war was declared, in this border dispute Mexico made the mistake of firing the first shots. After two years of fighting and bloodshed upon the frontiers of our southern neighbor, a peace was reached. And for America with peace, comes land. America gained a large sum of territory from the war. including the spoil of war, California.
Along with California we also procured the territories of Nevada, Colorado, Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, and pan of Wyoming, Despite national morale over Mexican victory, some saw this as an aggressive, unprovoked war on disputed territory. The toll of Manifest Destiny was put hardest on the Native Americans. Westward expansion of American citizens, meant unlawful and just occupation of lndian‘s and Indians were encouraged by the US Government to sell their lands for money, and become civilized and give up all life that they already know, making them conform to a one-sided ethnocentric mindset. The American expansion across the Native American’s land similarly emulates the Spanish conquest of the Aztec empire, both harshly treating an indigenous group, injecting waves of ethnocentrism and inflicting terror and force, also using religion as an excuse for stealing land and eliminating a culture.
For more than a century Americans waged relentless war on Indian populations, killing men, women and children in the quest to rid themselves of the lndian menace. With the Indian Removal Act of 1830 put into place by Andrew Jackson, eastern Indians were sent west to reservations of land set aside by the government, this land was flat and dry, and unable to farm due to the hard nature of the clay. The children of the Indians were taken, and forced to abandon their native, language, culture and religion. With a policy in place for Indian removal, more lands now became available for white settlement. To the American expanders, the Indians were nothing more than rabid savages that were in the way of their goalt However while the removal was intended to be voluntary when many Indians refused to leave they were forcibly removed by US, Troops(Allard, 5). During the age of Manifest Destiny the idea of Indian removal became growingly popular.
The government also made much of the land on the western territories cheap or even free. With Indians confined to only their reservations, the white men ascends to prosper and start a new life in the west, leaving behind the past, and kicking another man off his land. The effects of Manifest Destiny are clear today, the country we live in wouldn’t be what it is, if we hadn‘t so vigorously scoured it for every piece of possible land. The idea of Manifest Destiny was demonstrated for many years, and to an extent still very much is. Influenced by change and war, hate and curiosity, the idea of spreading democracy to every corner of this Earth, Fueled by ethnocentrism, towards the Indians, practically wiping them out, and telling them where they can live. This had an all driving effect as well. The imperialistic nature of our country, sought them to take Manifest Destiny to a more global scale, which leads us to today, having garnered the United States overseas territories. Our idea of democratizing and pushing on our American interests has proven to be detrimental to many and successful to others. Why we keep doing this is beyond the realm.