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    Manifest Destiny: Creating an American Identity Essay

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    The entire concept of Manifest Destiny was created by the New York journalist John. L. O’ Sullivan. It meant that America’s fate was to possess or expand across the entire North America; it was undeniable and just waiting to happen. This is the point where many people started traveling west, for many purposes. It is true that America did acquire much land from expanding, but at what cost did we obtain it? I believe that America did not have the proper incentives while fulfilling its “destiny” and its voracious citizens and leaders took advantage of non Americans.

    In 1850, Native Americans inhabited areas from Kansas to some parts of Oregon, and almost all the land between. Once the Americans were swayed with the philosophy of Manifest Destiny, they rushed to the West seeking land, money, or salvation. Land issues arose when the Americans and Indians met. Whether it was solved with conflict or compromise, it still ended up in hostility.

    Battles such as The Sand Creek Massacre of 1864 had no sign of negotiation at all, just warfare. When treaties were “passed”, or forced, they would be insignificant because it always tended to be one-sided by the Americans, and it was common for them to not uphold the treaty. After enraging the Indians, more fights would break out. Americans showed no mercy for the Natives at all. They force Indians to give away land and then restrict them into small reservations, where they would have to give up all their customs and traditions and follow the lifestyle of Americans. When is it just to prey on passive, weaker races, and take complete advantage of them? The Americans killed countless Indians and even killed a majority of women and children, all because we could not resist the lust for land and money.

    On March 2, 1836, Texas declared its independence from Mexico. Texas then voted to be annexed, or added to the United States of America. The Southerners and Democrats supported it, hoping to get more slave states to join the Union. Northerners and Whigs went against it. Both sides had to take consideration into Mexico’s threat.

    They said that annexing Texas would mean that America is willing to go to war with Mexico. President John Tyler approved of the treaty to annex Texas in 1844, but two months later, the Senate destroyed it. When James K. Polk became president, he claimed that it was in American interest to acquire more land. In 1845, Texas became the 28th state to be in the Union. After only a month, Mexico responded by making its preparation for war.

    America also set the boundary line of Texas at the Rio Grande River, while Mexico set it higher, at the Nueces River. Polk sent an ambassador to negotiate a price for the New Mexico and Californian territory. Mexicans wouldn’t comply and then Polk was itching for a reason to go to war with them. He sent 3,000 men to settle the disputed area, and they ran into a skirmish, losing several Americans. This was the perfect excuse for Polk to declare war, and on May 13, 1846, Congress agreed, declaring the Mexican War.

    War should always be a last resort, but it is used to frequently. Although America won, many casualties existed in both sides, and America ended up with the Gadsden Purchase anyway. America was hypocritical and did not care for other nations other than itself. We treated our neighboring races like no respect, and often referring to them as savages. I think that foreign nations did not approve of this, and rather than fearing America, they looked down upon it with lack of respect, no matter how rich we were or how much land we had.

    When Mexico was under developed, America attacked and seized land rather than helping them. The theory of Manifest Destiny brought America more land, but so much had to be sacrificed for it. Our relations with neighboring countries, and our reputation as a country had disfigured. It was also unjust to have thousands of people suffer and die just for land. Much of the warfare could have been avoided, but America was blinded by its destiny and .

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