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    Westward Expansion Essay (694 words)

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    the right of our manifest destiny to over spread to possess the whole of the continent which Providence has given to us for the development of the great experiment of liberty and federative development of the self government entrusted to us. It is right such as that of the tree to the space of air and the earth suitable for the full expansion of its principle and destiny of growth .

    . John. L OSullivan Manifest Destiny can be described as a phenomen that created Americas history, a movement that would embody American beliefs and American culture, it implied imperialistic expansion that the Americans believed was there right, this right led to hardships, several wars and hostilities between countries and also between people occupying the American land. Though this destiny also led to new lives, comradery and development it achieved the ultimate goal of possession.

    Manifest Destiny was the philosophy that created a nation. In the year of 1800 the West to coin an old phrase was an unknown frontier to the Americans who had settled upon the East Coast. The West was a mystery blocked by a French colony by the name of Louisiana. America was under the leadership of Thomas Jefferson who in the true spirit of Americans was interested in the west and the possibilities it offered. With this in mind he organised an expedition into the French owned territory, before this expedition could begin in 1803 French leader Napoleon Bonaparte offered to sell Louisiana to America for a price of fifteen million dollars and with this historic purchase the West was opened up to expansion and pioneers.

    America now possessed the heart of their continent. Jeffersons planed expedition continued and under the leadership of Lewis and Clarke the exploration of the newly acquired West began, the expedition covered 4,000 miles and all lands beyond Louisiana to the Pacific were claimed for America. This expedition shattered dreams of Jefferson and exposed how hard the Rockies were to penetrate despite this, the extensive richness in the area and in the fur trade enticed trade, and the Rockies became the centre of American fur trade. The west was now largely American and the lure would call to many in the following years.

    The call of Westward migration was largely related to the economic situation of the East and in times of hardships or depression the West seemed to be a form of escape the first example of this occurred in 1806 when business restrictions in the East caused economic problems, this wave of migration consequently resulted in the additional States of Louisiana(1812), Indiana(1816), Mississippi(1817), Illinois(1818) and Alabama(1819) to the union of the United States. (To become a State of the Union a population of 60,000 must be reached). In 1807 the Embargo Act was passed which prohibited United States vessels from trading with European nations during the Napoleonic Wars, this embargo seriously threatened American livelihoods and stimulated a continuation of economic disruption. The war of 1812 is worth mentioning as it created a feeling of national pride and stopped the domination of America by European events, the decade in which followed has often been referred to as the Era of Good Feeling but in fact it could be classified as the prelude to the strife and devastation and animosity that was destined to continue for four decades. Westward Expansion Essay accelerated when Spain ceded Florida to America in 1819, in exchange for the payment of $5 million dollars and the settlement of all American claims made towards the Spanish government.

    In 1921 the Mexicans drove the Spaniards from the continent and declared Texas to be a Mexican State. The Mexicans encouraged American Westward movement and American pioneers and settlers were driven to this territory by trade and also by the promise of cheap fertile land. The Americans soon outnumbered the Mexicans and some were calling for annexation by the USA. This perhaps is the starting point of hostilities between the Mexicans and the Americans, which would later develop into the Mexican American War. The Texas situation however would evolve into a revolution led, without the help of the American army.

    The Mexicans were defeated and Texas declared independent in 1836 due to the question of slavery .

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