An Introduction to the Manifest Destiny

Exclusively available on PapersOwl
Updated: Apr 30, 2024
Cite this
Date added
Pages:  2
Order Original Essay

How it works

Manifest Destiny was the mindset that many Americans held, believing it was their God-given right to expand the country’s borders from the Atlantic to the Pacific. However, many people suffered because of this expansionist mentality, particularly during the 1840s. The United States government used many underhanded techniques to acquire the land that it desired, often at a costly price for the previous landowners. While Americans perceived Manifest Destiny as a benevolent movement, it was carried out as an aggressive imperialist campaign at the expense of others.

Need a custom essay on the same topic?
Give us your paper requirements, choose a writer and we’ll deliver the highest-quality essay!
Order now

Manifest Destiny had serious consequences for Native Americans. The United States government repeatedly promised Native Americans that they would not expand westward and would leave Indian lands untouched. However, starting with the Indian Removal Act of 1830, the Native Americans were pushed further and further west as more and more of their land was claimed as U.S. territory. They did not only lose land but were also exploited in other ways. Many American missionaries set up in Oregon to convert the Native Americans to Christianity, but many of the Indians died from diseases brought by the white Americans before they could be converted. Fur trade was also prevalent in the area. One of the main incentives for Americans, and even the British, to venture into the Oregon country was to make money, often at the expense of the natives. It was primarily because of the increasing American population that the British became more willing to extend the forty-ninth parallel border to the Pacific Ocean instead of following the Columbia River. Anticipating that the United States would only offer that border for a short time given the increasing American population and the ongoing war with Mexico, Great Britain agreed on the border without confrontation. Unfortunately, none of the natives’ interests were considered in these negotiations. Many white Americans viewed the natives merely as impediments to westward expansion, resulting in years of terrible treatment. In its quest for expansion, the United States faced Mexico’s control over much of the territory west of Texas up to the forty-second parallel. This included

Modern-day California, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, and Colorado were among territories that President James K. Polk expressed a desire to obtain. However, he faced a tumultuous path ahead due to strained Mexican-American relations. Mexico still viewed Texas as part of their country, despite it being annexed by the U.S. There were also unresolved issues involving three million dollars worth of damage to properties owned by Americans. President Polk initially adopted a diplomatic approach by sending John Slidell, armed with twenty-five million dollars, to purchase the land. When his attempts were rebuffed by Mexico in January 1846, Polk resorted to sending troops, led by General Zachary Taylor, to the Rio Grande in Texas, a territory claimed by the U.S. Interestingly, Mexico considered their border to be the Nueces River, located a few miles north of the Rio Grande. Polk was banking on a Mexican attack on what he considered “American soil” to justify declaring war on Mexico. His wish was fulfilled, resulting in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which handed half of Mexico, including the entirety of New Mexico territory, to the U.S. The land, now known as the Mexican Cession, expanded the U.S. by one-third, marking the largest territorial gain in U.S. history. Although the U.S. eventually parted with fifteen million dollars as compensation to Mexico, it could not conceal the fact that Polk had manipulated a pretence to declare war on Mexico instead of pursuing a diplomatic solution. He deceived the American public by portraying it as an unprovoked attack on American soil. Polk was well aware of the dispute over the territory, and perceived war as his only recourse to acquire the desired land.

Native Americans and Mexicans alike were severely exploited by the Americans. The U.S. was determined to expand its territory, regardless of the means employed. Manifest Destiny turned out to be a violent and underhanded movement that deprived many people of their rights, all in an attempt to extend the U.S. borders.

The deadline is too short to read someone else's essay
Hire a verified expert to write you a 100% Plagiarism-Free paper

Cite this page

An Introduction to the Manifest Destiny. (2022, Nov 22). Retrieved from