Manifest Destiny - as the Careless Attempt to Expand Own Territory

Before Europeans came to invade the Americas, the country as a whole was a peaceful place filled with all sorts of natural wealth and where natives have settled. Here, we would find many different civilizations and empires settled in places like Mesoamerica and the Andes. According to the video “America Before Columbus,” the area was “inhabited by one hundred million people who were hunters, gatherers, fishermen, farmers, kings, slaves, and soldiers.” The natives all contributed to their land by these various jobs such as the farmers from the Inca Empire who were well known for growing potatoes that would fuel all their people. Furthermore, the land is big enough to provide for any kind of landscape such as the great forests or the deserts which contribute to the natural wealth the Americas share. In addition, the Americas was home to many gold which Christopher Columbus was very interested in. Voices of a People’s History of the United States claims that Christopher Columbus described the natives he met as gentle and generous in his diary; however, he treated the natives with no respect by enslaving them and taking over their land. Moreover, the English also treated the natives with no respect by domesticating the nations of the Eastern seaboard land which left these tribes with almost nothing in the 1600s. These natives shared the same values of the coast, but the English had ruined their distinct lands and cultures.

Manifest Destiny was a belief in the 1800s that the U.S is destined to expand and to rule. Manifest destiny was a way to justify the removal of the Native Americans. It is also helped speed up the process of expanding the U.S. and also helped encourage the expansion of the U.S. People didn’t see any problems with the U.S taking other people’s land and imperializing other countries because it gave the U.S more land and the citizens of the U.S more resources.

Manifest Destiny lead to racial discrimination because Americans would then be seen as superior for God giving them the “right” to conquer from “sea to shining sea.” The Anglo Saxons would even rank the whites from highest to lowest groups. For example, Italians who moved to the United States faced severe discrimination such as signs that they weren’t allowed in certain areas. The U.S. government were driven by this idea of Manifest Destiny that according to Voice’s of a People’s History, President Polk “declared, falsely, that ‘Mexico… has invaded our territory and shed American blood upon the American soil’”. President Polk was an expansionist who believed in Manifest Destiny and wanted his troops to claim more land in the disputed territory between them and Mexico. In fact, the Americans would instigate the Mexican American war because their troops started invading the Mexican territory and using violence against them. Moreover, this was also a similar case with what happened to the Indians in America. According to Voice’s of a People’s History, “in 1820, 120,000 Indians lived east of the Mississippi” and “by 1844, fewer than 30,000 were left… most of them had been killed or pushed westward by force”. 

In general, due to the Manifest Destiny, the U.S. government believed it was just to take over the Indians native homelands. The expansion of America lead to the Indian Removal Act which forced Indians to migrate out of their own land and many even died along the way. American leaders were trying to achieve their ideology of Manifest Destiny, American’s belief and justification for expanding westwards. The phrase, Manifest Destiny meant that no matter what, America’s goal is to expand west and place their brand westwards. 

07 July 2022
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