Negative Side Of The Manifest Destiny

Manifest Destiny is a philosophy created hundreds of years ago, and still lives on in the world today. The idea of Manifest Destiny was a good idea because of the reasoning to expand west, but the consequences of it were what made it a bad decision. Although some effects of Manifest Destiny were very productive, I think that the negative outcomes were horrific enough to outway the positive outcomes. Therefore, I believe that it was a bad decision for the United States to expand to the west in this so-called idea of Manifest Destiny especially because it stole people’s land, misused the belief of God, and caused many deaths.

The idea of Manifest Destiny made it seem fine to take another’s land without notice or permission. In the article, “ Indian Removal” it states, “The Treaty of Hopewell was supposed to protect the rights of Indian nations to retain their territories. However, American settlers felt entitled to tribal land for their own farmland expansion.” Such information verifies that the Native American were forced to leave their land just so American settlers could stay and start their life. This would evidently arise tension between the two and cause disagreement, leading to further trouble.

Not only is this a downside of the philosophy, Manifest Destiny but also how they believed in God for the wrong reasons. People moving toward the idea of Manifest Destiny, misinterpreted the plan of God. In the article, “12 Impressive Pros and Cons of Manifest Destiny” it states, “It used the name of God or the Divine Providence to manipulate other people” and “it is actually God who made this happen”. This proves that when something was done, such as taking one’s land or killing someone, it was justified as Manifest Destiny was the will/plan from God to America. This is not only wrong, but incredibly cruel. Just as misinterpreting God is wrong, so is all the many deaths that were caused by the Trail of Tears. During westward expansion, many lives were taken on the Trail of Tears because of the hardships faced during traveling. “3,500 of the 15,000 Creeks who set out for Oklahoma did not survive the trip”. This just goes to show that this trip was not safe. Although people did take the risk of going, they apparently didn't know that there was such a high chance of not surviving. The article also states, “Whooping cough, typhus, dysentery, cholera, and starvation were epidemic along the way, and historians estimate that more than 5,000 Cherokee died as a result of the journey.”

With this information being given, one can really understand the difficulties that people faced on this horrible journey. The fact that the so-called idea of Manifest Destiny stole people’s land, misused the belief of God, and caused many deaths, is what makes it have been a bad decision. If the gov’t, at the time, could have figured out a way to avoid these problems, the outcome of Manifest Destiny would have been much better. With a little bit of change, the philosophy could have absolutely, with no doubt, been one of the most successful events in U.S History.   

16 December 2021
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