American Expansionism - Essay

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American Expansionism
The 1840s and 1890s saw an expansion of American territory, as a result of several economic, political, and cultural factors. In both cases of American expansionism, the Americans believed that we must expand our borders in order to keep the country running upright. Also, the Americans believed that the United State, being one of the strongest of the nations, had a need to become even stronger. This is shown in the "manifest destiny" of the 1840's. Apart from the similarities, there were also several differences that included the American attempt to stretch their empire across the seas and into other parts of the world. Opponents of expansion in the 1840s did not oppose gaining new lands, but opposed the possible spread of slavery in the new territories. The opposition to expansion in the 1890s was based on concerns of controlling people far away of different cultures, but not opposed to the economic benefits. Throughout history, the United States had come off as a nation that would take what they wanted at any cost. This was prevalent in both cases of expansion as the Americans risked war and national safety for the sake of gaining land.

During the 1840s, America's Manifest Destiny was the main reason for western expansion, since it was the idea that America was given a God-given right to stretch across the continent. The idea of Manifest Destiny encouraged men and women to move west and have big dreams. Aggressive nationalists invoked the idea to justify Indian removal, war with Mexico, and American expansion into Cuba and Central America. More positively, the idea of manifest destiny inspired missionaries, farmers, and pioneers, who dreamed only of transforming plains and fertile valleys into farms and small towns. 2. The Indians were heathens and needed to be Christianized and controlled The Mexican war was controversial and bitterly divided American public opinion. The underlying cause of the Mexican War was the movement of...
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