Early American Expansion

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Early American Expansions

Ever since the beginning of time it has been in the nature of man to move and expand their area whether it be for food or greed. Although, most cases in history will show that expansion was done for greed such as the Roman Empire from 800 BC to 500 AD or the Crusades that were on and off from 1096 AD – 1272 AD. That same urge to expand did not stop when the America’s were discovered. It all started with the transatlantic migration to the New World. The settlers of the New World started with just coastal settlements such as Plymouth and Jamestown. But as the population and the need for land grew so did the need for westward expansion. The expansion of America was not just for private need or greed though; the Government also did it as well. Lets start of by talking about governmental need and greed. Our newly formed government had this idea in their head about controlling not only the United States but also all of North America. They liked to call it “The Manifest Destiny”. John L. O’Sullivan was the first person to coin the saying Manifest Destiny. (Brands, Breen, Gross, Williams 320) He first used it by saying that foreign governments were conspiring to block the annexation of Texas to thwart “the fulfillment of our manifest destiny to overspread the continent allotted by providence for free development of our yearly multiplying millions.” O’Sullivan believed that there were three main ideas that were behind our manifest destiny and he got our government to agree and follow them. The first, being that God favored American expansionism. The second idea was the phrase “free development” which implied that the spread of American land meant, “expanding the area of freedom.” And the last idea was that the population growth would require territorial acquisitions. This thought process lead to much unwanted bloodshed and death. One such instance was the start of the Mexican-American War in 1864. Mexico had agreed to...
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