Us Westward Expansion 1800-1860

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The expansion of America from the thirteen colonies across the entire continent was known as westward expansion. In 1845, John O’Sullivan, a newspaper editor that was writing about the possible annexation of Texas, coined the term Manifest Destiny. “Manifest Destiny…to overspread the continent allotted by Providence for the free development of our yearly multiplying millions” (Wexler 96). Manifest Destiny inspired a 29-year old named Stephen F. Austin to talk grandly of colonizing the Mexican province of Texas with "North American population, enterprise and intelligence" ( It led expansionists, united behind the slogan "54° 40' or fight!," to demand that the United States should own the entire Pacific Northwest all the way to the southern border of Alaska. Manifest Destiny was a 19th century view held by Americans who felt they had the right to expand across the North American continent. The events of this westward expansion did provide the United States with security and prosperity by eliminating European powers as well as the North American Indians. However, the necessary balance of the slave versus non-slave states, so essential in Congress, caused the sectional conflicts that led to the Civil War. The United States successfully eliminated European powers from North America through a series of purchases, treaties and wars, which ensured their security and prosperity. The Louisiana Purchase was the first major land expansion of the young American nation after the establishment of the constitution. The author explains about the massive amount of land that was acquired through the Louisiana Purchase, "America doubled its size by acquiring millions of acres of territory from France," (Dudley 95). It enabled the Americans to settle areas west of the Appalachian Mountains and was the beginning of westward expansion. In addition to the Lousiana Purchase, the Treaty of Guadeloupe Hidalgo, where "the United States gained California, the disputed...
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