 Throughout the first half of the
1800s or 19th century there were
many factors influencing United
States expansion. From the
Purchase in 1803 to other land acquisitions, by 1853 the United
States had tripled in size since its original thirteen colonies.
 The idea of Manifest Destiny spread quickly throughout the country
and soon thousands were moving westward in search of a new way
of life. The idea of Manifest Destiny was for the U.S. to occupy the
entire continent. The only problem was that the land it was
expanding on to didn’t belong to the U.S.
 Manifest Destiny affected the economic and social development of
the U.S. because certain areas or regions would produce specific
products. The greatest factor affecting the migration across the land
was geography. Mountains, rivers, lakes, plains, and in some cases
canyons were among the biggest impediments for people moving
out west.
 Thomas Jefferson had been elected
the 3rd President of the United States.
 The Jeffersonian Era had been
considered a type of political
revolution, in that a new way of thought emerged.
 A change from the centrist viewpoint of the central government to
more of a popular approach towards more local control.
 Conflict with England and France had eased and the economy in the
United States was growing.
 Jefferson had taken a different fiscal approach towards reducing
taxes and government debt. He put more money into the common
persons pockets and spending increased.
 There was also this sense of Nationalism emerging regarding a
sense of pride in being an American and all the possibilities that
came with this privilege.
 The country began to grow in population, financially and miles.
 Manifest Destiny was a belief that the
United States had a divinely-inspired
mission to expand across the North American frontier towards the
Pacific Ocean.
 The phrase, which means “the undeniable fate”, was coined by
New York journalist when he wrote that "it was the nation's
manifest destiny to overspread and to possess the whole of the
continent which Providence has given us for the development of
the great experiment of liberty and federated self-government
entrusted to us."
 Manifest Destiny was never a specific policy or ideology; it was a
general notion that combined elements of American
exceptionalism, nationalism, expansionism, and racism.
 Some people still believe that aspects of Manifest Destiny form an
underlying part of American attitude and foreign policy.
Manifest Destiny
Westward Expansion
 As the citizens of the U.S. spread westward, intense conflict with
both the Native Americans and Mexico were inevitable.
 Already heavily depopulated due to diseases, the Native American
peoples were unable to resist the endless stream of white settlers and
the military that accompanied them.
 Conflict with Mexico was more formal but also resulted in the large
scale acquisition of land for U.S. settlers.
 President Polk made it clear in his diaries that he had every intention
to seize any Mexican territory that fell into U.S. hands.
 Manifest Destiny was basically the imposition of majority rule on
minorities which proved to be horrific.
The Manifest
Destiny Mindset
 Since the time when the first European set foot on the North
American continent, the roots of Manifest Destiny were planted.
 The desire to acquire fresh land to the West was always a
predominant mindset in the colonists an eventually the United
States citizens.
 The attitude of the US citizens, new European immigrants (all of
which were predominantly white people) was that for some
reason this land was free for the taking!
 The politics of the day and the people who made up the United
States government believed they had this preordained right from
God that this land was theirs – Coast to Coast!
 The slogan was, “Move West Young Man” and they did.
The European Attitude
 An early example of this attitude was
what happened with the Louisiana.
 As you might recall, Napoleon (France) has
this grand scheme to create this World Wide Empire similar to
what Alexander the Great had established.
 His vision for the North American continent was to use the farm
land to grow food for his troops and to utilize the natural
resources the land could provide for his armies.
 The point must be made, that Napoleon represented a very
European imperialistic attitude that was inherent in the European
 Europeans believed that with power and force, whatever they
could take was rightfully theirs.
 Thus France had staked their claim for the Louisiana Territory and
as well controlled the Port of New Orleans.
The Louisiana
 However, as it turns out, Napoleon could not afford to conquered
Europe and maintain control over his North American assets. He
runs into a cash flow problem.
 It was also at this time that Jefferson and his colleagues became
worried about the French presence West of the Mississippi River
and their ultimate control of the Port of New Orleans.
 Jefferson proposed that the United State buy the rights of New
Orleans from France to control the economic trade flow out of the
Port. They could not afford to have France controlling their
commerce up and down the Mississippi River.
 So it was that Jefferson sent James Madison to Paris to propose the
New Orleans purchase for 7.5 million dollars
 Napoleon, the opportunist realized that he could resolve his two of
his most pressing dilemmas, cash flow and control of Louisiana.
The Louisiana
 Napoleon countered Madison's offer and proposed the sale of the
entire Louisiana Territory for 15 million dollars.
 This put Jefferson in a philosophical quandary over his past
Constitutional stance when he was bickering with Hamilton.
 In the end, Jefferson and Congress realized this was an opportunity
they could not pass up.
 With the purchase of the Louisiana Territory, the physical sized of
the United States more than doubled.
 This brought up some other issues:
 What right did they have to buy this land?
 How were they going to govern and protect this land?
 And perhaps most important, what and who were on this land?
The Louisiana
 The Louisiana Purchase was the largest and most extraordinary
land purchase in the history of the United States. It was also the
cheapest (per square mile).
 At the turn of the 19th Century, Americans were moving further
westward. Settlers had crossed the Appalachian Mountains and
headed for parts known and unknown.
 Pioneers like Daniel Boone had blazed trails and roads, allowing
families to travel to new places. Soon, the Northwest Territory
and other places were bustling with Americans.
 Everyone wanted more: more places to live, more livestock for
their farms.
 The one thing that the United States Government wanted more
of was land. And the Louisiana Territory had a lot of land.
Lewis and Clark
 An event of the magnitude of the Louisiana
Purchase affected everything to come after.
 The government would have to assume new responsibilities.
The nation's destiny was firmly oriented westward and guaranteed that the
economy would remain primarily agricultural for decades to come and
would characterize American society and government.
 The United States acquired much greater security on its own borders as
well as greater power and self-assurance in international affairs.
 With the purchase of the Louisiana Territory, Jefferson wanted to send an
expedition across the continent.
 Captain Meriwether Lewis, whom he had chosen to lead this expedition,
set forth from Washington on 5 July 1803.
 Presenting it to Congress Jefferson emphasized its commercial purpose: to
chart a continuous line of navigation along the Missouri River route to the
Pacific. The Lewis and Clark Expedition was originally called The Corp
of Discovery
Lewis and Clark Expedition
 The vast areas of unexplored country
offered the new nation the potential for
growth and the possibility of a practical
water route all the way to the Pacific
 Jefferson had for years been fascinated
by the unexplored territory west of the
Mississippi River, and in June 1803 he announced plans to send an
expedition overland to the Pacific.
 The President chose his close friend Meriwether Lewis to lead the
expedition. Lewis selected his friend and former commanding officer,
William Clark, to serve as co-leader of the expedition. The objective was
to explore the Missouri River to its source and establish the most direct
water route to the Pacific.
 They were instructed to write detailed accounts of their journeys, make
maps, and provide information about the Indian Tribes indigenous to the
 In addition Jefferson expected them to make scientific and geographic
observations of all they saw. In 1804, Lewis & Clark, along with 45 men
and a dog, began a journey that would take three years and cover territory
that would later encompass 11 states.
Lewis and Clark Expedition
 The Lewis and Clark Expedition
of 1803-06 was a monumental
event that shaped the boundaries,
character and future of the
United States.
 The courageous explorers traveled
up the Missouri River, across the
Great Plains, over the Rocky
Mountains, down the Columbia
River to the shores of the Pacific and back again.
 Although a great deal has changed during the past 200 years, many of the
sweeping landscapes and powerful waters so eloquently described by the
Corps of Discovery have been permanently protected for future
 The National Park Service today has the honor of preserving and
managing numerous areas and programs that acknowledge or are related
to the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
 The Corps of Discovery is commemorated in many areas throughout the
western part of the United States.
Westward Expansion
 Another huge factor that played
a role in the westward
expansion was that of available
 As the people began to move
westward they would settle in
areas with vast amounts of
natural resources such as lakes
or streams, where they could
gather food.
 Lakes were very important to travel because they provided
drinking water for the people and attracted wild animals to the
area, which could be hunted for food.
 Also if an area were to dry or rocky it wouldn’t be settled. People
looked for the best places to live, places they could profit from the
 During the gold rush everyone traveled to the western coast in
hopes of becoming rich for the very same reason.
The Mexican Wars
 The war between Mexico and the United States
had its beginnings with the struggle over who
would control Texas.
 American settlers began moving to the Texas
territory in the 19th Century, after the
Revolutionary War had been won and the
exploration of lands west of the Appalachian
Mountains had begun.
 The Louisiana Purchase had stretched the western boundaries of the United
States farther west than they had ever been.
 After the success of Lewis and Clark, more and more Americans explored and
settled in the Louisiana Territory.
 And right next to Louisiana was Texas. Texas was big land, rich with
resources and possibilities. It was also largely part of Mexico.
 As more and more Americans moved to the Texas territory, the cry grew for
Texas to be part of the U.S. This began to happen in 1835, when Texas
declared itself independent from Mexico. The Texas Republic was born, and
its first president was Sam Houston. The secretary of state of this new
republic was Stephen F. Austin, who had been a pioneer in helping settle the
Texas territory.
The Mexican Wars
 The war between America and Mexico officially began on April 25, 1846
when the opposing forces clashed on the southern border of Texas.
 Its origin was much earlier when Texas declared independence from Mexico
in 1835. The Mexican response included the Battle of the Alamo in 1836.
This violent response resulted in the death of hundreds of Americans,
including James Bowie and David Crockett.
 In 1844, United States president James K. Polk annexed Texas as a U.S.
territory, which further encouraged hostilities.
 The Mexican War was the first fought by American forces on foreign soil.
The landing near the city of Vera Cruz on March 12, 1847 was the first ever
amphibious landing made by American troops. The Americans eventually
won the war and for some time occupied Mexico. That was the first time
American forces had ever occupied another nation.
 The US occupation of Mexico City on September 14, 1847 ended the
fighting. The war officially ended on February 2, 1848 with the signing of
the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. The treaty recognized American
annexation of Texas, and turned more than half of Mexico's territory over to
the U.S. for a $15 million payment from the U.S. to Mexico. The ceded
territory included the states of California, Utah and Nevada and parts of
Colorado, Arizona and Wyoming.
Manifest Destiny and Imperialism
 The United States experienced its most rapid territorial
growth during the mid-1840s.
 The US annexed Texas in 1845, acquired Oregon from
Great Britain in 1846, and conquered California and
New Mexico during the U.S.-Mexican War.
 The nation also obtained vast cessions from Native
American tribes, which were relocated to remote and
unwanted regions, a process begun in the seventeenth
 Imperialism is basically the extension by a country of its power into and
over other countries with an intention of either ruling them directly as part
of one's own country's empire or indirectly in the sense of ensuring that they
are governed by natives friendly to one's own country.
 "Manifest destiny" is simply the propaganda language used by proponents
of the expansion of the United States into what they perceived as its natural
land, which took place mostly during the 19th century.
 Although the differences might appear major. The end result is still
conquest. The US so-called "manifest destiny" involved conquering
territory militarily and taking over the rule of the native peoples, and of
parts of Mexico and Russia, and of lands previously belonging to Spain and

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