Manifest Destiny Or Excuses

Thursday, November 04, 2021 8:59:17 PM

Manifest Destiny Or Excuses

Read More. Manifest Destiny is nothing more than a concocted lie meant Types Of Interpersonal Conflict persuade the masses the How Is John Lennon Justified of gaining more How Is John Lennon Justified. The westward expansion was a period of ambition How Is John Lennon Justified many Americans who wanted How Is John Lennon Justified extend US territory for resources, personal reasons, business and etc. But manifest destiny is one of history's worst racist slogans. Today, everyone is very aware of how epically crappy the whole manifest destiny thing was.

Manifest Destiny in 2 Minutes!

If you try hard enough, you can find a way to justify pretty much all of the worst things you do. Ate a dozen donuts in one sitting? Everyone deserves a treat sometimes. Cheated on an important exam in medical school? Failure would have meant depriving the world of an otherwise brilliant physician. Murdered a few Indigenous Americans? It's okay, God approves! Manifest destiny gave European settlers license to treat Indigenous Americans and also slaves like subhumans. According to the National Humanities Center , manifest destiny — even before there was a name for it — had its roots in religion.

Europeans felt like they'd "discovered" the New World because God had ordained it, and therefore it was their God-given duty to bring Christianity to the heathen Americas. Oh and also the heathens, being heathens, were beneath Europeans, and therefore Europeans could take all their stuff. Some people do seem to have earnestly believed that they were doing the right thing. Missionaries genuinely thought they were saving the souls of the heathen tribes, and that appears to have been their primary motivation for going west. But they were only a few people, and even if their hearts were in the right place their actions were still pretty obnoxious, so any way you look at it religion was a lousy excuse for genocide and subjugation.

It's sometimes tempting to believe that human beings are just nasty by nature, and it's really been only in the past couple of decades that there's been a shift towards compassion and the true equality of all people. But even in the early days of America there were actually some people who were like, "Hmm, maybe manifest destiny is a crappy thing to do. According to the Blackhawk Museum , a few prominent Americans like Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses Grant opposed the idea of manifest destiny.

So did the Whigs, who you may remember as the political party who made the two party system in America a thing. So it was cool that they were opposed to systemic racism and everything, but thanks a lot for the rest of the crap you saddled us with, Whigs. Anyway, Lincoln was opposed to the Mexican-American War largely because he thought it was an excuse for the United States to start oozing into other territories he was right , but he was one of only a few who thought that was a bad thing. For the most part, then-President James K.

Polk's policies enjoyed a lot of support and went mostly unopposed. At least Lincoln got people to listen to him about slavery, though. Wrap it up in religion all you want, say you're saving the souls of the natives, there's still no denying what the fundamental roots of manifest destiny actually were. It was all about white people taking everyone else's stuff and not being held accountable for it. According to the National Humanities Center , during the heyday of manifest destiny there were clear racial lines drawn between the haves, the have-nots, and the shouldn't-haves.

Native Americans could not claim permanent possession of any land on the North American continent, even though it literally belonged to them. Other non-whites couldn't claim possession of land, either. And if natives and other non-whites couldn't claim land, then the only people who could claim it were white Americans. It was white supremacy in its pure, unadulterated form — a belief that non-whites couldn't be trusted with land ownership or just didn't deserve it , and therefore only whites could become stewards of the land as God intended. And then whites took the land and over-hunted all the game and cut down all the trees and polluted rivers and made a mess out of everything, just as God intended.

Hmm, maybe Americans might have misinterpreted the will of God? Oh well, too late now. During his presidency, James K. Polk did some serious manifest-destinying, but Andrew Jackson was the poster child. He was the man behind the "Indian Removal Act," which was so racist no one even bothered to come up with a not-racist name for it. Hey Jackson, you forgot traffic, smog, and rude people. Civilization is awesome! Anyway, according to the Library of Congress , the Indian Removal Act — enacted 15 years before the term "manifest destiny" was even a thing — basically just made it legal for Jackson to seize Indigenous lands that were within state borders and force their occupants to move west into unsettled territories which they'd never seen and were going to have to leave in a few years anyway as land-hungry Americans decided to go west in search of even better lands to steal, err, annex.

The most famous resettlement that happened under the auspices of the Indian Removal Act was the Cherokee " Trail of Tears ," which was a forcible march to new lands that cost around 4, Cherokee lives. Thanks to a high birth rate and brisk immigration, the U. Such rapid growth—as well as two economic depressions in and —would drive millions of Americans westward in search of new land and new opportunities. In addition to sponsoring the western expedition of Lewis and Clark of , Jefferson also set his sights on Spanish Florida , a process that was finally concluded in under President James Monroe. But critics of that treaty faulted Monroe and his secretary of state, John Quincy Adams , for yielding to Spain what they considered legitimate claims on Texas , where many Americans continued to settle.

Nonetheless, there were still more Anglo settlers in Texas than Hispanic ones, and in , after Texas won its own independence , its new leaders sought to join the United States. The administrations of both Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren resisted such calls, fearing both war with Mexico and opposition from Americans who believed calls for annexation were linked with the desire to expand slavery in the Southwest.

But John Tyler , who won the presidency in , was determined to proceed with the annexation. An agreement concluded in April made Texas eligible for admission as a U. Despite opposition to this agreement in Congress, the pro-annexation candidate James K. Polk won the election, and Tyler was able to push the bill through and sign it before he left office. By the time Texas was admitted to the Union as a state in December , the idea that the United States must inevitably expand westward all the way to the Pacific Ocean had taken firm hold among people from different regions, classes and political persuasions. An treaty between Great Britain and the United States partially resolved the question of where to draw the Canadian border, but left open the question of the Oregon Territory, which stretched from the Pacific Coast to the Rocky Mountains over an area including what is now Oregon, Idaho , Washington State and most of British Columbia.

But as president, Polk wanted to get the issue resolved so the United States could move on to acquiring California from Mexico. In mid, his administration agreed to a compromise whereby Oregon would be split along the 49th parallel, narrowly avoiding a crisis with Britain. By the time the Oregon question was settled, the United States had entered into all-out war with Mexico, driven by the spirit of Manifest Destiny and territorial expansion. Despite the lofty idealism of Manifest Destiny, the rapid territorial expansion over the first half of the 19th century resulted not only in war with Mexico, but in the dislocation and brutal mistreatment of Native American , Hispanic and other non-European occupants of the territories now being occupied by the United States.

Julius W. S House of Representatives. Between and , more than , people moved to California in search of gold. Eager for land to raise cotton, the settlers pressured the federal government to acquire Indian territory. They wanted to appease the government in the hopes of retaining some of their land, and they wanted to protect themselves from white harassment. Other historians view Manifest Destiny as an excuse to be selfish. They believe that it was an excuse Americans used to allow them to push their culture and beliefs on everyone in North America. Historians believed that expansion was for the good of the country and was the right of the people. There were also negative effects of Manifest Destiny.

This idea that it was their destiny to expand caused Americans to disregard the territorial rights of Native Americans, wiping out many tribes and causing a cultural divide, tension and wars. Manifest Destiny brought money, land, resources, and a strengthened economy to the Americans. Instead, he finds that population growth and technological innovation worked in concert as the main driving factors of Western Expansion. Opponents also argued that God has no hand in Manifest Destiny because He will not order for America or any nation, for that matter, to expand its territories by putting the lives and safety of other people in line.

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