Essay Example on The Beginning of the Westward Expansion In 1803 President Thomas Jefferson









The Beginning of the Westward Expansion In 1803 President Thomas Jefferson purchased the territory of Louisiana from the French The Louisiana Purchase doubled the size of the United States stretching out from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains and from Canada to New Orleans Jefferson believed a republic depended on an Independent virtuous citizenry for its survival he also believed that Independence and virtue go hand in hand with land ownership In order to provide enough land for his idea population the United States would have to continue expanding The westward expansion defined the 19th century American history By 1840 40 of the nation's population 7 million Americans lived in the trans Appalachian west Most people left their homes in the East in search of economic opportunity In 1845 John O'Sullivan a journalist put a name to the idea that helped pull many pioneers towards to western frontier According to O'Sullivan 

The survival of American freedom depended on the westward expansion In one of O Sullivan s writing he wrote westward migration was an essential part of the republican project it was the Americans manifest destiny to carry the great experiment of liberty to the edge of the continent to overspread and to possess the whole of the land which province has given us Challenges and Consequences During the Westward Expansion There were many challenges to face throughout the westward expansion In which some include America's war with Mexico This war was one part of a broader expansionist encouraged by the concept of manifest destiny Most Americans at this time supported the philosophy of expansion but many also recognized certain problems associated with it In 1848 the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed to end the Mexican American war The treaty added an additional 525 000 square miles of U S territory all or parts of what is now California Arizona Colorado New Mexico Nevada Utah and Wyoming Besides the idealism for the manifest destiny rapid territorial expansion over the first half of the 19th century resulted in not only the Mexican American war but also movement and the brutal mistreatment of the Native American people Hispanics and other non European people who were living there The expansion also resulted in the growing debate about slavery raising the pressing question of whether new states admitted into the Union would allow slavery or not This conflict would eventually lead to the Civil War Reasons People Moved West Some reasons people moved west was because they were told they had a better opportunity to get more land start a better life and have a better chance of moving up in their civilization The land was an important factor in the westward expansion 

Many people went west because they got to claim the land they wanted as long no one else staked that area The Appalachian west population raised significantly due to promised land and better living habits Many families moved for the belief it was what was best for them at the time Concept of Manifest Destiny The manifest destiny is the belief that the United States was destined by God for some say was to expand across North America to the Pacific ocean The manifest destiny is defined as a 19th century American belief that to spread of the United States across the continent was inevitable An example would be the belief by President Polk's administration that the U S should expand throughout the continent The idea of manifest destiny was the belief that the United States and its settlers were destined to move across North America Causes and Effects of the Manifest Destiny Reasons for the manifest destiny are that the American people are historically connected to English civilization This has them the sense of superiority over the other people who lived in North America Because of the fact they were white and civilized they felt superior to the Native American people and their customs They felt they were not good enough to live in North America because their living ways were different they felt they were more important because of them being civilized and white Effects of the manifest destiny were that the United States got much larger and wealthier There was more space for people to build and expand their families and things like that The effects of the manifest destiny were thought as a negative impact due to the Hispanics Native Americans and Mexico losing their land 

The Native Americans thought of the manifest destiny as an excuse to be selfish they believe it was an excuse the Americans used to allow them to push their culture and beliefs on everyone in North America In conclusion the manifest destiny played a major role in the history of the United States Although it may have caused some people problems Jefferson did what he thought was right for the health and independence of his country What would have happened if Jefferson would not have purchased the land from the Louisiana Purchase and the Mexican American war had never happened or Mexico managed to either defeat or hold the U S in a draw The U S would still be a trans continental union due to the Oregon country It would still have access to both oceans and be able to expand into the Pacific but would not have been able to expand as much as we did If Mexico would have somehow pulled off a victory not much would have changed the date of our expansion would perhaps be later for some of the western states but we would have eventually fought our way back and won the states over we wanted

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