The Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1804—1806 is arguably one of the most important moments in the creation of the superpower known as the United States of America. Lewis and Clark’s expeditions of the Louisiana Territory and western territories are highly well-known and are considered to be the reason for the growth in American populace in all areas west of the Mississippi River. If it weren’t for President Thomas Jefferson’s decision to buy the Louisiana Territory from Napoleon Bonaparte and to support the expeditions of the land, it is possible that migration in the western regions of the North American continent would be fairly different than it had already transpired. The Lewis and Clark Expeditions mainly saw the rise of American dominance
Manifest Destiny is a label created by John L. O’Sullivan as a justification of American expansion. Many Americans, such as O’Sullivan, believed that America needed to expand West to fully achieve its destiny and to protect the interest of its citizens. The American Yawp, chapter 12, describe the manifest destiny best, “The precepts of manifest destiny, grounded in the twin beliefs of virtuous American institutionalism and the uplifting effects of agrarian republicanism, rode the wagon trails westward in
Frederick Jackson Turner, an American historian, stresses the importance of the great western frontier and all of the developments it has made on American history. It’s through Turner’s main points of how the frontier shaped America, how expansion to the west frontier changed people's cultural views, and why America is what it is today that he shows the true value the frontier has in American history. The first major point Turner emphasizes on greatly is how America was shaped by the frontier. The only limits Americans had discovered that they could not overcome were the physical barriers that lie between them and their vision of expansion.
After the American Revolution and declaring its independence, America has been aspired to the ideas of liberty, humanity, equality, and property rights. In the 1840s, the United States added greatly to its territory, gaining lands stretching all the way to the Pacific Ocean. President James K. Polk, who was elected in 1844 on the pledge to annex vast territories in the West, delivered on his major campaign compromise. The term Manifest Destiny was a wide belief that the American settlers were destined to expand from coast to coast.
In a time, 1865 marked the end of Reconstruction of the North and the South after the Civil War. The start of the Second Industrial Revolution began with the invention of electrical power and mechanical engines. The United States expanded westward like never before with the creation of railroads, oil, and steel. The Election of 1896 marked a critical election when Republican William McKinley, United States President from 1897-1901, defeated his opponent in one of the most dramatic and complex elections in the young country’s history. Using the idea of American Imperialism, the United States aimed to spread their political, economic, and cultural control within the government over areas beyond their boundaries.
In 1845, John O’Sullivan famously said, “…our manifest destiny to overspread the continent allotted by Providence for the free development of our yearly multiplying millions”(Document A). His idea of Manifest Destiny was that it was America’s God-given right to spread their population, and along with them the ideas of liberty and democracy, across the continent of North America. During the 1840’s, President James K. Polk worked diligently to fulfill these ideals. This resulted in America gaining most of western North America, including the half of the Oregon territory from Britain and Texas and California from Mexico. Although Manifest Destiny had a few benefits, the negative consequences far outweigh these gains.
Throughout the history of the United States, many Presidents have taken actions that greatly impacted the foreign and domestic policies of the nation. These actions had both positive and negative effects on the United States. Two important examples are Emancipation Proclamation issued by Abraham Lincoln and Purchase of the Louisiana territory by Thomas Jefferson. Both of these decisions had help change the US foreign and domestic policies in its time and made an impact in our present time. The issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation help push the freedom of the slaves, and the Purchase of the Louisiana territory led to the expansion of the United States territory.
However, in 1830, the Indian removal act of 1830 was signed by Andrew Jackson and suddenly everything changed. “The Indian Removal Act in 1830 forced the relocation of more than 60,000 Native Americans to clear
“Once we became an independent people it was as much a law of nature that this [control of all of North America] should become our pretension as that the Mississippi should flow to the sea” –John Quincy Adams (Henretta, p. 384). In the 1840s, Americans had a belief that God destined for them to expand their territory all the way westward to the Pacific Ocean. This idea was called Manifest Destiny. In the nineteenth century, Americans were recognized for coming together and building up one another for one cause: westward expansion.
The Manifest Destiny ideology, that it was a divinely ordained right and destiny for America to expand westward, towards the Pacific Ocean, was protracted throughout the nineteenth century. Oregon, which was in part occupied by England and in part by the U.S., and the lands owned by Mexico, were an obstacle to such expansion and, consequently, to the economic development. The presidential candidate James K. Polk, guided by the ideology of Manifest Destiny, promised that, if elected, he would push the United States territory westward. His campaign slogan for the occupation of Oregon was “Fifty-four forty or fight”, which was the north latitude that he intended to occupy. In 1846, Great Britain agreed to set the border at the 49th parallel.
This led to the Indian Removal Act and what the Cherokee call Trail of Tears. Over several years, Jackson seized millions of acres of Indian Lands making room for cotton plantations. The Removal Act signed in 1830, by President Jackson, was to guarantee the Indians would have land in the west but these promises were later broken. The Removal Act was
Soon after becoming president, Jackson passed the former act which called for the relocation of native tribes from their homelands to a designated “Indian territory” in present-day Oklahoma. While Jackson had a clear idea of his plans, he befriended the tribes and promised them prosperity, friendship, and the possibility of becoming civilized children of God. In other words, he, the symbol of reassurance in America, stabbed the backs of all natives. Beyond the question of Jackson 's morality, what was the ultimate reason behind the removal? The answer to this is simple: white settlers wanted to grow and cultivate on Indian lands, and they attained this when the government pushed the natives out of their lands.
In 1830, just a year after taking office, Jackson pushed a new piece of legislation called the "Indian Removal Act" through both houses of Congress. It gave the president power to negotiate removal treaties with Indian tribes living east of the Mississippi. Under these treaties, the Indians were to give up their lands east of the Mississippi in exchange for lands to the west. Those wishing to remain in the east would become citizens of their home state. This act affected not only the southeastern nations, but many others further north.
The 1850s crisis only expanded the amount of pressure. Bills like, the Kansas-Nebraska that allowed settlers of that territory vote whether or not they would allow slavery in the state, pitted Northerners against the Southerners. Additionally, events like the “Bleeding Kansas”, the caning of Charles Sumner by Preston Brooks, the Pottawatomie Massacre, the Lecompton Constitution, Dred Scott Decision, and the Harper 's Ferry Attacks, led to major conflicts against the two parties (LEP). This government disorder played a significant role in leading America into Civil