How Did Manifest Destiny Affect Westward Expansion

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Manifest Destiny: The Effects of Westward Expansion

3.797 million miles. That is the area of the United States of America. Within two years, from 1846 too 1848, more than one million square miles of territory was gained by the US. This time of immense growth was called Manifest Destiny. This term was first used by John L. Sullivan and was the idea that Americans had the God given right to govern the USA. After reading the articles from "Manifest Destiny: LDC" (Source 1), "Manifest Destiny: Did the Benefits Outweigh the Negative Consequences", (Source 2) Humboldt State University's Department of History and pbs.org, it is clear to see that Manifest Destiny changed the US greatly. First, during this time, the population growth was tremendous …show more content…

In addition, environmental degradation occurred and trees and buffalo were killed without expense.
To begin with, Manifest Destiny causes great population growth. Immigrants moved from foreign countries to the United States in search of gold and a plethora of other resources. For example, source 1 states, "...brought a great opportunity for the United States in terms of resources, population expansion and trade. They census data fro 1830 and 1840 show a staggeringly rapid population increase of 32.71%," (Source 1, par. 8) This occurred because travelers from other countries, such as China and Mexico for example, moved to the West Coast. They wanted to start a new life and obtain economic prosperity as well. New land was found and people wanted to settle in the vast acreage. Immigrants wanted to find wealth and desired a better life. Furthermore, immigration was at an all time high because of the fertile soil and the promising economic opportunity. According to pbs.org,"….agriculture provided the primary economic structure, large families to walk the farms were an asset. The US population grew …show more content…

Buffaloes and trees were killed and nature in the West Coast was not at all preserved. Frank H. Mayer, a buffalo hunter in the late 1800s, proclaimed, "A couple years before, it was nothing to see 5,000, 10,000 [buffaloes] in a day's ride. Now, if I saw 50, I was lucky. Presently all I saw was rotting red carcasses or bleaching white bones, we had killed the golden goose,"(Source 2, Document F) Mayer clearly expresses that every day, less buffalo were alive. They were being killed with every passing day and as a result, conflicts with Native Americas arose. The buffalo population came close to depletion and the Natives were anything but pleased. Great numbers of buffalo were killed for their hides being sold for profit. Moreover, trees and plants were cleared away for space and construction, killing the living things. Humboldt State University's Department of US History says," Deforestation and soil erosion was widespread due to needs for wood as fuel, clearing lands for agriculture and housing rivers," (users.humboldt.edu) Before the Westward Expansion, grass grew and trees reached the skies, but as people moved in, so did houses and other structures. The new residents of the area took over the vast, plentiful land that the Natives worked so hard to grow and tend. Their hearts ached as the men cut down trees by tree years of growth being chopped off without

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