Manifest Destiny Definition

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Manifest Destiny is the American belief that the United States has a mission to shape the world in the image of America. However, the values of Manifest Destiny ended up dividing the United States, resulting in sectionalism. Americans that believed in Manifest Destiny were strong supporters of the territorial expansion of the United States and wanted to expand to the Pacific Ocean as well as into Texas. However, the North and South disagreed on whether or not slavery should expand to the new territories. Almost every issue introduced through Manifest Destiny that the country faced in the nineteenth century could be traced back to slavery, a topic that split the country. The Northerners’ and Southerners’ opposing views on slavery caused them…show more content…
More Northern people opposed the war, whereas the South people tended to support the war against Mexico. The concept of Manifest Destiny motivated the Southerners that supported the war. Most Southerners wanted to enforce their American ways on Mexico by expanding into Mexico. Southern slave owners felt trapped by the Missouri Compromise since it basically prevented them from traveling West or North with their slaves. So, the war with Mexico gave the slave owners an opportunity to move South into any land that the United States obtained. The Southerners wanted to expand slavery into any new territory obtained by the United States, whereas the Northerners were strongly opposed to the expansion of slavery. Also, The Northerners that were against the war believed that adding Mexican territory to the country would destroy the United States’ legitimacy. The increasing sectionalism of the country caused by the war with Mexico brought up another old topic: Should the United States abolish…show more content…
Sanford illustrated a consequence of Manifest Destiny as well. What began as one man’s desire for freedom completely changed the status of every slave and free black person in the United States. In fact, the Dred Scott decision ruled that the black slaves of the country were not even technically citizens. This ruling repulsed many of the Northerners that were against slavery., further increasing the tensions between the North and the South. The oppression of slaves eventually lead to John Brown’s Raid, in which Brown attempted to inspire slaves to free themselves. Brown strongly believed that the South had taken over the government, displayed in the Dred Scott decision. The ruling was so obviously motivated by Southern slave owners’ values, and Brown wanted to do something about the injustice. When the system of checks and balances failed, Brown resorted to violence. This attempt to free slaves ended up failing, however the “raid” still left an impact. The slave-owners extremely oppressed their slaves, and John Brown felt that the government would not do anything to help. The Southern slave owners had too much power over their slaves, which definitely contrasts to the free states of the North. Evidently, Manifest Destiny created conflict that developed sectionalism of the North and South of the United States. Their opposing views on slavery caused the North and South to be split on basically every issue the United States had in the nineteenth
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