Manifest Destiny

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Manifest Destiny The expansion of the United States from its thirteen original colonies to the nation it is today was a very extensive process, involving numerous wars and treaties. The greatest one of these expansion periods occurred from the 1830s to the 1860s, largely due to the idea of Manifest Destiny, the belief that American settlers were destined to expand across the continent to the Pacific coast. This development played a major role in dividing the North and the South by contributing to contrasting ideologies of the two regions towards social and economic foundations of the new territory, and would eventually lead up to the Civil War, literally dividing the nation into two. Territorial expansion fashioned racial and social…show more content…
British trappers, farmers, and missionaries started settling in the Oregon Country starting in the 1830s. As there was no central government in the region, the residents of the region started meeting to discuss organizing a government for the area. This led to the American government being concerned and encouraging American citizens to migrate to the Oregon Country in order to prevent the British immigrants from taking over. As Thomas Hart Benton said in his speech in the U.S. Senate: “... the Government… will give protection and land… Let the emigrants go on… they will make all quite there… drive [the British] off our continent, quiet their Indians, and protect the American interests…” (Document A). One of the first migrations of U.S. citizens into the area was in 1839 when a group of 18 men set out to settle the area on behalf of the American government; this was followed by The Great Migration of 1843 when almost a thousand emigrants left for Oregon. Following the inauguration of James K. Polk as president after the election of 1844, the border of the Oregon Country was finally settled at 49o latitude, despite the original demand of 54o40’ latitude, in an agreement known as the Treaty Line of 1846. Emigrants flooded into the area in thousands, partly due to the California Gold Rush which started in 1849 but brought wealth to only a few. As more and more people migrated into the area, southerners started bringing slaves along with them,
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