Manifest Destiny and Foreign Policy

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Manifest Destiny and Foreign Policy The term "Manifest Destiny," which American writer John L. O'Sullivan first used in the New York Democratic Review in 1845. , describes what most 19th-Century Americans believed was their God-given mission to expand westward, occupy a continental nation, and extend U.S. constitutional government to unenlightened peoples. The idea was the driving force behind the rapid expansion of America into the West from the East, and it was heavily promoted in newspapers, posters, and through other mediums. While the Manifest Destiny was not itself an official government policy, it had a critical impact on the foreign policy of the U.S. and encouraged Westward colonization, territorial acquisition, and American…show more content…
For example, the Gold Rush attracted an abundance of Americans to strike it rich. James Marshall found gold while working for John Sutter at his ranch in northern California on January 24, 1848. He had been hired to build a mill for Sutter. This place would enter American lore as 'Sutter's Mill'. Word quickly spread through California, the rest of America and eventually the world and people flocked to California to make their fortune. In fact, according to some estimates, the population increased by 86,000 people in two years. Most of these treasure seekers left for California in 1849, hence our name for them: 49ers. Next, the first lucky arrivals were able to find nuggets of gold in the streambeds. These people made quick fortunes. It was a unique time in history where individuals with literally nothing to their name could become extremely wealthy. The gold was free for whoever was lucky enough to find it. It is no surprise that gold fever hit so heavily. Yet the majority of those who made the journey out West were not so lucky. The individuals who became the richest were in fact not these early miners but were instead entrepreneurs who created businesses to support all of the prospectors. However, the Gold Rush reinforced the idea of Manifest Destiny. America was destined to span from Atlantic to Pacific, and the accidental discovery of Gold made California an even more essential
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