Westward Expansion Of The United States

1017 WordsNov 21, 20155 Pages
Westward expansion seemed perfectly natural to Americans in the mid-nineteenth century. Many settlers even believed that America, as a nation, was destined−by God himself− to expand westward. This ideology became known as the Manifest Destiny. Although many Americans thought it to be a kindly movement driven by pride, it continuously proved to be aggressive, racist, and imperialistic. Enthusiasm over territorial expansion began in 1803 when Napoleon decided to offer the United States the entire Louisiana Territory and later escalated with the issues of Texas and Oregon. In the 1820s, the United States offered, twice, to purchase Texas from the Mexican government. However, it was not until 1824 that Mexico enacted a colonization law offering cheap land and a four-year exemption from taxes to any American willing to move into Texas. By 1830, the number of Americans living in Texas was more than double the number of Mexicans there, hence why the Mexican government prohibited any further American immigration in the region. Nonetheless, Americans kept circulating into Texas anyway. From then, friction between American settlers and the Mexican government kept growing and resulted in sporadic fighting in Texas throughout 1835. American settlers proclaimed their independence from Mexico and, thanks to General Sam Houston, finally received it on April 21st 1836 after the defeat of General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna at the Battle of Jancito. American settlements were now spreading
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