Manifest Destiny Research Paper

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Manifest Destiny was a term first coined in 1845 by John L. O’Sullivan symbolizing the belief that America had a divine obligation to expand into Westward territories towards the Pacific Ocean, despite the fact that these lands were already home to many Native Americans. Americans justified this belief through the idea that Westward expansion was God’s will and was essentially inevitable. However, this belief caused a historical ethical challenge as the expansion required the displacement of hundreds of Native Americans. We will explore this ethical issue through the use of two primary accounts of a Native American versus an American standpoint as well as secondary sources utilizing the opinions of respected historians – Robert E. May; with…show more content…
“We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.” Even the Founding Father’s came to a basic understanding that equality should be inclusive of all of humanity. So how can it be that the United States was willing to displace Native Americans in favor of expansion with the mindset that all men were created equal and should be treated as so? The answer is social Darwinism. The US government was convinced that if they did not expand and dictate they themselves would be dictated over. Therefore the “U.S. expansionists invoked the phrase Manifest Destiny to rationalize imperialistic demands that their country use the opportunity provided by the conflict and conquer and retain much or all of Mexico” (Mays). to ensure their survival. In order to fuel this ideology, “many wartime proponents of Manifest Destiny fused into the ideology a belief that the United States had a mission to regenerate Mexico by bringing progress and Protestantism southward” (Mays). essentially “converting many advocates of gradual expansion into apostles of a new, more militant brand of imperialism”

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