Manifest destiny was a belief that became very popular in the United States in the 19th century. The settlers of the United States were destined to expand across North America. The concept of manifest destiny was highly contested because the democrats endorsed the idea but many prominent Americans rejected it.
The manifest destiny had three basic themes which were; the special virtues of the American people and their institutions, the mission of the United States to redeem and remake the west in the image of agrarian America, and an irresistible destiny to accomplish this essential duty. The manifest destiny is said to have lacked national, sectional and party rallying behind it, this showed that it lacked the national spirit. There are also several claims that showed it had very little supporting evidence which led to contention between the democrats and the prominent Americans.
1. There was territorial expansion. The Americans conquered vast territories during this period as well as acquiring more property, gold, and slaves. There was general progress for the people of America and the foundation of the superpower that America is today was laid during this period. This also gave several immigrants the chance to settle and start their lives all over again.
2. America got more land for farming and improvements. As the army went on conquering various places and pushing the people that had initially settled away, there was vast land acquired for both agriculture and other improvements. The farmers and the merchants produced more crops than they could consume and sell the surplus, this was a great win in the betterment of the economy.
3. It was good for trade and industry. There were new doors that were opened for trade with the neighboring countries. There was also vast land that was acquired which meant that people could produce a lot more for their consumption and trade. It also meant that those people that wanted to relocate for economic purposes had somewhere to settle.
4. It was a great opportunity to share American culture. People that lived in the places that were conquered by the Americans were influenced by their culture and way of life. Several good traits of the American culture were adopted by these people because they found them appealing and good for them. Different beliefs and practices such as religious practices, cultural ways, and democracy were adopted by those people.
5. There was a chance for exploration. There Americans were presented with a chance to discover other places other than the initial places they grew up in. this was for their economic, social, spiritual, and emotional gain. This chance was maximized and they learned more innovative ways and discovered new ways of living.
6. As the united states’ land increased, goods, services, and wealth also increased. As the country gained vast land for production they also gained more wealth as trade channels were opened in the areas that they reclaimed. There was an increase in the number of ports that enhanced trade.
7. There was a spread of freedom. It is through manifest destiny that the United States saw the chance of spreading the American sense of freedom. Other countries learned about their democratic, religious, and cultural ways.
8. The growing population was settled. During this time the population of the United States was rapidly growing and they needed somewhere to accommodate them. This was sorted by the vast land that they acquired.
9. Colonization. The manifest destiny gave the Americans and their leaders a chance to impart their ideas to other people and influenced the lives of the people that lived in the areas they had colonized.
10. Led to several discoveries. As the people explored and the colonies increased there were several discoveries of plants, herbs, and even animals. These new discoveries were also named.
1. It brought about war and conflicts. This philosophy leads to people fighting amongst them causing civil wars and wars between them and other countries arose. Several countries rose up against the United States because they were against this philosophy and they had the duty to protect their land and properties from the Americans.
2. It was a time of slavery. One of the major criticism that manifest destiny suffered was the initiation of slavery. There was a promise that the Americans would not take the land of other people without their consent or through peaceful means, but this promise was not heeded because the Americans took the land and property of other people forcefully and enslaved them. Most of the Native Americans were killed and others were taken as slaves.
3. It led to the death and suffering of many people and particularly the Indians. The manifest destiny caused a lot of suffering to other people because many of them were killed, their property and land have taken without their consent. The Americans were convinced that they can own any land that they want which led to the killing and destroying a lot of tribes. The Indians are the ones who suffered this destruction the most.
4. It is unconstitutional. There is nothing that the United States did in its quest for expansion that was constitutional. They enslaved, maimed, and took land and property forcefully from other people. They displaced the native Americans to accommodate the white settlers which were very unconstitutional.
5. They used divine providence to manipulate other people. The Americans argued that manifest destiny was divine providence and it was actually God who made it possible. This was just a way of defending themselves and their self-interests and gains. This was just an excuse to ensure that they acquired more land and forcibly take other people’s property and kill them.
6. It led to the oppression of the people. The white settlers enslaved and killed a lot of people who wanted to take their land. The people that suffered most were the Indians and the Native Americans.
7. It fuelled disagreements. When the white settlers started taking land and property from other people without their consent, a disagreement erupted between them and they plotted revenge against the settlers which eventually led to war.
8. Manipulation. Manifest destiny resulted in a lot of property destruction, killings, and even slavery but this was later rationalized and presented as something that was good and rightfully done.
9. Native tribes’ oppression. There was ethnic cleansing during the manifest destiny and the Americans felt like they needed to regulate where the native tribes should live. In this whole process, the native tribes were maimed and manipulated.
10. Acquisitions were done with violence. There was so much violence according to the evidence presented by the opponents. The proponents have however tried to justify these claims saying that the purchases of land were done peacefully and with the consent of the owners.