At the beginning of the 19th century, the United States began to grow and develop regions in the west. During the 1830s and 1840s, migration increased, and led some Americans to dream of a continental empire, going all the way from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. Like the Puritans, who considered their colony a "city upon a hill," the Americans believed that the United States had a goal to spread liberty across the continent. A New York journalist named John L. O'Sullivan labeled the said goal as "Manifest Destiny." (Chiodo, John J.). Manifest Destiny was one of the greatest historical theories/beliefs, held by American settlers, before the 19th century.
Manifest Destiny explained the United States’ goal of spreading its systems of democracy, federalism, and personal freedom, as well as managing its growing population, by taking control of the North American continent. O'Sullivan believed that Manifest Destiny revoked any claims that European states had made, regarding who discovered or settled on North America first. O’Sullivan believed that the way to gain control of the continent was to be peaceful, and this was achieved through the work of "Anglo-Saxon emigration." Unlike imperial European nations that dominated their empires, the United States would wait for people living in other places, to realize the advantages of annexation and wait for them to join the Union (Robert E. May).
Manifest Destiny had many values that Americans were fond of. For starters, Manifest Destiny included the expansion of land, and thus, it greatly expanded the geography of our country. Americans owning land was an important step towards prosperity. Also, Manifest Destiny made it so America could trade with Asia, and not just Europe, so Manifest Destiny improved and enhanced the national identity of the United States. Several harbors in the Oregon Territory would help expand trade, and Manifest Destiny helped Americans find new markets for manufactured goods and services (Rick Fair). This lead to greater wealth for the United States. As you can see, Manifest Destiny had many advantages for Americans, from 1783 to 1970.
Despite the fact that many Americans liked the idea of Manifest Destiny, there were many people who opposed Manifest Destiny, as well as the U.S.-Mexican War. One of the disadvantages of Manifest Destiny included the cruel treatment to Native Americans. Between 1783 and 1970, Americans kicked the Native Americans out of their country, and they did it because they believed that, that was the right thing to do and that the government told them to do that (Chandler, Prentice T.). In 1872, Native Americans were removed from their homes and had to walk 15 miles a day and overall, they walked 2000 miles. To make matters worse, on the Trail of Tears, many Native Americans died, because of sickness, dehydration, and a lack of food (Historycentral.com). The increase in sectional divides was also a disadvantage of Manifest Destiny, since it led to...