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Us Expansion Essay

947 words - 4 pages

In the history of the United States, there has always been a search for more. For decades, explorers have continuously pushed the boundaries of both the physical land, and the American mind. The quest for more has prompted Americans to innovate and improve, but more importantly, to expand. The evolution of our expansionism has changed dramatically from its conception in the American West to its full expression on an international scale. Although the United States expansionism may have been a major success internally in the West, it certainly wasn’t nearly as successful on an international scale. The costs far outweighed the benefits. Because the United States followed its Manifest Destiny throughout its expansion, internally, America became the fastest growing country in the world, yet when these principles were applied on international scale, they failed, and late nineteenth century America suffered as a result of this.
Throughout our history, America has thought of itself as being the best country in the world, and deserving of only the best; that it is our god-given right to stand upon the world and snatch up all the land that has been so pleasantly presented to us on a silver platter. This idea originated in a document known as the Manifest Destiny, which stated that god himself sent the task to America to conquer the world, and during the time it was written, specifically the West. For example, in Senator Albert J. Bridge’s speech to the 56th Congress he says: “We will not renounce our part in the mission of our race, trustee, under God, of the civilization of the world. And we will move forward to our work...with gratitude...and thanksgiving to Almighty God that He has marked us as His chosen people, henceforth to lead in the regeneration of the world…” (Document E). In a sense, America was brainwashed by these that had very little credibility as to where they originated. The Manifest Destiny was an excuse for America to exercise their power, and surprisingly, it practically became a fact. These ideals were carried directly throughout history, especially during the period of American imperialism. Old expansionism was nearly the same as the new expansionism, because the ideas never changed, only the places. America wanted to be on the same level as their European counterparts, and the Manifest Destiny was the proof of purpose that would allow such a wide scale land rush to take place.
However, their ruthless methods of colonization never changed. A native population always suffered, be it the Indians of the Great Plains, the native Hawaiians, or even the Filipinos. The expansionists had no care for the inhabitants, they just wanted the land, and assimilation into their westernized cultures. However, what many Americans failed to understand was their devastating effects on these groups. Natives of the land were forced off, dealt with brutally, and many died for...

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