Essay Sample on Westward Expansion and Manifest Destiny

Published: 2023-03-02
Essay Sample on Westward Expansion and Manifest Destiny
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  American Civil War Slavery American history
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1445 words
13 min read

As the expansionist movement gain tremendous momentum in the 1840s, manifest destiny was coined to give the mission and the purpose of the campaign. The American Union expansion became inevitable, leading to the addition of Oregon and Texas, which became the underlying cause of the war. As it may, the development came under a cost as it irritated Mexico and also the region of Latin America. The aftermath of the war led to increased tension between Mexico and America as the Hispanics were being politically disenfranchised and dispossessed of their land. Hostility between Native Americans and the United States, which led to wars and massacres, was also witnessed. Finally, the debate over slavery was also ignited by the expansionist movement.

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Westward Expansion and Manifest Destiny

The manifest destiny was not the beginning of the American expansionist movement as America has been pushing boundaries in places such as the Appalachian mountains since the colonial era. The westward expansion of the 1840s resulted in political, economic, and demographic pressure. Among those that motivated the development include urbanization, industrialization, and other forms of economic driving factors such as the desire to gain control over the west coast port by the eastern merchants. The aspects that Americans used to justify its action included the fact that its expansion world leads to expand freedom citing that if it does not occupy the western land, the British would. The essence of cultural and religious justification was also used, citing that the destiny of this expansion was to spread democratic institutions.


The development of the United States into Texas, which was one of Mexico's provinces, was set by the essence of Missouri boundaries. By then, Mexico had only gained its independence and was undergoing some political turbulence. However, the Texas province had been a lowly populated province since the colonial era. As such, the Empire of Mexico by Agustin 1 extended his goodwill to the Americans, providing them with some kind treatments so they can agree to come and settle in Texas as wrong as they agree to the set terms. However, the terms of the agreement were gradually breached, and due to the overwhelming growth of the Americans population in Texas, they successfully revolted, making Texas an independent state which later joined the United States as an independent state.


It is one of the enormous expansions that was made by the United States. Initially, this area was claimed by the United States, Britain, and Russia. However, Russia and Spain dropped their claims leaving the only United States and Britain. In both of them, the complaint was based on treaty rights, exploration, and discovery. However, the U.S also included the need to convert Pacific Indiana in its list. In the beginning, the two contenders agreed on joint occupation by the immigration of Americans grew more; it strengthened its claim. The need to cater to the increasing activities of the Americans led to the pressure of formalizing Oregon as an expansion of the United States.

The Mormon Trek

The Mormon Trek was a group of people from the United States, which was closely linked to religious beliefs. The group under its leader Smith started its Journey from New York then to Ohio and later to Missouri. However, they received a lot of hostility from the non-Mormon to the extent of their leader being killed. Brigham takes over and from 1848 as the leader of the church, which promoted a new method of immigration by the use of handcarts instead of wagons. This led to an increase of the Mormons population. Due to the defeat of Mexico in their war by the United States, the Mormons found themselves being citizens of the United States after the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.

The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and Aftermath of War

Mexico lost in its war with the United States, leading to the signing of Guadalupe Hidalgo. This treaty confirmed the United States title to the Mexican territories. Mexico was to keep everything that was in the south of Rio Grande. However, the U.S agreed to pay $15 million and assume the claims of Americans in those lands against the Mexican government.

The Impending Crisis (1848-1861)

After the victory of America over Mexico, the aspect of the expansion of Slavery in the United States emerged. The southerners and the northerners differed in this aspect where the southerners believed that the government should allow slavery in places like New Mexico and California while the Northerners disagreed. The leaders tried to use the compromise of 1850 to quite the division, but tension persisted the lest of the decade. In 1960, the election of Lincoln as the president resulted in a succession of various southern states, and this paved the way for civil war.

Section Balance Begins to Unravel

Though the southerners and westerners agreed in most aspects, they differed in the perspective of slaves holding. 1850 compromise, which tried to bring a balance by dividing the country to half free and half free provided just a temporary solution.

Slaves in Territories

The newly acquired territories reignited the aspect of slaves in the United States. The matter was discussed by the congress severally, but it would fail as the southerners voted against slaves in territories while the northerners voted for it. The aspect of regional slavery became a contentious issue, and it was to create a lot of impact in the 1848 election as this election would appear as being between those who oppose and those who supported it. The division of political parties was also witnessed.

The Compromise of 1848

After the election, the aspect of slavery was still a contentious issue. There was increased tension between the southern and the northern leaders, which limited all the other operations of the congress. Some leaders wanted a quick reaction for the issue of territory slavery, and hence they had to push for it. It was then that Henry Clay shifts in and once again supported a compromise that later received congress approval. The agreement was well accepted by many as it was perceived as the one who saved the union, but the radicles on both sides maintained that the battle would continue.

The collapse of the Second Party System

When Franklin Pierce was elected in 1852 as the president of the United States, citizens had expectations that he would end the sectional problem that resulted from the Mexican-American War. In this case, the Westerners expected that he would maintain the regional balance while the Southerners expected that he would uphold the fugitive slave law and protect slavery. However, the increased exercise of slavery in Texas and the resulting effort of the Cuba annex raised concerns, especially for those who were opposing slavery concerning the future of the country. This led to a decline of Whigs as the two sides pull sides, and hence after the 1852 election, it ceased to be a national party leading to the birth of other political parties. This made the Republicans to be the next most popular political party after Wig.

The possible expansion of Slavery

The large population of those who supported the aspect of slavery seems like the possibility of an extension of slavery.

The Emergence of New Parties

The disagreement in the Whig party led to the development of new parties. The parties which were formed included the Republican party and the Know Nothing Party. The function of the newly formed parties ranged from the creation of a new union party to those who wanted total antislavery.

The Tremors of 1856

The essence of pro-Slavery and antislavery turned violent, which led to the attack of Charles Summer and the civil war in Kansas. It is then at this point that the treat of slavery seemed more severe than other threats by this time.

The Section Balance Comes Undone

People thought that compromise would work in the issue of slavery as it had been in other matters. However, after the 1857 election, the Southerners were not willing to accept compromise as they only required total antislavery.

Northern and Southern Perspective

Both Southerners and Northerners maintained their perspective concerning their position of slavery. As such, each side pushed its place to prove its economic, political liberty, and American legacy.

The crisis Continues

As both sides try to establish their American heritage, each side firmly stood by its position. Each side wanted the essence of slavery to be judged in its favor.

The Road to Secession

The election of Lincoln in 1860 led to the secession of some states which were not supporting slavery. In this case, the Southerners did not have a choice except submission or succession. However, it was hard for them to submit, and hence succession of some states emerged.

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