Manifest Destiny is the term for the attitude that was prevalent during the 19th century period of American expansion that the United States not only was able to, but was actually destined to, stretch from coast to coast and expand its territories, even if it was at the expense of others. While terrority would expand and progress, it would also be liberty and economic opportunities for individuals that would expand as well. The term Manifest Destiny actually originated sometime in the 1840s, when the common belief was that the Anglo-Saxon’s mission was to have their civilizations all across America.
There were three main components of manifest destiny, divine right, historical inevitability, and religion. Manifest destiny also composed of some key events, one of them being the annexation of texas and the mexican american war that followed suit. Lastly, manifest destiny left its own legacies, some of which can still be seen today, especially in the attitudes and internal beliefs of the american people. Manifest Destiny composed of three core ideas, divine right, historical inevitability, and, more darkly, because of supremacy of the white race.
First Off, divine right was the belief that the americans were entitled to all of the land because of God. All of the expansion was due in part that is was God’s plan for the americans to spread over the continent and take the land. They could control anything on the land and govern as they pleased. It was the burden of the white man to conquer and make the land Christian. Historian Frederick Merk is credited is saying that this concept was born out of “a sense of mission to redeem the Old World by high example … generated by the potentialities of a new earth for building a new heaven”.
John Quincy Adams was an early supporter of divine right as well, saying in a letter that is seemed that North America was destined by divine providence to be conquered by one nation speaking one language with religion and common morals. Next, another core idea in Manifest Destiny is the belief that it was historically inevitable that America was to be conquered. It was the way that Americans would rationalize the idea to expand and establish their liberty in new territories. Fur trappers were the first people to expand into the North West. They were searching for more game to hunt and make into furs, primarily beaver.
With this goal in mind, they created and blazed new trails that stretched into the mountains. Because they went through the mountains, they were able to discover the fertile valleys located in the west. They, of course, magnified and overexaggerated the land that they found. Their stories did spark public interest, however, and they created a romantic and adventurous attitude towards western expansion. The Santa Fe Trail went from Independence to the Old Spanish Trail, which went into Los Angeles. The Oxbow Route went from Missouri to California. Other people traveled out on the Oregon Trail towards the Pacific Northwest.
The land that was sparsely settled and the adventure that was just beyond the borders of america to the west tantalized and tempted the people of america. It is this that caused the large surge of expansion, the creation of the wagon in 1831, and a territorial government that was put into place in 1848. Lastly, manifest destiny composed of the belief that white people were the better race, and therefore had the divine and supreme right to destroy anything or anyone in their way. The chief example of this would be the removal of the indians from the native lands, and putting them into reservations.
This peaked in the nineteenth century. Along with moving the indians from their land into reservations, there was a mass genocide of indians. Albert T. Beverage summed up the idea of the supremacy belief by saying, “The superiority of the “white race” is the foundation on which the Anti-Indian Movement organizers and right-wing helpers rest their efforts to dismember Indian tribes. ” During the course of manifest destiny, a few key events really sum up the expansion of american territory. The first example of which being the Mexican American War. The war lasted from 1846 to 1848.
On April 25, 1846, a Mexican cavalry unit of 2000 men crossed the Rio Grande and ambushed an American unit of 70 men that were led by Captain Seth Thornton. Sixteen men were killed,five men were injured, and 50 men were taken prisoner. Polk saw his golden opportunity to ask Congress to declare war against Mexico, stating “But now, after reiterated menaces, Mexico has passed the boundary of the United States, has invaded our territory and shed American blood upon the American soil. She has proclaimed that hostilities have commenced, and that the two nations are now at war.
Only two days later on May 13, 1846, Congress declared war against Mexico. It was the first conflict that was put into motion by Manifest Destiny. The war ended with an American victory gave us a treaty that increased the nation’s size by more than five hundred thousand square miles. The subsequent diplomatic settlement of a controversy over the boundaries of the Oregon Territory added another quarter million square miles. Next, the other events that in the years of manifest destiny were the Lewis and Clark Expeditions, the oregon trail, and the trail of tears.
Manifest destiny left us legacies and outcomes of whose effects can still be felt observed today. Most obviously, The United States has 3000 thousand miles stretching from Maine all the way to California. Manifest destiny is also given credit for the rapid growth of industry, especially railroads. It was necessary for people to travel across distances faster, and with this necessity came the first transcontinental railroads, a booming and prosperous time in America’s history. The success of manifest destiny also shaped and changed religious views as well.
The settlers believed that because of the wide success of their expansion, they truly must be a nation blessed by God. While some might think that manifest destiny is a thing of the past, destined to live only in books and history lectures, its influence can still be seen today in the modern world. Perhaps the most pressing example of this is the space race. Outer space is often called the final frontier. There is buzz and excitement over the colonization of the moon, mining operations on distant planets, and exploration of galaxies unfathomably distant.
On this planet however, manifest destiny can be seen in iraq. Granted, iraq is not being colonized by the united states, but it is being put into conflict over oil prices. This is mostly the United States holding the belief that the oil prices are entitled to be low for them. The United States is also seen to be pressing beliefs and ways of governing onto other countries, seen again in Iraq and Afghanistan. In conclusion, Manifest Destiny was the belief that the Americans had the right to expand and conquer all of America.
There were three main components of manifest destiny, divine right, historical inevitability, and religion. Manifest destiny also composed of some key events, one of them being the annexation of texas and the mexican american war that followed suit. Lastly, manifest destiny left its own legacies, some of which can still be seen today, especially in the attitudes and internal beliefs of the american people. Manifest destiny has left a lasting and powerful legacy on America whose effects will still be felt for an extremely long time.
Now, the soldiers used caps instead of pouring powder into powder horns. More importantly, rifles started to be used by the soldiers. Rifles were not a new invention, and were even used in the american revolution by specialists. Almost 90 percent of soldiers in the revolutionary war carried smoothboars and not rifles. Imagine the way a football spirals through the air when you throw it, and that is the same basic concept used in rifling the barrel of a gun. A spiral would be cut, grooving down the length of the barrel, and the bullet would be given a conical shape.
The spin gave the bullet more range, lethality, accuracy, and hitting power. A smooth barreled gun, it was considered lucky if you struck a target within 80 yards. With a new rifled gun, distances of over 300 years was now achievable. Loading a rifle was a slow and clumsy process because it was snugly fit, so it took a long amount of time to get the bullet in the barrel. Luckily for the soldiers, the 1840’s a French engineer named Minie developed a new type of bullet. This new bullet had a hollow base, and was just small enough that it would easily slide down into the barrel.
When the gun would be fired, the hollow base would expand, making the bullet barely large enough so that the grooves on the inside of the barrel would cause it to spin. Because of this new invention, rifle muskets started to be issued to all of of the soldiers. A good and well trained soldier would be able to fire as many as three rounds in a single minute, a huge accomplishment at the time. Soon, the rifling technology would be implemented into a much greater and powerful weapon, cannons. The cannon shell would have a conical shape, much like that of a football.
Much more range, distance, and hitting power. These new advancements in cannons made them, possibly, more important than the rifles. Many of the forts at the time were made of brick and stone, making them vulnerable to the attack from the cannon shells. Fort Fisher was much more different than the other forts, and was made of earth, sand, and temper. Because of the increased use of rifled weapons, packing the soldiers shoulder to shoulder was not going to work anymore. Frontal assaults were practically suicidal because of the new technology.
The British and French, in the future, would do frontal attacks on the Germans with their machine guns and get decimated. Couldn’t hit an elephant in this distance, then shot in the head. Railroad system Telegraphs All in all, it was the new leaps and bounds in technology, both tactical and not, that really made the civil war the first modern war. In order to made all of this new technology, industrialized societies had to be made. The United States’ economy in 1800 was mainly agricultural,but by 1900 would become of the most most prominent leaders of industry in the world.
In 1860, the South’s economy was sustained mainly through agriculture. They were highly dependant on selling major staples, especially cotton, to the world markets. By 1815, cotton was the most profitable export of the United States; and by 1840, it was worth more than the combined value of all of the exports of the United States. The South provided the world with two thirds of all cotton, yet it still had only a little ability to manufacture goods. The South only possessed 29 percent of the nation’s railroad tracks, and only 13 percent of the nation’s banks.
The South did try to grow manufacturing, however, and tried using slave labor in the manufacturing process. They were content with their agricultural economy, though, and didn’t use slave manufacturers extensively. The North, by contrast, was well on its way toward a commercial and manufacturing economy, which would have a direct impact on its war making ability. By 1860, 90 percent of the nation’s manufacturing output came from Northern states. The North produced 17 times more cotton and woolen textiles than the South, 30 times more leather goods, 20 times more pig iron, and 32 times more firearms.
The North produced 3,200 firearms to every 100 produced in the South. Only about 40 percent of the Northern population was still engaged in agriculture by 1860, as compared to 84 percent of the South. The manufacturing ability of the South contrasted starkly with that of the North. They were on their way to making an economy based on manufacturing goods. By 1860, around ninety percent of all manufactured goods had been made in the North. The North produced 17 times more cotton and woolen textiles than the South, 30 times more leather goods, 20 times more pig iron, and 32 times more firearms.
The North manufactured 3,200 firearms to every 100 firearms that were produced in the South. 40 percent of the Northern population was still engaged in agriculture by 1860, 84 percent of the South was engaged in agriculture. While one would assume that the South beat the North when it came to agricultural production, the North actually produced staple crops in higher abundance than the South. This was due to the increased reliance on machinery that the North had, because of the lack of slaves. In 1860, the Northern states produced half of the corn, four-fifths of its wheat, and seven-eighths of its oats.
The transportation industry of the North, railroads in particular, grew almost exponentially during the civil war. Because the North had the majority of train tracks, they were far better at moving supplies, parts, and information quickly than the South. As the Northern forces traveled further South to fight and occupy the Confederacy, the War Department created the United States Military Railroads, designed to build rails to carry troops and supplies as well as operating captured Southern rail lines and equipment. By the time the Civil War had come to an end, it was the largest railroad system in the world.
Other Northern industries such as the manufacturing of leather, weapons, iron, and textiles continued to expand as the war went on. In the South, this event did not occur. Because of a smaller economy and most battles of the war having been fought in the South, industry was not able to grow. All Southern farmers had increased difficulties selling and trading their wares to countries over sea because of the naval blockade instilled by the Union. In addition, the Union also captured some of the manufacturing and transportation facilities of the South, putting even more of a disadvantage onto the South.