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The Westward Movement: Impact On Nationalism And Democracy Essay

The Westward Movement had a big impact on nationalism and democracy. Nationalism is a feeling of patriotism, or pride in one’s country in a way. The westward expansion promoted the “ideal” of a pioneer as a pure and true American and the regular man as the “embodiment” of a democracy. This meant that every person had the same rights, the same opportunities and they hall had a right to vote and impact greatly the decisions of our government. The only group of people that were not treated this way or fairly at all were the African Americans.

African Americans were not considered human beings, they were considered “stock”, “cattle”, or more famously known as “Slaves. ” In old days if enough people moved into a certain territory, that territory could have the chance to become an actual state. If that territory became a state, it would have to enter our “Union of States” on equal terms and conditions as the original thirteen colonies. This process was called the Northwest Ordinance1.

This also fueled the idea of Manifest Destiny2 or “God’s will to expand from sea to shining sea. Native Americans were greatly impacted by the westward expansion. But they were impacted negatively by this. As the US moved across the west, Native Americans were pushed farther and farther west as well. Most died because of the conditions they were in. The Louisiana Purchase was a land deal between France and the United States, where the United States received 827,000 square miles of land to the west of the Mississippi for $15,000,000 dollars. This made the Indians move more to the west. The Oregon Treaty was a treaty that set the United States and the British

North American border at the 49th parallel with the exception of Vancouver Island, which was later claimed by the British. The Mexican Cession was very important and very significant. The Mexican cession was the historical name for the southwestern area of the United States that Mexico ceded (to give up) to the United States in the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848. All three of these land acquisitions had major impacts on Native Americans. The most major impact of the Westward Expansion was the election of Andrew Jackson as our president.

This was major because he was from the west and he was a democrat. He was often known as a “Self-described champion of the common man. ” The Westward Expansion also greatly strengthened the Democratic Party. This helped us move even further to the west. The Monroe Doctrine was a policy established by the United States that stated that any intervention by other external powers outside of the Unite States in the politics of Americans is a hostile act against the US. This policy was established by President James Monroe in 1823.

He was telling other nations to “Stay Out” of the Western hemisphere (which includes South America. ) Manifest Destiny (as stated in USHC-2. 2) was the idea that America’s “Destiny” was to expand from sea to shining sea. John Q. Adams (who was then Secretary of State) said he believed that if the US joined with Britain in some certain actions that it would restrict the United States of having opportunities to expand further. The Monroe Doctrine also showed how the US wanted no more European colonization in the United States. Basically, the US was stating that, “If you mind your own business, we will mind ours. The United States gained Texas, Oregon and California through a treaty or through war during this time. The Monroe Doctrine and Manifest Destiny helped the US in its struggles against foreign powers, but won the battle for them in the end. Trouble started in the US when Mexico had control over the Texas territory. Some of the officials in Mexico offered some of the land so that the area could be more “stable” in a way. But the Mexicans were outnumbered by the Americans, and the Mexicans made it worse when they made the decision to outlaw slavery.

The Texas Revolution was where colonists in the province of Texas rebelled against the Centralist form of Mexican Government. It lasted from October 2, 1835, until April 21, 1836. The US sent some of its troops to help its colonists in Texas fight the Mexican government. One of, if not nost, famous battles in the Texas Revolution was the Battle at the Alamo. This was when Mexican President Santa Anna attacked the Alamo which was a hub for Texan soldiers. He ended up killing all of them in the process.

Santa Anna’s cruelty inspired many more Texans and other people from the US to join the fight for justice in Texas against the Mexican army. All of this together impacted the Mexican War. The Mexican War established a hostile or an adversarial relationship between Mexico and the US. Some say that this has greatly influenced the issue over illegal immigration in today’s time. With the growth of Economic differences within the US between the North, the South and the West, these particular regions began to develop different values socially and politically and develop, mainly, different political INTERESTS.

This ended up leading to much conflict and eventually a war. Even though the West wasn’t necessarily developed as region it was still involved in issues of the US. Many of the differences in these regions were geographic factors. In the north, there were large, flowing rivers. In the south, there was very fertile land suitable for growing crops. In the west, there was a lot of fertile farming land and some cases of mineral deposits, and many other plentiful resources. The North soon developed and gained a lot of capital through the shipbuilding industry.

This industry brought many workers an engineers to the North because it paid a “fair” salary at times, and according to some of the people who worked in the industry it was, “It wasn’t a strenuous, stress causing job. ” In the South, the southerners invested into slavery and into the agricultural field. In the West remained a highly agricultural region as well. In the North, they had many German and Irish immigrants come and work in their factories and in the shipbuilding industry, an in the South, they just relied on natural slave labor.

An issue that occurred between the North and the South was the National Bank. The Northern areas were all for the creation of a national bank. The South and the West were not in favor of it because they thought that it gave way too much economic and financial power to the wealthy people in the North. They also believed that some of the state banks would be very partial toward them and give them cheap loans. is caused MAIOR problems between the North and the South and West. The Protective Tariff was supported by many Northeasterners in order to protect the industries from any of the foreign or external competition.

The West region did accept this but at a cost. T a cost. iney would accept it in exchange for the stuff they wanted such as roads, canals, and also cheap land. The South didn’t really want any part in the Protective Tariff. They didn’t support the internal improvements, but they did want the cheap land because as they moved further west, they wanted to plant more crops. Such as cotton. Henry Clay’s American System was a political alliance that traded western support for the tariff for northern support of internal improvements and cheap land.

But this badly threatened the financial and political interests of the Southerners and it also added to the animosity between these three regions. Abolitionism was the movement to permanently abolish slavery. Two very famous Abolitionists were Frederick Douglass and William Lloyd Garrison. These two men worked very hard for slaves to be free and gave their lives to this cause. They brought in many people to support them and the cause. In the beginning, Frederick Douglass was the only African American but later on that changed.

A very influential “rallying cry” during his time was a book by Harriet Beecher Stowe called Uncle Tom’s Cabin. This book was said to have “laid the groundwork for the Civil War. ” Abolitionists fought very hard to end slavery because they felt in their souls that this country was destined for greatness and that couldn’t be achieved if we were having internal conflicts within our country. Another person who was very influential during this time was Angelina Grimke. Grimke, along with her sister Sarah Moore Grimke, fought for women’s rights and more specifically, the right to vote.

The Women’s Rights Movement started right out of the abolitionist movement. The Seneca Falls Convention in 1848 was mainly about women who had complaints about certain rights that should be given to them and not just to the men. They complained that they had limited rights to education, they complained that they didn’t have the right to own property and to control property, and they complained about how they didn’t have the right to file for a divorce. These issues really angered the women and they felt as if they were being tolerated not heard and ignored.

They felt as if the men wanted all the “power” for themselves and that they may have seen women as a threat to that power. They were unsuccessful in obtaining any rights in antebellum period of time. Many of the women who had fought for the rights had either died or they were in old age before their voice was heard and these issues were addressed properly. As you can see, the abolitionist movement and the Women’s Rights Movement are similar because they both were fights for causes that the particular group felt were bad and needed to be fixed, and in the end they had their needs met.

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