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Westward Expansion.

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Introduction

Westward Expansion The philosophy of Manifest Destiny, which led to westward expansion, caused hardships, several wars and hostilities between countries and also between people occupying the American land. It also led to new lives, comradery, development, an expanded economy, and it achieved the ultimate goal of possession and a United States which spread from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean. The effects of the United States expanding its territory to the West can still be seen today. When one looks at the resentment of the Mexican people towards the American government, the roots of this are founded in the Mexican-American war when the United States government took advantage of the bankrupt Mexican government by offering 15 million as payment for having the border in the middle of the Rio Grande River and in addition, the United States agreed to pay off all Mexican debts owed to the United States. On a more positive note, the acquirements of the Western areas have greatly increased the United States economical and political power to such an extent that it is impossible to say what it would be like without California, Texas, Oregon, and the other large Western states. ...read more.

Middle

America's feud with Mexico began with the eruption of hostilities over the annexation of Texas in 1845, claims of property damage by US citizens against the Mexican government and the desire of the United States to acquire California into their boundaries (manifest destiny). In the end the United States was triumphant with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which established the Texan border and ceded New Mexico and California, all this was acquired for the sum of $15 million and responsibility for US claims against the Mexican government. A very small price for the United States, but Mexico had no choice as they were lacking in funds and superior in strength. Another consequence of Westward Expansion was when the question of slavery came up in context to westward expansion as it caused disruption within the union and hatred between states and political parties. The first question of slavery was aroused in relation to Missouri who applied for statehood in 1818. The issue of slavery would be brought into prevalence and would eventually turn into an issue that would divide the union into sides that would clash in conflict. ...read more.

Conclusion

America's obtaining of the western lands has had a huge impact on the nation, it is impossible to say how the US or the world might be without it. Westward Expansion was a very substantial force in the history of the United States and the history of the world. It has shaped America into the nation that it is now, spanning from the Pacific to the Atlantic oceans, the largest and single most powerful economy on Earth. Without California and Texas and the other western states it is most improbable that any of this could have happened. If they were still separate countries, the United States would have a lot more competition and less resources to become the dominate force in the region. Achieving this 'manifest destiny' has come at a high price, not for the United States, but for the Native American Indian who were forced of their lands and freedom and for Mexico in losing a large mass of land and its chance of becoming a superpower. It is a story of triumph for the Anglo-Saxon's of the United States and a story of defeat for the native people who once lived free in the West. Jeremiah Cornish U.S. History 1 Honors ...read more.

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