Paper Two –

Paper Two
Order Description
Answer the following question with a thoughtful, carefully constructed essay in response (minimum of four double-spaced pages with 12pt font and one-inch margins).
Be sure the essay begins with good thesis statement, and make sure that each subsequent paragraph supports this thesis with evidence from the course readings. In this assignment, you will be asked to include at least seven quotations from the course reading materials. Using quotations skillfully is challenging.
Use only the course readings to answer the question – no outside sources are required or necessary.
Save the document frequently while writing.
Use clear, error-free, and effective writing technique. The quality of writing will be a factor in the grade.
Use Chicago/Turabian style (Links to an external site.), MLA, or APA or parenthetical format. Be sure to proofread the essay before submitting.
Late essays will be penalized 10points for every 24/hour period late.
Here is the essay assignment: ( Note there is a sample essay at the bottom of this assignment and you are welcome to use additional sources included in this module.)
What conditions underlay the concept of Manifest Destiny, and what were its implications up to 1854? Be sure to include discussion of all of the bulleted points
The American System
Decimation of Native American culture
The Market Revolution
The Mexican War
Proponents and opponents of Manifest Destiny.
The Explosion of the Slave Question (including the Missouri Compromise, Compromise of 1850, and the Kansas Nebraska Act)
In addition, be sure to incorporate supporting evidence from at least three of the attached primary document or those listed in this module. ( Module 13)
OK, good luck, and happy writing! Sharon
Document A
John O’Sullivan, “Territorial Aggrandizement,” United States Magazine and Democratic Review 17, no.1 (October 1845)
It is time now for opposition to the Annexation of Texas to cease, all further agitation of the waters of bitterness and strife, at least in connection with this question . . . It is time for the common duty of Patriotism to the Country to succeed;— if this claim will not be recognized, it is at least time for common sense to acquiesce with decent grace in the inevitable and the irrevocable.
Texas is now ours. Already, before these words are written, her Convention has undoubtedly ratified the acceptance, by her Congress, of our proffered invitation into the Union; and made the requisite changes in her already republican form of constitution to adopt it to its future federal relations. Her star and her stripe may already be said to have taken their place in the glorious blazon of our common nationality; and the sweep of our eagle’s wing already includes within its circuit the wide extent of her fair and fertile land. . . .
Why, were other reasoning wanting, in favor of now elevating this question of the reception of Texas into the Union, out of the lower region of our past party dissensions, up to its proper level of a high and broad nationality, it surely is to be found, found abundantly, in the manner in which other nations have undertaken to intrude themselves into it, between us and the proper parties to the case, in a spirit of hostile interference against us, for the avowed object of thwarting our policy and hampering our power, limiting our greatness and checking the fulfillment of our manifest destiny to overspread the continent allotted by Providence for the free development of our yearly multiplying millions. This we have seen done by England, our old rival and enemy; and by France, strangely coupled with her against us. . . .
It is wholly untrue, and unjust to ourselves, the pretense that the Annexation has been a measure of spoliation, unrightful and unrighteous— military conquest under forms of peace and law— territorial aggrandizement at the expense of justice, and justice due by a double sanctity to the weak. This view of the question is wholly unfounded, and has been before so amply refuted in these pages, as well as in a thousand other modes, that we shall not again dwell upon it. The independence of Texas was complete and absolute. It was an independence, not only in fact but of right. No obligation of duty towards Mexico tended in the least degree to restrain our right to effect the desired recovery of the fair province once our own—
Document B: N. Currier (firm), cartoon, “An available candidate — the one qualification for a Whig presidency” (1848) (In Module 13 Readings)
Document C: President Polk’s Declaration of War on Mexico, ( In Module 13 Readings)
Document D: Henry David Thoreau, excerpt from “Civil Disobedience” (1846)
I heartily accept the motto–“That government is best which governs least;” and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe,–“That government is best which governs not at all;” and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have. Government is at best but an expedient; but most governments are usually, and all governments are sometimes, inexpedient. The objections which have been brought against a standing army, and they are many and weighty, and deserve to prevail, may also at last be brought against a standing government. The standing army is only an arm of the standing government. The government itself, which is only the mode which the people have chosen to execute their will, is equally liable to be abused and perverted before the people can act through it. Witness the present Mexican war, the work of comparatively a few individuals using the standing government as their tool; for in the outset, the people would not have consented to this measure. . . .
Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. The proper place to-day, the only place which Massachusetts has provided for her freer and less desponding spirits, is in her prisons, to be put out and locked out of the State by her own act, as they have already put themselves out by their principles. It is there that the fugitive slave, and the Mexican prisoner on parole, and the Indian come to plead the wrongs of his race, should find them; on that separate, but more free and honorable ground, where the State places those who are not with her, but against her,–the only house in a slave-state in which a free man can abide with honor. If any think that their influence would be lost there, and their voices no longer afflict the ear of the State, that they would not be as an enemy within its walls, they do not know by how much truth is stronger than error, nor how much more eloquently and effectively he can combat injustice who has experienced a little in his own person. Cast your whole vote, not a strip of paper merely, but your whole influence. A minority is powerless while it conforms to the majority; it is not even a minority then; but it is irresistible when it clogs by its whole weight. If the alternative is to keep all just men in prison, or give up war and slavery, the State will not hesitate which to choose. If a thousand men were not to pay their tax-bills this year, that would not be a violent and bloody measure, as it would be to pay them, and enable the State to commit violence and shed innocent blood. This is, in fact, the definition of a peaceable revolution, if any such is possible. If the tax-gatherer, or any other public officer, asks me, as one has done, “But what shall I do?” my answer is, “If you really wish to do anything, resign your office.” When the subject has refused allegiance, and the officer has resigned his office, then the revolution is accomplished. But even suppose blood should flow. Is there not a sort of blood shed when the conscience is wounded? Through this wound a man’s real manhood and immortality flow out, and he bleeds to an everlasting death. I see this blood flowing now.
Document E: Excerpt from Andrew Jackson’s address to Congress, December 6, 1830
It gives me pleasure to announce to Congress that the benevolent policy of the government, steadily pursued for nearly 30 years, in relation to the removal of the Indians beyond the white settlements is approaching to a happy consummation. Two important tribes have accepted the provision made for their removal at the last session of Congress, and it is believed that their example will induce the remaining tribes also to seek the same obvious advantages.
The consequences of a speedy removal will be important to the United States, to individual states, and to the Indians themselves. The pecuniary advantages which it promises to the government are the least of its recommendations. It puts an end to all possible danger of collision between the authorities of the general and state governments on account of the Indians. It will place a dense and civilized population in large tracts of country now occupied by a few savage hunters. By opening the whole territory between Tennessee on the north and Louisiana on the south to the settlement of the whites it will incalculably strengthen the SW frontier and render the adjacent states strong enough to repel future invasions without remote aid. It will relieve the whole state of Mississippi and the western part of Alabama of Indian occupancy, and enable those states to advance rapidly in population, wealth, and power. It will separate the Indians from immediate contact with settlements of whites; free them from the power of the states; enable them to pursue happiness in their own way and under their own rude institutions; will retard the progress of decay, which is lessening their numbers, and perhaps cause them gradually, under the protection of the government and through the influence of good counsels, to cast off their savage habits and become an interesting, civilized, and Christian community.
Document F: Excerpt from Robert C. Winthrop, “A Plea for Compromise,” Congressional Globe (29th Congress, 1st Session, 1846)
. . . I am perfectly aware, Mr. Speaker, that, express the views which I entertain when I may, I shall not escape reproach and imputation from some quarters of the House. I know that there are those by whom the slightest syllable of dissent from the extreme views of the Administration would seem recently to have adopted, will be eagerly seized upon as evidence of aa want of what they call patriotism and American spirit. I spurn all such imputations in advance. I spurn the notion that patriotism can only be manifested by plunging the nation into war, or that the love of one’s country can only be measured by one’s hatred of another country. Sir, the American spirit that is wanted at the present moment, wanted for our highest honor, wanted for our dearest interests, is that which dares to confront the mad impulses of a superficial popular sentiment, and to appeal to the sober second thoughts of moral and intelligent men. . . .
Let me not be misunderstood, Mr. Speaker. I have no hesitation in saying that I honestly think, upon a dispassionate a review of the correspondence as I am capable of, that the American title to Oregon is the best now in existence; but I honestly think, also, that the whole character of the title is too confused and complicated to justify any arbitrary and exclusive assertions of right, and that a compromise of the question is every way consistent with reason, interest, and honor.
There is one element in our title, however, which I confess that I have not named, and to which I may not have done entire justice. I mean that revelation of right which has been designated as the right of our manifest destiny to spread over this whole continent. It has been openly avowed in a leading Administration journal that this, after all, is our best and strongest title – one so clear, so preeminent, and so indisputable, that if Great Britain had all our other titles in addition to our own, they would weigh nothing against it. The right of our manifest destiny! There is a right for a new chapter in the law of nations; or rather, in the special laws of our own country; for I suppose that right of a manifest destiny to spread will not be admitted to exit in any nation except the universal Yankee nation! This right of our manifest destiny, Mr. Speaker, reminds me of another source of title, which is worthy of being placed beside it. Spain and Portugal, we all know, in the early part of the sixteenth century, laid claim to the jurisdiction of this whole northern continent of America. [King of France] Francis I is said to have replied to this pretension, that he should like to see the clause in Adam’s Will in which their exclusive title was found.
Here is an example of a sample paper to help you in using the sources and quotes.
What conditions underlay the concept of Manifest Destiny, and what were its implications up to 1854? Be sure to include discussion of all of the bulleted points.
Manifest Destiny was first coined by journalist, John O’Sullivan in 1845 who argued that the United States had a divine mission to occupy all of North America and those who stood in the way of such expansion, were obstacles to the progress of freedom, and perpetuating the righteousness of American institutions; religion, government and individual liberty. As O’Sullivan would state, it was America’s “manifest destiny to overspread the continent allotted by Providence for the free development of our yearly multiplying millions.” [Doc A].
While O’Sullivan provided the ideological link for westward expansion, the concept was put forth much earlier, as suggested by the Puritans and their notion that God had selected them to create a “City Upon a Hill,” from which the rest of the world could view a righteous community based on liberty and the virtues of Christianity.
By the 18th century when Americans moved across the Appalachian Mountains, the connection between this notion of exceptionalism and freedom was connected to westward expansion and accelerated by several conditions. After the War of 1812, the British no longer were an impediment for movement into the interior. Additionally, thanks to the success of the Lewis and Clark expeditions, the West appeared ripe for expansion. Economic development, promoted by the government, also would prove to be an important impetus for Manifest Destiny and expansion. Henry Clay, and the American System, was predicated on the belief that tariffs should be put in place to protect American manufacturing and most importantly, government must finance the building of roads and canals. This would not only provide transportation into the interior of the country, as reflected in the National Road or Cumberland, but would create toll roads and canals, integral to the expanding market revolution.
The market revolution was prompted when new technologies created greater economic diversity in the first half of the 19th century. Americans were no longer making their own goods, but buying and selling them. Technological and transportation advancements, including steamships and the railroad, transported goods and stimulated the economy, providing a ready market both domestically and globally. However, land was needed to promote further economic expansion, thus entrepreneurs as well as farmers looked to the West where there was an abundance of land for grain and livestock. For Southerners this meant more land for cotton and slave based labor.
As suggested, the market revolution called for additional land acquisition, however, this came at a price; the decimentation of native cultures. This acquisition of land at the expense of Native Americans had been a trend since the first Americans had landed in North America, and was accelerated by the policies of Andrew Jackson and his Indian Removal Act of 1830. Exchanging eastern land holdings with land in the West, was mass genocide for the Cherokee, Seminole and many other tribes, under the banner of manifest destiny…it was American’s duty to “civilize” the savages by Christianizing them. As Andrew Jackson would argue in his address to Congress, December 6, 1830, removal of indigenous tribes would “ separate the Indians from immediate contact with settlement of whites; free them from the power of the states; enable them to pursue happiness in their own way and under their own rude institutions; will retard the progress of decay…under the protection of the government and through the influence of good counsels to cast off their savage habits and become an interesting, civilized and Christian community.”[Doc. E] Clearly, the nuances of manifest destiny and its notion of mission was a theme that was articulated in the policy of removal. In the name of Manifest Destiny, it was America’s mission to expand, and in doing so, as Patricia Limerick would argue, perpetuate a “Legacy of Conquest.” This conquest would promote the central thread of Manifest Destiny; the innate superiority of the Anglo Saxon race, which clearly did not include Blacks, Hispanics, Catholics or Native Americans, or those who were seen as “mongrel races.”
Manifest Destiny would also impact foreign policy, particularly with Mexico and England. The economic depression that began in 1837 sparked a large migration of settlers into the West. Many headed to the Northwest, where missionaries had administered to native populations with the intensified belief that God had ordained them to do so. However, because the United States and England had joint occupancy of the Oregon Territory, thus manifest destiny became more than just ideology, but now interconnected to foreign policy. Hawkish expansionists argued that the United States should fight for control of Oregon all the way to its northern border of 54’40,’ hence the popular slogan of “Fifty-Four forty or fight.” The Oregon Territory would provide not only land for merchants seeking new markets, but harbors to expand trade with Asia and eventually serve the Pacific fleet. Many Americans were ready to take arms in the name of Manifest Destiny and fight for Oregon, but there were others who felt that compromise would best serve the country. Robert Winthrop, “ A Plea for Compromise,” argued that “ American title to Oregon in the best now in existence; but I honestly think, also, that, the whole character of the title is too confused and complicated….[Doc F]. While ultimately, there would be no war with England over this territory, it nevertheless, prompted further criticism of Manifest Destiny, particularly as it pertained to land owned by Mexico.
Americans had long looked to Northern Mexico, particularly after Mexico achieved its independence from Spain in 1821. Southerners, who were looking for more land for cotton cultivation, flooded into the region, culminating in the Texas Revolt. Alarmed that its grip on the area was weakening, the Mexican government annulled the existing land contract and barred future emigration from the United States, culminating the famous battle at the Alamo. With loss of American life,” Remember the Alamo” became the Texans rallying cry, prompting victory later at the Battle of San Jacinto and the new Republic of Texas. While annexation by the United States was perpetuated by the spirit of Manifest Destiny, there were both proponents and opponents of making Texas a state. Clearly, John O’Sullivan’s views adding the element of manifest destiny when he argued the reasons for statehood suggesting that,…..{Doc A}
The Mexican American War would prove even more controversial, particularly since it appeared to be over a trumped up border dispute prompted by the battle cry of James Polk, who became synonymous with Manifest Destiny and pushed for war at any expense, and hence “Mr. Polk’s War’……..[Doc. C] The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo perpetuated not only future mistrust between Mexico and the United States, but would bring forth the question of slavery with the new land acquired by the treaty…..(Describe treaty)
The crisis of union and its connection to the slave question would also be interconnected to westward expansion and Manifest Destiny. As far back as 1820, the hope was that the Missouri Compromise would maintain the balance of power between slave and non slave states. In the final version of the compromise, Missouri came into the Union as a slave state and Maine a free state and slavery would be prohibited north of the 36/30 line, Missouri’s southern boundary. This compromise raised for the first time what would prove to be a controversial issue; the westward expansion of slavery and the sectional division it revealed, promoting an national debate that would culminate in civil war.
The question of slavery was also paramount to the expansion debate when David Wilmont, and his Wilmont Priviso stated that there would be no slavery in any land that was acquired if victory was sustained in the Mexican American War. While it never passed in the House of Representatives, it nevertheless, brought the slave question to the forefront adding fuel to the fire of sectionalism. Additionally, the politics of protest became evident when Daniel Webster, and Lincoln, among others, believed it was a “War of Pretexts.” Political parties, such as the Democrats would split over expansion as did the Whigs whose candidate for presidency, John Taylor, was said to have sold out to an election and his “only qualification for a Whig Presidency,” was how many he had killed in the Mexican American War. [Doc. B] Other political parties would emerge including the Free Soil Party, who advocated no slavery in the territories and free land in the West. Adding to the climate of protest, literary commentators such as David Thoreau argued against the war and the slave question…{Doc D}
Even with opponents of slavery, compromises would continue and political parties redefined by their views on slavery. (Democratic Party will split, etc.) The Compromise of 1850 attempted to settle issues arising from the acquisition of territory from Mexico by admitting California as a free state and providing that the status of slavery in Utah and New Mexico territories would be determined by popular sovereignty. While this compromise seemed to have restored a balance of power regarding sectional balance, as settlers continued to move west, Southerners in Congress seemed adamant against allowing for the organization of new territories that might upset that balance. In the path of westward migration, Kansas and Nebraska proved to be an ominous reminder of how fragile maintaining sectional symmetry would be. Senator Stephen Douglas proposed the Kansas Nebraska Act of 1854, stating that territorial governments could decide for themselves via popular sovereignty, the status of slavery, which eventually led to the Bleeding of Kansas and what would be the foreshadowing the of the Civil War.
Clearly the acquisition of vast new areas of land and the ideology of Manifest Destiny would have enormous implications, beyond nationalism, sectionalism and economics. Its long –established tradition of expansion across the continent would later be tied to foreign policy and the belief in America’s divine mission to colonize the world and the creation of empire. This providential right, while subjugating and defeating those who stood in their way, also gave Americans a sense of identity that somehow they were carrying the blessings of democracy and progress and had become unquestionably the dominant power in North America.

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