Destiny of Manifest

American Expansion

American Progress by John Gast​, 1872

People Join of Their Own Will

  • The United States would not force any people to join. Rather, newly independent, democratic nations would request to enter the Union.
  • The Annexation of Texas is a good example of this and was a major factor in the 1836 presidential election as the Democrats dropped Van Buren as their candidate in support of pro-annexation candidate Polk

The Oregon Question

  • Oregon had been jointly occupied by the British And AMericans as a result of the Anglo-American Convention of 1818
  • After many attempts, the British finally accepted the terms of the 49th parallel with the Oregon Treaty of 1846
  • The decision was very popular and was easily passed in the Senate
A New Map of Texas Oregon and California With The Regions Adjoining by Samuel Augustus Mitchell, 1846

Mexican-American War

  • Polk made a move to occupy a section of Texas that had declared independence in 1836, but was still claimed by Mexico
  • Eastern Diplomats argued that the best way to keep peace in Mexico is to bring all of Mexico into the Union
  • The annexation of all of Mexico would be a violation of the principle that the United States would not impose its laws of people against their will
  • Senator John C. Calhoun supported the annexation of Texas, but not that of Mexico
  • The annexation of Texas was regarded as an anti-slavery measure by its supporters
  • Ended with the Mexican Cession, and with it so too did the All Mexico Movement end

Financial Reasons

  • With the passing of the Homestead Acts, signed into law by Abraham Lincoln, it was largely inexpensive and sometimes even free for Americans to settle in the Western lands
  • Economic Depressions in 1818 and 1839 led to people moving westward to seek their fortunes
  • In the West laid hugely profitable resources, such as gold, silver, and furs
  • Finally, ports on the East Coast also facilitated trade with nations in the Pacific. Thus, if America had a Pacific Coast, trade would become much easier.
Emigrants Crossing the Plains by Albert Bierstadt, 1867


  • With the coming of the Second Great Awakening, Americans saw it as their duty to move West and spread the Word of God
  • The Americans were obligated to spread the Word to the natives living in the Western lands
  • With preachers spreading throughout the nation and assuring that the United States would be the site of the Millenium, the religious were assured that they had much to move westward for

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