How Did Manifest Destiny Manifest Itself? Essay

1862 Words Nov 8th, 2012 8 Pages
How did Manifest Destiny manifest itself?

Manifest Destiny manifested itself in several ways during the period 1840-1896. Almost every major crisis or notable event was somehow related to manifest destiny. To understand the meaning of Manifest Destiny, we need to go back to its origins.

The term Manifest Destiny was first used by John O´Sullivan in July-August 1845, in the Democratic review; “our manifest destiny to overspread the continent allotted by Providence for the free development of our yearly multiplying millions” O´Sullivan said this while asking Congress for the annexation of Texas. The annexation followed quickly after but O´Sullivan´s use of sentence was barely noticed. Later in 1845, O´Sullivan reused the phrase but
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It gave the USA and Britain, equal amounts of new land.

Westward travel was made easier because railroads were built around America. It was the country with the most developed railroads and they were built quickly around the country. In the end, America had over 30,000 miles of railroads. Following the railroads, a Transcontinental Railroad was built between 1863 and 1869.

Americans didn´t want to cross salt flats and deserts so they wanted to be able to assert their right of manifest destiny. The railroads meant that Americans could now go around America until the Rockies in the far west. Before people didn´t go into the west but the railroads made it easy to get there and people found resources in the ground which gave them money and the opportunity of a new way of living.

A lot of people from the east who fought in the Civil War moved to the west because they saw a new opportunity of prosperity. This also helped the transcontinental railroad. Like a lot of other events, which were related to manifest destiny, minorities were abused. It was the Irish and the Chinese, which spent the most time on the railroads but in the end, it was the whites, which benefited the most from the economical growth. Behind this national triumph, the Native Americans and the Chinese immigrants were completely socially excluded.

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