Titel: Westward Expansion of the U.S.
Autoren/Herausgeber: Alexander Welker
Ausgabe: 1., Auflage
Essay from the year 2012 in the subject History - America, grade: 1,0, The University of Kansas (History Department), course: History of U.S. through Civil War, language: English, abstract: In the summer of 1845 the editor and columnist John O’Sullivan published an article in the Democratic Review that promoted the idea of westward expansion of the United States. He created a famous term called “Manifest Destiny” suggesting that it was America’ s destiny to expand its western borders to the Pacific ocean by conquering the entire North American continent in order to bring to it American democracy and the advantages of the market. “Our manifest destiny [is] 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”. In the American public the idea of migration beyond the Mississippi territory was met with an enthusiastic interest, than America’s population grew dramatically and additional land for settlement was required. The westward expansion, however, destroyed the political balance regarding the issue of slavery that held the nation for decades together and even dramatically intensified the conflict between the Southerners and the Northerners. By 1860 the North and the South grew to such an extent apart resulting in the inevitable secession of eleven of the fifteen slave states from the Union and creation of a new nation called the Confederate States of America. The westward expansion subsequently led to the bloodiest conflict in the young American history, the American Civil War. The aim of this paper is to examine the westward expansion and to explain how it exacerbated sectional differences in the first half of the 19th century.