Learning Essential Question
How did Manifest Destiny affect American expansion to the west?
As a result of the Louisiana Purchase the United States instantly doubled in size. Now, with territory up to the Mississippi River claimed and settled as result of the Louisiana Purchase explored, Americans headed west in droves.
The idea of expanding American “civilization” to the “WILD AND UNTAMED” wilderness became very popular during this time period. That idea eventually turned into a belief.
Newspaper editor JOHN O'SULLIVAN coined the term "MANIFEST DESTINY" in 1845 to describe the essence of this belief. MANIFEST DESTINY was the belief that “God” destined the people of the United States to settle and expand from the east coast the west coast. It further stated that it was preordained that America would bring “CIVILIZATION” to those Native American tribes that were “deprived” of it.
In the song “America The Beautiful” captures this belief “AND CROWN THY GOOD WITH BROTHERHOOD FROM SEA TO SHINING SEA” (Figurative language which meant from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. Proponents of Manifest Destiny used the belief to encourage the expansion of the country. However there were people who opposed the ideals of Manifest Destiny. The opponents argued that American Expansion would lead to the destruction of the way of “the way of life” of many Native American tribes.
The ideas of Manifest Destiny were captured in many of the artwork of the mid 1800’s. One of the most famous artworks is illustrated below
.... Student Educator Interpretation of the art
(Think, Pair, Share)
In a collaborative discussion create arguments that support or oppose Manifest Destiny.
Support Manifest Destiny
Against Manifest Destiny
1) If you were a member of a Native American tribe living in the Midwest how would you feel about the "pioneers" moving into and settling in your hunting lands?
2) How would you feel about the philosophy behind Manifest Destiny?
3) Would you view the settlers as saviors who are bringing "civilization" to the your lands or rather an evil invading force?
4) Would the United States involvement in places like Afghanistan and Iraq be considered an example of an EXTENSION of Manifest Destiny?
This artwork was designed to promote support for American Expansion to the West. Create a drawing that either supports or opposes the principles behind Manifest Destiny.
Include in that poster a detailed explanation as to why your poster supports or denounces the principles behind Manifest Destiny.