The Most Influential Ideology in the Nineteenth Century – Manifest Destiny
The first uses of Manifest Destiny was believed to be in the colonialism era. Americans believed that their empire had set the standards of how an empire should be. The ideal of what is called exceptionalism was due to America’s longing for political independence from British rule, which help contribute to America’s expansion westward through the ideology of Manifest Destiny.
A big percentage of Americans during that time period considered Manifest Destiny was the key to creating a successful standing empire. It was not until the year of 1845, that a democratic and influential editor who went by the name of John O’ Sullivan gave a name to the movement. He attempted to explain America’s thirst for expansion, and to present a defense for America’s claims for new territories. His first first attempt at using the term was in his essay Annexation and the purpose is that he wanted the Republic of Texas to be annexed. He also used the term a second time to address the issue about the state of Oregon which had little influence at the time when the movement was given its name. The movement of Manifest Destiny gave the United States the asserted power that Americans had the right to expand.
Before the rise of Manifest Destiny, one of the major financial crisis in the United States was The Panic of 1837. This crisis was driven by of what is called speculative fever. One major factors, that was affected in this crisis was inflation. The banks begin loaning money to farmers and industrialists, and the banks also begin to printing vast amounts of money which affected led to the actually start of inflation. Is that inflation rose after several federal deposits were withdrawn due to the assumption that the government was selling land for bank state notes of questionable values. The Panic of 1837 was partly caused by economic policies that were created by Andrew Jackson, who created the Specie Circular by executive order and which he refused to renew the Charter of Second Bank. The bank was used to help relieve the debts from the war. In the year of 1836 when it was issued, it was pursuant towards the Coinage Act which was carried out by President Martin Van Buren. It required that when paying for government land the payment must be in gold and sliver. As money value went down in value, businesses also demanded gold and sliver in payment of debts. Until there wasn’t enough sliver and gold to keep the nation’s economy running smoothly. It also prevented working-class Americans from purchasing federal land because of the lack of gold and sliver.
To some extent, some people thought that the Manifest Destiny Doctrine thought of America as a “divine providence”. Manifest Destiny helped encourage pride and also the social perfection through the church and god. People had the belief that the spirt of Manifest Destiny included traveling also it was part of their belief that they thought it was God’s will that the Americans occupy the land and control and do as they see as fit with the land. In the book by Stephen R. Demkin it quotes “ It was a white man’s burden to conquer and christianize the land” (Demkin, Chapter 8). A vast amount of expansionists believed that it was their job to guide human destiny. Is that the negative thing about the Manifest Destiny, was that a white man’s belief revealed that was that his settlement of land and civilization that the Native Americans had, was preordained. In the process of that, it split up American tribes and it confined them to reservations that the government chosen for them.
A form of the Indian Removal was first proposed by one of our Founding Fathers was Thomas Jefferson. He believed that American Indians were equal to whites. Jefferson viewed the Indians as inferior to the whites because of their lifestyle and practices. He also believed that the Indians were using their land “incorrectly” because he thought their style of agriculture was “plain”,and hunting traditions were not good uses of the land. It was assumed that the Indians would automatically adopt to Europe’s style of agriculture and they would change the style of their lifestyle to the European’s form of lifestyle. Thomas Jefferson’s beliefs stemmed from the Enlightenment idea from environmentalism which states that a human’s environment is shaped by their culture. Jefferson realized that the Louisiana Purchase was a great opportunity of starting the process of removing the Indians. Later in the year of 1825, President James Monroe expands on Jefferson’s ideas of the Indian Removal in his speech to Congress quoting “…would not only shield them from impending ruin, but promote their welfare and happiness.” ( SAAM Manifest Destiny and Indian Removal). He thought that he was doing the Indians a favor. During the process of when Indian Removal was a policy James Monroe was the person that drafted it and was Andrew Jackson who helped pushed to become a law.
When the Indian Removal Act was passed on May 28, 1830, many people in Congress in Congress opposed it, such as Daniel Webster, Henry Clay and, Davy Crockett. The who was outspoken about this issue was Davy Crockett, who served under the command of Andrew Jackson during the war. Davy was a Jacksonian Democrat until the issue of the Indian Removal came forth to Congress and Davy and Jackson debated about the treatment of the Indians until they parted ways. Crockett argued the treatment of the Indians were unfair because he wanted to have equal them to have an share of land. In the next election he lost all support and the Democrats put their support towards another candidate. Andrew Jackson thought it was necessary for the well beings of all Native Americans also and he thought of it as a “humanitarian act” for the good of the American tribes. In Andrew Jackson’s State of a Union Address he is justifying the government’s action of why the Indians were removed and he quotes “ It will separate the Indians from immediate contact with settlements of whites; free from the power of the States; enable to pursue happiness in their own way and their own institutions; will retard the process the process of decay, which is lessing their numbers, and perhaps 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.” ( SAAM Manifest Destiny and Indian Removal)
In conclusion, the movement of Manifest Destiny was used to make Americans superior to other people, in order to to fulfill their destiny and their uses of the Indians land that they had taken. Americans saw it as their mission to bring civilization to the Native Americans who they thought as “uncivilized” to the settlers eyes. The Americans thought of themselves as the leaders of the world and it helped convey their pride and also their perfect social structure within the church and God. During the Panic of 1837 the rates of inflation therefore inflation increased unemployment, and people took to the streets to protest looking for a way to resolve the problem. One major global effect of Manifest Destiny was seen in the Spanish-American when Spain handed over Guam, Puerto Rico,and the Philippine Islands to the United States. This demonstrated the rise of United States imperialism. The movement of Manifest Destiny showed what the outcome, and how it effected the Native Americans to resolve a major issue because of the condition of the economy. Also how the influence of one person help helped expand the ideology of Manifest Destiny.
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