Manifest Destiny and American Territorial Expansion: A Brief History with Documents / Edition 1

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Manifest Destiny has been one of the most influential ideologies in American history, serving as the justification for the nation’s territorial expansion in the antebellum era. In this compelling collection, Amy Greenberg focuses on the social, cultural and political context that gave rise to Manifest Destiny. She explores how American expansionism evolved from its colonial roots and accompanying notions of exceptionalism to become a fully articulated rationale in the 1840s for expanding the nation’s borders and seizing lands from Native Americans and Mexico and later from Cuba and Central America. Documents — including diary and personal narratives, letters, political speeches, contemporary illustrations, newspaper accounts, essays, appeals, and a song — highlight the origin of the term itself, ideological support and rejection of Manifest Destiny, and the voices of those most painfully affected by American expansion. Headnotes, a chronology and bibliography further support students in their study of this development in American foreign policy.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312600488
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's
  • Publication date: 12/23/2011
  • Series: Bedford Cultural Editions Series
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 107,432
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Amy Greenberg (Ph.D., Harvard University) is a professor of American history and women’s studies at Pennsylvania State University. A historian of antebellum America, Dr. Greenberg has focused her research and teaching on the politics, culture and gender history of the era, as well the role of the U.S. in the world. She is the author of Manifest Manhood and the Antebellum American Empire and Cause for Alarm: The Volunteer Fire Department in the Nineteenth-Century City.

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Table of Contents

List of Maps

The Ideological Origins of Manifest Destiny   
Territorial Expansion in the Early Republic   
Factors Driving Early Expansionism  
Expansionism and Indian People
Social Transformations and the Birth of Aggressive Expansionism 
Opposing Voices   
Andrew Jackson and the March to the Southwest 
The Overland Trail   
Annexation and War with Mexico  
Filibustering: Taking Matters into Their Own Hands
Sectionalism Checks Manifest Destiny
After the Civil War: Manifest Destiny Reevaluated and Redeemed 


1. Ideological Origins   
  1. William Bradford, Of Plimoth Plantation, 1650  
  2. John Winthrop, A Modell of Christian Charity, 1630 
  3. Benjamin Franklin, Letter to Lord Kames, April 11, 1767 
2. Expansion in the Early Republic
  4. Richard Butler, A Commissioner’s View of the Ohio River Valley, 1785 
  5. Council of 1793, To the Commissioners of the United States, August 16, 1793
  6. Jedidiah Morse, The American Geography, 1792  
  7. Fisher Ames, Letter to Thomas Dwight, October 31, 1803 
  8. Thomas Jefferson, Second Inaugural Address, March 4, 1805
  9. Tecumseh, Appeal to the Osages, 1811 
3. Pushing West   
  10. Andrew Jackson, State of the Union Address, December 6, 1830 
  11. Black Hawk, Encroachment by White Settlers, 1832 
  12. Memorial and Protest of the Cherokee Nation, June 22, 1836 
  13. Lyman Beecher, A Plea for the West, 1835
  14. Harriet Martineau, On Land-Lust in America, 1837 
  15. Pathiñ-nañpaji, An Encounter Between Omaha Hunters and White Squatters in Iowa, 1853
  16. Zenas Leonard, A Fur Trapper’s View of Manifest Destiny, 1839
  17. United States Democratic Review, The Great Nation of Futurity, November 1839
  18. Richard Henry Dana, Two Years before the Mast, 1840
  19. Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Young American, 1844
4.  Texas and Oregon    
  20. Manuel Mier y Terán, Letter to President Guadalupe Victoria, June 30, 1828
  21. Robert J. Walker, Letter in Favor of the Reannexation of Texas, January 8, 1844
  22. Daniel Webster, Letter to the Citizens of Worcester County, Massachusetts, Jan 23, 1844
  23. James K. Polk, Inaugural Address, March 4, 1845
  24. Uncle Sam’s Song to Miss Texas, 1845
  25. United States Democratic Review, Annexation, July-August 1845
  26. Robert Winthrop, Arbitration of the Oregon Question, January 3, 1846
5. War for Empire
  27. James K. Polk, Diary Entry, June 30, 1846
  28. Jane Swisshelm, Protesting the Mexican War, 1880
  29. Godey’s Lady’s Book, Life on the Rio Grande, April 1847
  30. Walt Whitman, American Workingmen, Versus Slavery, September 1, 1847 
  31. Henry Clay, Speech at Lexington, November 13, 1847
  32.  New York Herald, Public Meeting in Favor of Annexing All of Mexico, January 30, 1848 
  33. Ramón Alcaraz et. al, Origin of the War with the United States, 1848
6. Expanded Horizons: Cuba, Hawaii, and Central America
  34. La Verdad, Appeal to the Inhabitants of Cuba, April 27, 1848
  35. Cora Montgomery, The Benefits of Annexing Cuba, 1850
  36. James Buchanan, Pierre Soulé, and John Y. Mason, The Ostend Manifesto, 1854
  37. Currier and Ives, The ‘Ostend Doctrine,’ Practical Democrats Carrying Out the Principle, 1856  
  38. T. Robinson Warren, Traveling through the Pacific, 1859
  39. Young Sam, Nicaragua Ho!, January 1856  
  40. Martin Delany, Political Destiny of the Colored Race on the American
Continent, August 24,1854
  41. Mary Seacole, A Jamaican’s View of Americans in Panama, 1857  
7. Sectionalism trumps Expansionism  
  42. William Walker, The War in Nicaragua, 1860
  43. George Sydney Hawkins, Hostility to Southern Interests, May 31, 1858  
  44. William Waters Boyce, Why Southerners Should Oppose Territorial Expansion, January 15, 1855  
8. Manifest Destiny Reevaluated and Redeemed
  45. George Crofutt, American Progress, 1873   
  46. Sarah Winnemucca Hopkins, Trouble on the Paiute Reservation, 1865 
  47. Albert J. Beveridge, The March of the Flag, 1898  
A Chronology of Manifest Destiny and American Territorial Expansion (1620-1902)  
Questions for Consideration 
Selected Bibliography 

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