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: 198,264
  • 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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