For 19th century Americans it was a generally accepted concept that the nation had an imperative to expand itself until it achieved natural boundaries. These boundaries typically included what we now consider the continental United States. The pursuit of that geographical expansion was grounded upon a socio-political concept known as Manifest Destiny. Under the guise of national rights, supporters of Manifest Destiny believed that American civilization was pre-determined to steadily expand until it had spread its values across the American west, southwest and northwest territories. Americans believed that it was their right to replace "weaker" populations of Native-Americans and Mexicans with Anglo-Saxon stalwarts who had every right to claim the land of others. Flowing from this belief structure were the Louisiana Purchase, the Lewis and Clark expedition, the Mexican War, the Indian Wars and the pioneer migration to the west. Another byproduct of Manifest Destiny was the steady separation of interests between slave-holding and non-slave-holding states. In many ways, the Manifest Destiny proponents set the stage for the schism that split the nation into warring halves during the Civil War. This chapter in American history is well-told in this illustrated historical work. The author traces the major political, military and social factors involved in the Manifest Destiny movement. This story will be enlightening to readers with an interest in western history, imperialism and the causation of the Civil War. 2001, Enslow, $20.95. Ages 10 up. Reviewer: Greg M. Romaneck
School Library Journal
Gr 6-9-Straightforward, objective titles that place specific events into the broader context of American history. Brubaker discusses the U.S.'s relationship with the Soviet Union in the first half of the 20th century; how Soviet missiles came to be stationed in Cuba; the events of October 1962; and the aftermath of the crisis. Worth examines the meaning of manifest destiny to Americans in the 19th century and the events that led to the acquisition of American territories and the expansion of our boundaries. While the writing in both titles is clear, it is also sometimes dry. Captioned black-and-white photographs and maps and primary-source excerpts are found throughout. Serviceable supplemental titles.-Janie Schomberg, Leal Elementary School, Urbana, IL Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.