American expansion to the Pacific was introducedto the people of the country by several differentmeans. The reasons for expansion did not excludePolitics, economy, nor society. Primarily thecontributions that that the rise of expansion canbe attributed to include Manifest Destiny, landhunger, suspicion of British intentions as well astrade opportunities. Each was valuable, some morethan others, to impel the wheels of expansionismto begin. The most important contributor toAmerican expansion is Manifest Destiny. This term,developed by an American journalist basicallystate that America had a divine ( god-given) rightto extend its power and civilization across thewidth of the North American continent.
Perhaps itwas the scattered missionaries in the Northwest,along with the introduction of Manifest Destinymade the idea of traveling thousands of miles,was, in fact worthwhile. Manifest Destiny was soimportant of an issue that the election andcampaign of 1844. The Democrats were swayed by theidea and part of their campaign was that theyshould uplift their ennobling democraticinstitutions over the expanse of North America.The idea of God giving the population the right toexpand their society could be accepted byGod-fearing Christians, of which, most of thepopulation was. They all could understand the ideaof Manifest Destiny because it dealt with God, notproperty, wealth or social standing.
It was anissue that could allow people of all backgroundsto prosper. Land hunger was the second mostimportant contributor to expansion.The land outin this wide open, western unknown was free!People wanted land because at this time landequaled wealth, and people who were not wealthy,could not buy land. This first come, first servestyle allowed the people who were hungry for landto obtain it, even if they did not have the meansby which to buy any land back east. This way theycould even make a profit off of the deal. Thegreedy American stereotype was obtained duringthis period. Although crop failures and naturaldisasters cause some of the people to travel westfor land, it was primarily a basic concept ofhuman nature that is weaker than nothing exceptthe fear, and adoration of God, who was theimpetus for the only reason for expansion thatdeveloped in a stronger fashion than land hunger.A third reason for American expansion was thesuspicion of British intentions.
The British werealways nipping on the heels of the Americans as itcan be seen with the Carolina incident, theAroostook War as well as the Webster-AshburtonTreaty.It was no doubt that the British wouldcontinue their actions along to the Western Coast.They had shown great interest in Mexico, and werefaithful comrades of Canada, so who was to doubtthe idea that they would attempt to make the landalong the coast their own as well. Fear of theBritish however was not nearly as influential asManifest Destiny nor greed and land hunger.
Tradeopportunities were perhaps the least importantcontributor to American expansion. The ports alongthe eastern seaboard were prospering wonderfullywith trade to European countries. There was reallyno need open up new trade routes to Asia andEurope, although it would not hurt the economy ofthe United States. The trade opportunities thatwere present could not compare to the trade systemthat had been developing and firmly cemented inthe waters of the Chesapeake and along the NewEngland Coast.Each of the many contributors tothe rise of American expansionism had its ownstrengths as well as weaknesses. Manifest Destinyproved to be the most powerful owing its strengthto the religious inferences, and human natureproved to be a close second with land hunger beinga much stronger catalyst than either tradeopportunities or suspicion of British intentions.Expansionism developed in the country to not onlyreach the west coast, but also in future timesspread to Pacific Ocean islands as well as theland in Mexico.
The United States became one ofthe leaders in expansion, topping the long leadingBritish for the role. Bibliography:.