How did the concept of Manifest Destiny impact the United States?

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mkoren eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Manifest Destiny was a belief that many Americans had that we should expand and control the land between the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. They believed it was our destiny to control this land.

This concept impacted us significantly because it encouraged westward expansion. The United States wanted to annex Texas as a state. While this was delayed because Texas had slavery, Texas did join the United States in 1845. The United States wanted to take over the Oregon Territory. Both the United States and Great Britain controlled this land. We agreed to split the Oregon Territory at the 49th parallel. The United States also wanted to control what is now the southwest part of our country. We went to war with Mexico over a disputed border with Texas, and from winning this war, we gained the land that now makes up the southwest part of our country.

Eventually, people believed we should spread the idea of Manifest Destiny worldwide. This led us to a war with Spain in 1898 so we could gain colonies. As a result of winning the Spanish-American War, we gained the colonies of Guam, the Philippines, and Puerto Rico. We now spread beyond our borders. This helped us become a world power.

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