Western Expansion, Manifest Destiny, and the Mexican-American War

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How did the idea of Manifest Destiny influence America's western migration?

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Manifest Destiny was the prevailing belief that claim to the North American continent (to an extent) was essentially the god-given right of the current Americans living in the eastern states under the federal government. Essentially, they believed that expansion throughout what is now the United States of America was both "inevitable and justified"—essentially that God had ordained this expansion to give the fertile land of America to these people.

The belief and justification of this idea led to many Americans deciding that it was their responsibility and right to lay claim to the Western frontier—and that everything to the Pacific Ocean was their right to take control of and use. This "personal responsibility" encouraged people to travel to the West much more quickly and frequently than they would have otherwise, spurring a drastic spike in its population and creating small towns and homesteads that dotted the land from Missouri to California.

By supporting this belief, it...

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