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

Start Your Free Trial

How did westward expansion transform and change America? (I am wondering about things such as plantations, industries, etc.)

Expert Answers info

Susana Scanlon eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2019

write793 answers

starTop subjects are History, Literature, and Law and Politics

Westward expansion was a key theme of nineteenth-century America. In 1803, President Thomas Jefferson bought the Louisiana Purchase from France. He hoped that small farmers would move to the newly acquired lands and settle on small farms. Western settlement took almost the entire century.

Manifest Destiny was the idea that America was destined to settle all territory between the Mississippi River and the Pacific Ocean. The western frontier was an opportunity for Americans who sought new lives. In 1848, the US took huge tracts of land from Mexico after winning the Mexican-American War (1846–48). This territory practically completed the boundaries of the continental US as we know it.

The acquisition of vast territory led to heated disputes between North and South. The North wanted the new territories to be free, but the South wanted them to be slave states. The arguments became increasing bitter during the 1850s, and this slowed settlement. After the end of the...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 471 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Kristen Lentz eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2012

write2,471 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial