European Colonization of North America

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In your opinion, was Manifest Destiny accomplished peacefully or not? Were the results of Manifest Destiny worth the collateral damage suffered by non-Americans?

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Manifest Destiny was not accomplished peacefully. Westward expansion led to some of the longest wars in American history against the Native Americans. One can call the war against native culture a genocide, as many traditions and languages were lost as a result of white encroachment. Entire tribes were wiped out...

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Manifest Destiny was not accomplished peacefully. Westward expansion led to some of the longest wars in American history against the Native Americans. One can call the war against native culture a genocide, as many traditions and languages were lost as a result of white encroachment. Entire tribes were wiped out due to disease. To this day, life on many reservations is difficult due to a lack of government funding and opportunities for the people who live there.

Westward expansion also adversely affected Mexico as well. Under the leadership of James K. Polk, the United States invaded the disputed territory on the Mexican border, thus touching off a war in which Mexico would lose much of its northern territory. This was openly a war of conquest that was waged because the United States believed that it was in the right for taking Western land.

Though it is dangerous to judge past actions according to current cultural values, the collateral damage far outweighs the benefits from Manifest Destiny. The United States used genocide in order to get rid of native culture. The United States also adversely affected the environment of the West in order to make it more difficult for these Native Americans to continue their way of life. In the name of Manifest Destiny, the United States waged one war against Mexico and threatened to attack Britain over the disputed Oregon Territory.

While the United States has reaped considerable benefits from its expansion, one cannot justify the method by which the US expanded in the nineteenth century given current social values.

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