Moby Dick was written by Herman Melville in 1851. I think a good analogy at the time in the U.S. would be the idea of Manifest Destiny. Manifest Destiny was the idea that it was inevitable, no matter what, that the United States would spread from the Atlantic Ocean across the continent to the Pacific Ocean. With this idea came the relentless pursuit of acquiring land for the U.S., no matter what the cost, just as Ahab pursued the white whale, no matter what the cost. The idea of Manifest Destiny and the pursuit of its goal of acquiring land brought out the dark side of the U.S. The acquisition of land had a very negative effect on Native Americans. In order to expand, the U.S. basically took land from the Native Americans, and the idea of Manifest Destiny led to policies such as Indian Removal and eventually the reservation system. The dark side of Manifest Destiny can also be seen with relations with Mexico. The U.S. used a border dispute to go to war with Mexico in 1846 in order to take land from Mexico to expand to the Pacific Ocean. The U.S. was successful in this war and in 1848 the U.S. received the Mexican Cession from Mexico which included all of California, Nevada, and Utah, a large part of Arizona, and parts of New Mexico, Colorado and Wyoming.