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

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In his essay on Manifest Destiny, O'Sullivan attempts to show that the annexation of Texas has nothing to do with slavery. Why?

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Although pro-annexation sentiments had grown more popular during the Polk administration, when Texas was annexed to the United States through military force, groups within the U.S. had opposed incorporating Texas into the U.S. for fear of inciting the slavery firestorm. The concern was that rival factions would rip each other apart over the spread of slavery. Former President Andrew Jackson, for example, had opposed annexation on the premise that it would inflame the already volatile slave issue.

O'Sullivan, however, understood slavery as peripheral and of little relevance to his larger picture of manifest destiny, which O'Sullivan saw as the obvious future of the United States. He believed it was foreordained that the "anglo-saxon" settlers of the U.S. would gradually take over the entire North American continent. He based this, ignoring slavery, on the idea that the U.S. was a future-oriented, vanguard nation that had ripped off the yokes of oppression and inequality that held Europe...

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