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

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What were the effects of Manifest Destiny?

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Manifest Destiny, the mid-nineteenth century expansionist movement, was instrumental in shaping the United States and in enabling it to reach its geographical potential and diversity. Had Manifest Destiny not occurred, the US would probably not extend further West than the Mississippi River. And the US would probably not have become the great world power it is today.

Although the term Manifest Destiny was not coined until 1845, the idea existed in the minds of Americans and their leaders long before. The Louisiana Purchase of 1803 greatly increased the country's size. American settlers helped Texas win its independence from Mexico in 1836.

Mexico, in fact, became a victim of American aggression fueled by Manifest Destiny. Mexico lost Texas in 1836, and it lost nearly half of its territory after being defeated in the Mexican-American War (1846–1848).

Another effect of Manifest Destiny was that it exacerbated tensions between the North and the South during the years preceding the Civil...

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