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

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What impact did manifest destiny and westward expansion have on Mexicans and Native Americans during the early 1800s?

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Michael Koren eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Westward expansion and manifest destiny had a very negative effect on the Mexicans and on the Native Americans. As Americans wanted to expand westward, they continued to view the Native Americans as being in the way and holding back the progress of our country. In the 1830s, the Native Americans were forcibly removed from their lands east of the Mississippi River to lands west of the Mississippi River. Many Native Americans died as a result of the forced relocation, which often is referred to as the Trail of Tears. As Americans began to expand beyond the Mississippi River, Americans again viewed the Native Americans as holding back the progress of our country. New policies were developed placing Native Americans on reservations. These policies disrupted and, in some cases, destroyed their way of life. These policies were made with the interests of the Americans in mind, not with the interests of the Native Americans in mind. Westward expansion and manifest destiny were not positive...

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