Manifest Destiny: American Territorial Expansion - Houston Holdren.
Manifest Destiny was an ideology that United States expansion into new territories was inevitable and predestined. Some even described it as being God's will. However, starting in the 1800s, there were several issues concerning United States territorial expansion and the inequality of minority groups. These complications dealt with race, religion, and gender. Racial disputes largely involved Native Americans, African Americans, and Mexicans, while religious disagreements involved mostly Catholic discrimination and the ideas of strict Protestantism. Gender controversy was another issue, in that women started promoting domesticity and began believing in their vital role of contributing to Manifest Destiny. By examining the issues such as race, religion, and gender between minority groups, one can better understand the history of United States territorial expansion.
A key aspect contributing to the concept of Manifest Destiny was the shared perception of American exceptionalism. This new concept influenced Americans to start believing they were the only race fit to live and govern the nation of the United States, and this created somewhat of racial discrimination between settlers, African Americans, Native Americans, and Mexicans. It was clear that Americans justified taking away Indian land, and they continuously pushed Native Americans westward in order to extend and expand United States boundaries. One example of settler encroachment took place in 1832 when Sac and Fox Indians decided to make an attempt in taking back their land in northwestern Illinois. They believed some of the earlier treaties signed with the United States were invalid or unjust (Document 11). White Americans ceaselessly pursued west, taking land with which they had no legal right. White settlers frequently invaded Native American hunting grounds and took advantage of their boundaries, confusing the legal ownership of land such as western Iowa and the borders of Nebraska (Document 15).