Manifest Destiny

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During the 19th century, “Manifest Destiny” referred to the widely held belief that Americans were fated to expand beyond the Eastern seaboard and “civilize” the entire North American continent. As the historian Collin Calloway argues in the linked video in this Unit, the entire notion of Westward Expansion is problematic. Do you believe that westward expansion was inevitable due to the young nation’s economic growth and population size, or do you think the concept of manifest destiny was simply a way of masking economic and political motives for expansion and simply a large scale territory grab across North America? Support your interpretation with specific evidence from the course and course readings.

How is the term “westward expansion” problematic?

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