The United States - a Date with Destiny

The United States: A Date with Manifest Destiny
Since the first Puritan settlement of America by the Massachusetts Bay Colony (“City on a Hill”) to the United States’ current involvement in the affairs of foreign countries, it is clear that Americans find a need to spread their democratic ideals abroad. The idea of Manifest Destiny, which was prevalent in pre-Civil War America, expressed the belief that Americans should expand their republican ideals of freedom, liberty, and democracy to the whole world. The process of Manifest Destiny was hastened by political pressure between the pro-slavery and anti-slavery factions and fear of foreign threats; these factors motivated the nation to expand to the Pacific by annexing large territories and negotiating treaties during the period 1783-1853.
One of the most important factors that motivated Americans to migrate and settle new territories was political pressure and controversy regarding the issue of slavery. Southern congressmen wanted to annex the Republic of Texas to the Union because slavery was well-established there, and it would most likely be admitted as a slave state. This would give the pro-slavery southerners two more votes in the Senate and might tip the scale in their favor. In response, the anti-slavery faction rapidly settled the Oregon Country and called for annexation of the region. Both Texas and the Oregon County were eventually annexed to the U.S. in the Texas Annexation of 1845 and the Oregon Treaty of 1846, respectively. These annexations quelled fears that one side might take control over the other; however, there was always new land to be settled nearby. In this manner, Western lands continued to be settled in order to maintain the fragile balance between the opposing factions. This cat-and-mouse game demonstrated the urgency that the Americans felt while migrating to these new areas; they felt that in order to protect their beliefs regarding the institution of slavery, they must migrate west...