HIST 405 Discussion: Manifest Destiny and the Mexican War of 1846

Sample Answer for HIST 405 Discussion: Manifest Destiny and the Mexican War of 1846 Included After Question

Initial Post Instructions

For the initial post, pick two (2) of the following historical events:

  • The Lewis and Clark Expedition
  • The Missouri Compromise
  • Independence of Texas
  • Mexican War of 1846-1848
  • The California Gold Rush

Then, address the following for your selections:

  • Which of your two selections do you consider most impactful on Westward Expansion during 1800-1848? Explain why.
  • Analyze the effects of the ideology of Manifest Destiny on the two historical events that you chose from the list.

A Sample Answer For the Assignment: HIST 405 Discussion: Manifest Destiny and the Mexican War of 1846

Title: HIST 405 Discussion: Manifest Destiny and the Mexican War of 1846

Manifest destiny was the right and pursuit of land from Ocean to Ocean. The land, and its riches was there for the taking and the Indian habitants were felt to be in the way.   Chiodo (2000) points out two opinions of manifest destiny that it was a matter of pride to spread and grow democracy across the land or satiate the thirst for the riches of land and gold.

The Louis and Clark expedition was sent out by Jefferson to explore the new territory acquired from France the Louisiana purchase.  The hope was to find a water passageway that would open shipping lanes from the Pacific Ocean to the Orient.   They set out with the intent to learn about the territory, map it, understand the nature, and befriend any native Americans.  This 18-month journey lead to extensive documentation of the land, animals and mapping of the towns and people.

The Missouri compromise came about when the states were in balance 11 in the North that had no slavery and 11 in the south did, and a slave territory wanted to join. This new state would upset the balance of the government and swing the vote to the southern states. Southerners thought the states should decide on slavery and the northern felt the government should be able to decide this. So as a compromise Missouri could join as a salve state and the north added Maine as a free state and it was decided that slavery would no longer be allowed at this line.  This did not do abolish slavery but limited its expansion.

Corbett, P.S., Volker, J. Lund, J.M., Pfannestield, T., Waskiewicz, S. Vickery P., (2014) U.S. History   

 https://openstax.org/books/us-history/pages/1-IntroductionLinks to an external site.

Chiodo, J. (2000) Teaching about Manifest Destiny: Clarifying the Concept. The Social Studies, Washington. 9 (5) pg. 203-206  

A Sample Answer 2 For the Assignment: HIST 405 Discussion: Manifest Destiny and the Mexican War of 1846

Title: HIST 405 Discussion: Manifest Destiny and the Mexican War of 1846

I enjoyed how you mentioned, regarding manifest destiny, that the Native Americans were “in the way” of gaining land and riches.  Looking a little further into this I also found, in conjunction with land and riches, that the strong religious beliefs by the Second Great Awakening created more want to drive west.  Many settlers believed that God himself blessed the growth of the American nation and the Native Americans were considered heathens (U., 2019). By Christianizing the tribes, American missionaries believed they could save souls and they became among the first to cross the Mississippi River (U., 2019). 

Your description of the Missouri Compromise was very good.  One thing I found in regards to why Missouri wanted to be added as a slave state, is that they were worried they would be deprived of their human property (slaves).  Also, that the line that was to be drawn was drawn across the remainder of the Louisiana territory stating that slavery was tolerated below that line but not above (O., 2014).  Great post.  


U. (2019). Manifest Destiny. Retrieved September 17, 2020, from https://www.ushistory.org/us/29.aspLinks to an external site.

O. (2014). 11.4 The Mexican-American War, 1846–1848, 11.2 The Missouri Crisis – U.S. History. Retrieved September 16, 2020, from https://openstax.org/books/us-history/pages/11-2-the-missouri-crisisLinks to an external site.

A Sample Answer 3 For the Assignment: HIST 405 Discussion: Manifest Destiny and the Mexican War of 1846

Title: HIST 405 Discussion: Manifest Destiny and the Mexican War of 1846

This week I chose the following events that I feel were the most impactful on the Westward Expansion during 1800-1848 were the Mexican War of 1846-1848 and the California Gold Rush. I feel that they both had a great amount of impact on the Westward Expansion because they were both opened the doors for explorers to seek out the new land opportunity not yet fully explored yet. But if I had to choose one out of these, I would have to choose the Mexican War of 1846-1848, because if it wasn’t for the U.S, taking over control of the Mexican land; California, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and parts of Colorado and Wyoming, we wouldn’t have had the advantage of having the land to explore.

As U.S. tried to gain the Mexican land peacefully and avoid conflict, it was unfortunately not obtainable this way. Troops were sent to Texas and tensions rose higher between the two countries, leading to the  Mexican military firing upon U.S troops on American soil, , this started the Mexican-American War of 1846-1848 according to American History (2015).  As noted by Corbett et al. (2014), when Stephan Watts Kearny, General of the Army of the West went to move towards the take over of California, he came to found out that it was already in American hands, by U.S settlers that were notified of the declaring of war on Mexico, set sail to rush to California.

There they were able to overtake the land and establish settlement in Monterey, it was then placed in the hands of the navy and Kearny who at that time was in charge, appointed himself as the Governor of California. With this in place, it led to other small quarrels and the overtaking of other cities/towns within the surrounding land. Corbett et al. (2014) noted that eventually Mexico and America came to an agreement were Mexico ceded to American, called the Mexican Cession which was the conquest of the land west of the Rio Grande River including the states listed above.

This to me helped American gain the access needed to this undeveloped and underexplored land and open the doors to the people of the states to expand Westward to develop and settle. If it was not for this War occurring, then the settlers James Marshall and his partner John Sutter would not have migrated to the American River where they built a sawmill on the south-fork, where they discovered gold. This led to the news of gold in California to spread like wildfire and cause a huge rush of American’s to head West, making the expansion of America reality.

The effects that the Mexican War of 1846-1848 and California Gold Rush had on the ideology of the Manifest Destiny were in my opinion huge.  The Mexican War of 1846-1848 had opened the opportunity for American’s in the East Coast and the Inland states to expand and move towards the West Coast, being able to seek out new land and opportunities. According to American History (2015), many believed that Manifest Destiny was the U.S. military’s reason for action in the war, and that it was the U.S divine mission to obtain this land out to the west so that they could out reach to the remote corners of the continent to spread civilization and democracy.

The California Gold Rush I feel was like a bonus to expanding the civilization in the West, fulfilling the ideology of the Manifest Destiny. Corbett et al (2014) describes, once people started to gravitate towards the newly acquired territory, it grew from thousands to 10,000 people, helping the economy grow by opening stores and saloons and even opening libraries, stage lines, fraternal lodges, acting companies and establishing newspapers in the area.  Therefore, I feel that this significant event of the Mexican War of 1846-1848 and the added event of the California Gold Rush really fit the ideology of the Manifest Destiny.

Corbett, P.S, Volker, J. Lund, J.M., Pfannestiel, T., Waskiewicz, S., Vickery. P. (2014). U.S. History.

OpenStax. Houston, TX. Retrieved from:

 https://openstax.org/books/us-history/pages/1-IntroductionLinks to an external site.

“Mexican-American War.” Issues & Controversies in American History, Infobase, 2015. American History.     Retrieved from: https://online.infobase.com/Auth/Index?aid=239824&itemid=WE52&articleId=1009480Links to an external site.