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Manifest Destiny

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After the United States acquired more territory, settlers from the east coast started to push out west. People supported the expansion because they believed highly in manifest destiny and it was the time of the California gold rush.

Manifest destiny was the 19th century American belief that the United States was destined to expand across the North American continent from the Atlantic seaboard to the Pacific Ocean. "Our manifest destiny [is] to overspread the continent allotted by providence for the free development of our yearly multiplying millions". (Doc A) This quote is explaining how people wanted to spread out west to get more land because it was getting over populated in the area where they lived. A lot of the southern states supported manifest destiny because they wanted more slave states. (Doc G) Manifest destiny was supported all across America.

The California gold rush was a real motivator for Americans to spread out west. Since new territory was bought from France, Americans had no idea what was out there. There was a lot of gold and silver out west because no one excavated it until Americans settled there. In November of 1848, one settler in a small town in California struck gold, and from that moment on gold fever raged all winter in that town. (Doc C) Mexico was also offering land to Americans for free. All you had to do was obey Mexican law. (Doc B)

Manifest destiny and the California gold rush both were two major influences that lead to American settlers to push out west. Without these two influences, the United States would not be as big as it is today.



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