Manifest Destiny and the Mexican War



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Manifest Destiny and the Mexican War

Directions: Use the accompanying documents as a resource in completing a chart that lists arguments for and against American expansion to the Pacific in the 1840s, even at the expense of war with Mexico.



Arguments for American Expansion

Arguments Against American Expansion





FQ: Compare and Contrast both the views of both contemporary Americans in the 1840s and modern historians towards American Westward Expansion and involvement in the Mexican War.
Supporters of American expansion in the 1840s argued that U.S. territorial acquisitions and the decision to go to war with Mexico…

Yet opponents at the time and historians argued that expansion and the Mexican War…



Manifest Destiny and the Mexican War

Directions: Use the accompanying documents as a resource in completing a chart that lists arguments for and against American expansion to the Pacific in the 1840s, even at the expense of war with Mexico.



Arguments for American Expansion

  • (Doc. #1) It will reduce the likelihood of future wars and conflicts, makes the U.S. safer

  • (Doc. #2) It was God’s will for the U.S. to spread liberty and self-government, aka “Democratic Ideals”

  • (Doc. #3) Bring a superior civilization to places like Mexico that were full of tyranny and were undeveloped.

  • (Doc. #4) Secured economic prosperity and growth for the nation

  • (Doc. #9) each successive addition of land fueled the appetite for land

Arguments Against American Expansion

  • (Doc. #4) Expansion was unnecessary because of the selfish economic motivations of the U.S.

  • (Doc. #5) U.S. had no right to take land from other nations, rather the U.S. had a responsibility to help less developed nations

  • (Doc. #6) War was simply fought to spread the institution of slavery and driven by Southerners

  • (Doc. #7) Was unnecessary because Mexico was not a threat to the U.S. and was also unconstitutional

  • (Doc. #8) The war created bitterness and weakened relations with Mexico and other Latin American countries

  • (Doc. #9) Expansion fueled existing feelings of racial superiority




FQ: Compare and Contrast both the views of both contemporary Americans in the 1840s and modern historians towards American Westward Expansion and involvement in the Mexican War.
Supporters of American expansion in the 1840s argued that U.S. territorial acquisitions and the decision to go to war with Mexico…

Yet opponents at the time and historians argued that expansion and the Mexican War…

Supporters of American expansion in the 1840s argued that U.S. territorial acquisitions and the decision to go to war with Mexico would bring about peace and spread democratic ideals and was justified through a belief in American exceptionalism, God’s will and economic gain.

Yet opponents at the time and historians argued that expansion and the Mexican War was driven by economic greed, a desire to spread the institution of slavery and feelings of racial superiority and at the same time was unconstitutional, went against American ideals of self-determination and weakened America’s relationships with Mexico and other neighboring Latin American countries.




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