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Manifest Destiny
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The term “Manifest Destiny” and the ideas behind it first became clearly defined during the 1840s, when America entered into a period of expansionist zeal that resulted in a diplomatic struggle with Great Britain over the boundary between Oregon and Canada, the annexation of Texas, and the acquisition of vast amounts of territory in the southwest following a war with Mexico. This comprehensive collection of historical documents, which includes contemporary newspaper articles, speeches, illustrations and political cartoons, will help students understand the concept of Manifest Destiny and provide them with valuable insight into one of the most highly charged and pivotal periods in American history. Historian: Christine Brendel Scriabine. The contents of this Focus Jackdaw feature:

Support Materials

  • Illustrated Broadsheet Essay
  • Timeline
  • Critical Thinking Questions
  • Recommended Reading List

Historical Documents

  • Petition against annexation of Texas, 1844.
  • Whig newspaper article on passage of joint resolution for annexation of Texas, 1845.
  • Pro expansionist article in which the term “Manifest Destiny” first appeared, The United States Magazine and Democratic Review, 1845.
  • The Southern viewpoint: Excerpt from “Progress in America” by William Gilmore Simms, 1846.
  • President Polk’s war message to Congress, The Congressional Globe, 1846.
  • Page 2 from Oregon newspaper The Spectator, 1846.
  • Contemporary pictorial chronicle of the seizure of California.
  • Political cartoons on the theme of Manifest Destiny, 1846-1848.

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