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Duberry Unit 11 Essay Was Westward Expansion was ethical?

March 29th, 2013

In 1845, James O Sullivan wrote that it was the United States destiny to be the great nation of futurity. Between 1803 and 1848, the United States was expanding geographically; by 1907 The US acquired 13 states. Though many would say that westward expansion was ethical, it actually proved to be very unethical. It was unethical for many reasons; expansion was very tough on humans. The expansion led to increase in slavery states, the Mexican and American war and very cruel treatment against the Native Americans. First, the westward expansion increased the slave population and slave states... In an excerpt by Stephen G. Hyslop (2009) he talks about the real cost of the Louisiana Purchase. He stated, before America took possession New Orleans and other French territories was well established in slavery. As a result American slaveholders flocked to region and both Louisiana and Missouri the first two territories to purchase entered the union as slave states. In the History Alive Textbook a certain passage grasped my attention saying, Thomas Jefferson was buying Louisiana Territory in thought but French people agreed with his thought due to the fact of them going to war with Britain. They didnt want Britain owning the land. Ethically buying the land was a great thought; the unethical part was Stephen G Zooey coming up with the price. The Louisiana territory by 1907 made it in the US as the 13th state. In addition to this America wanted Texas to join their union as well.

The US didnt acquire Texas ethically because they only wanted to make it into another slavery state. (London Times, 1845) Many US citizens traveled to Texas illegally and the Tajanos began to complain about their disrespect towards their kind. Texas then closed all immigration to US citizens then reopened it to run their personal affairs. Mr. Clay was worried about the annex against Texas in fear it would start a war. Once President James K Polk became president they elected to annex Texas. Texas then began decreasing in the human population because many were brought into slavery. Westward expansion was unethical. The Spanish were told to govern or get out; (history alive textbook).It was a sign of diplomacy. The US basically told them to do right by Florida or leave them alone its kind of like a compromise. General Andrew Jackson attacked Indians and forced his way into Florida after the words were given not to do so. (H.A.T.B, 2002) The acquisition of Florida was unethical and unfair to Spain. The Indian Removal act was unethical. The Indian removal act created by the United States congress in 1830 was signed by Andrew Jackson. The act stated that with the removal of the Indians, in return the tribes would be relocated and protected in a different area in which they are entitled forever. It was also known in this act that they will receive proper aid and assistance from the US Government. Before the removal Andrew Jacksons main goal was the removal of the Indians through treaties instead of force for their land also known as the cotton kingdom. He then set forth an Indian reservation in which the Bureau of Indian affairs, (2012 ) proved he didnt keep his promise and the removal act was set forth falsely and more harm was done than good.

In the case of the Cherokee territory, the US expansion was unethical. For example , as a result of the purchase the United States pushed the petition for the removal of the Cherokees aside(documentary film, by pbs, 2009) From the documentary it also came to pass that there were many deaths and a great deal of starvation and sickness spreading around (History Alive text books by T.C.I, 2002) In addition I read an excerpt named the Trial of Tears. I learned that many whites were ashamed of the removal Andrew Jackson set forth but the act continued anyway. This act was unethical because it wasnt signed by Cherokee Congress and more than 17,000 of the Cherokees population were dragged from their homes in Georgia and were sent by foot towards the West.

Finally, the Mexican- American war was unethical. President Polk was upset with the rejection of his purchase and instigated a war to invade Mexican Territory. The Treaty Mexico agreed to exchanged California, New Mexico and Nevada for 15 million dollars and protection over 80,000 Mexicans in each state. (T.C.I, 2002) This war was unethical because after the treaty approved slavery expanded. America didnt keep their end of the bargain. As well as American troops that were guarding the border became very uncontrollable, very drunk and raped many Mexican women. (Howard zinn, 2006)

In summary, throughout the 1800s the west wad expansion was unetical,, the US may have been expanded from sea to sea, but many people had to suffer along the way. Because of the US governments actions, many people died and or got very sick. Many who lived also were able to continue even better lives and accomplish the goal of increasing their population in a different environment. Some are correct to argue that the expansion

was ethical. After all some good did come from the expansion such as receiving more trade from the purchase of the Louisiana Territory, cotton production increased and they got rid of the French. However, everybody didnt benefit from the expansion, many lives were taken and innocent people were thrown out of their homes. It may have been Americas Destiny to expand but for many, it was an absolute nightmare