It was characterized by considerable instability, leaving it ill-prepared for international conflict only two decades later, when war broke out in Inthe Texan Republic agreed to an offer of annexation by the U. Congress and became the 28th state in the Union on December 29 that year. After independence from Spain inMexico contended with internal struggles that sometimes verged on civil war and the northern frontier was not a high priority.
Railroads and Manifest Destiny. However, it recently occurred to me that the railroad truly made America in a deeper and more profound way. What first came to my attention with the effect of a light bulb switched on were the relative dates for two key events: Asa Whitney [first] submitted his plan for a Pacific railroad to Congress through his representatives in January Sullivan — in an essay about Texasbut with reference to "the railroad".
Whether they will then attach themselves to our Union or not, is not to be predicted with any certainty. Unless the projected rail-road across the continent to the Pacific be carried into effect, perhaps they may not; though even in that case, the day is not distant when the Empires of the Atlantic and Pacific would again flow together into one, as soon as their inland border should approach each other.
But that great work, colossal as appears the plan on its first suggestion, cannot remain long unbuilt. Langley, New York, July, The telegraph has to be part of it. It is very difficult to asign motive to anyone, but I am convinced that there was essentially no interest in western expansion at the time of the Louisiana Purchase.
The negotiations were only for New Orleans and west Florida. The French threw in that country west of the Mississippi at the last hour. But by when settlers began moving to Oregon by the wagonload, this clearly had changed.
Texas fits in here, too, but there seems to have been a mixed bag of expectations — whether it was really American expansion, or merely emigration. Anyway, does this notion that the mere potential of the railroad opened [or played a previously unrecognized role in opening] the frontier deserve more research?
No sooner is the internet "invented" than people begin to imagine that the internet will do away with libraries, and the telephone, and yield all other kinds of marvelous things.
We — railroad historians — spend a lot of time recording the development of particular technological features and the construction of miles of track, but what about the expectations that railroads inspired? There is a story — perhaps more myth than true — that Leland Stanford told his seasick wife on their way to California that he would build her a railroad for her return journey.
I wonder if people really went to California thinking they could ride a train home someday. Indeed, many did just that, whether they imagined it would happen or not. Lightning Express Trains Leaving the Junction.
Courtesy of Vanessa Rudisill Stern. It goes much deeper. Fremont, is one example, another is the Southern route. A good deal of political wrangling and compromise — and dead ends attended the railroad discussions. It is not coincidence that the railroad was approved after the Civil War started — the South was holding out for the Southern route — and held up all others.
Certainly the railroad surveys opened much of the West and much of the subsequent history is based on them. From Hayden and GunnisonFremontand others — the role these surveys played in no small part kept the thought of the West in the mind of the country, especially when partnered with the discovery of mineral wealth.
Sometimes possibilies inspire and motivate people much more than realities. Inthe railroad had been around for some years, and those in the position to make a term like "manifest destiny" become a common term certainly would have been thinking about the potential the railroad provided.
It seems to me I have seen articles on transcontinental railroads as early asto Oregon, in the Democratic Review, as I recall Among other things, the Democratic Review published writings by the Existentialists grouped around Emerson.
It seems to me that the initial "use" of Manifest Destiny was in a sentence that included both words, but not in a unified phrase. In its magnificent domain of space and time, the nation of many nations is destined to manifest to mankind the excellence of divine principles; to establish on earth the noblest temple ever dedicated to the worship of the Most High — the Sacred and the True.
Yes, we are the nation of progress, of individual freedom, of universal enfranchisement. Equality of rights is the cynosure of our union of States, the grand exemplar of the correlative equality of individuals; and while truth sheds its effulgence, we cannot retrograde, without dissolving the one and subverting the other.
We must onward to the fulfilment of our mission — to the entire development of the principle of our organization — freedom of conscience, freedom of person, freedom of trade and business pursuits, universality of freedom and equality.
As to idea that the mere potential that the railroad opened the frontier, we certainly know that settlement patterns West of, say, the Missouri River were very different from the earlier settlement patterns West of the Alleghenies.
And I think the railroads played an important roll in bringing about the new pattern along with the occasional precious metal mining frenzy. So, instead of just taking the territory by force of arms, which we thought we already had done, we bought it a few years later through the Gadsden Purchase.
He would have been aware of the Granite Railway in Massachusetts and rode the Allegheny Portage Railroad in when he emigrated to the Illinois country newly opened i.
I suspect his primary goal was capital accumulation, and railroads would have been part of his thinking although surviving records are moot on that point in choosing a homestead. When that failed, he and others formed a paper railroad early in the s leading to a real railroad after the Civil War.
I would think that at some pointCharles J.
Averitt. Take a map of the westward expansion of the United States and what do you see? Some would say that expansion was a necessity toward Manifest Destiny.
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Manifest Destiny is a nineteenth-century belief that the United States had a mission to expand westward across the North American continent, spreading its form of democracy, freedom, and culture.
The expansion was deemed to be not only good, but also obvious ("manifest") and certain ("destiny.