To what extent did Manifest Destiny unite or divide the U.S?

Manifest Destiny Document Analysis
Directions: Attached to this handout is a set of documents related to the following question: Did Manifest Destiny and territorial expansion unite or divide the United States in the early 1800s? Pick 9 of the 12 documents provided and complete the chart below.
Introduction to Manifest Destiny Activity:
Read the arguments for and against Manifest Destiny below.
Review & Highlight The Documents A-L
Apply the H.I.P.P.O. strategy using the chart for your responses
Provide specific detail of the document justifying your answer, and your analysis of its significance.
Provide a minimum of a one-page written synthesize of your response to the prompt: “To What Extent Did Manifest Destiny Divide or Unite the U.S.?”
Provide a claim
Use a minimum of 3 documents to support your claim
Provide 1 counter argument
Be sure this is not just a summary of documents, it must include analysis
Part I: The Arguments
Arguments for Manifest Destiny: Being more advanced and enlightened than other cultures, the U.S. has a God-given right to expand its borders. In fact, the U.S. has an obligation to bring its civilizing influence to the west. Expansion will also strengthen the foundations of the Union, making it invulnerable, and is necessary to accommodate the increasing population of the U.S.

Arguments against Manifest Destiny: God would not grant any country the right to expand at the expense of the native inhabitants whose land would be taken, and the lives of those who would die in wars over territory. The term “Manifest Destiny” is merely an excuse for the U.S. to take other people’s lands. Furthermore, spreading too far across the country will weaken the country’s vital institutions, making the Union vulnerable.

Part II. Review & Highlight The Documents A-K when appropriate (maps would not be conducive to this).
Document A: Map of the United States, 1820s

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Document B: Vote on Indian Removal Act, 1830

For Against
Senate 28 19
House of Representatives 102 97

Document C: American Progress, Painting, 1872

Document D: Senator Thomas Hart Benton, Speech in US Senate, 1844

After twenty-five years, the American population has begun to extend itself to the Oregon. Some hundreds went a few years ago; a thousand went last year; two thousand are now setting out from the frontier of Missouri; tens of thousands are meditating the adventure. I say to them all, Go on! The Government will follow you, and will give protection and land….

Let the emigrants go on, and carry their rifles. We want thirty thousand rifles in the valley of the Oregon; they will make all quiet there, in the event of a war with Great Britain for the domination of that country…. They will protect the American interests in all the vast region of the Rocky Mountains. Besides…. The settlers in Oregon will also recover and open for us the North American road to India!

Document E: John L. O’Sullivan, Democratic Review, 1845

Away, away with all these cobweb tissues of the rights of discovery, exploration, settlement….the American claim is by the right of our manifest destiny to overspread and possess the whole of the continent which Providence has given us for the development of the great experiment of liberty.

Document F: The Wilmot Proviso, 1846
Provided that, as an express and fundamental condition to the acquisition of any territory from the Republic of Mexico by the United States, by virtue of any treaty which may be negotiated between them, and to the use by the Executive of the moneys herein appropriated, neither slavery nor involuntary servitude shall ever exist in any part of said territory, except for crime, whereof the party shall first be duly convicted

Document G: Charles Sumner, Massachusetts Legislature, 1847

Resolved. That the present war with Mexico has its primary origin in the unconstitutional annexation to the United States of the foreign state of Texas while the same was still at war with Mexico; that it was unconstitutionally commenced by the order of the President, to General Taylor, to take military possession of territory in dispute between the United States and Mexico, and in the occupation of Mexico;

And that it is now waged ingloriously – by a powerful nation against a weak neighbor – unnecessarily, and without just cause, at immense cost of a portion of her territory, from which slavery has already been excluded, with the triple object of extending slavery, of strengthening “Slave Power”, and of obtaining the control of the Free States, under the Constitution of the United States.

Document H: Abraham Lincoln, Excerpts from Speech in House of Representatives, 1847

Resolved That the President of the United States be respectfully requested to inform this House –
1st. Whether the spot on which the blood of our citizens was shed, as in his messages declared, was or was not within the territory of Spain, at least after the treaty of 1819, until the Mexican revolution.
2d. Whether that spot is or is not within the territory which was wrested from Spain by the revolutionary Government of Mexico.
5th. Whether the people of that settlement, or a majority of them, or any of them, have ever submitted themselves to the government or laws of Texas or the United States, by consent or compulsion, either by accepting office, or voting at elections, or paying tax, or serving on juries, or having process served upon them, or in any other way.

Document I: Letter to John Brown
Chattanooga Tennessee 20th November 1859.
John Brown

Sir, Altho vengeance is not mine, I confess, that I do feel gratified to hear that you were stop in your fiendish career at Harper’s Ferry, with the loss of your two sons, you can now appreciate my distress, in Kansas, when you then and there entered my house at midnight and arrested my husband and two boys and took them out of the yard and in cold blood shot them dead in my hearing, you cant say you done it to free our slaves, we had none and never expected to own one, but has only made me a poor disconsolate widow with helpless children while I feel for your folly. I do hope & trust that you will meet your just reward. O how it pained my Heart to hear the dying groans of my Husband and children if this scrawl give you any consolation you are welcome to it. – Mahala Doyle

Document J: President James Polk’s Address to the United States

As our population has expanded, the Union has been cemented and strengthened. As our boundaries have been enlarged and our agricultural population has been spread over a large surface, our federative system has acquired additional strength and security. It may well be doubted whether it would not be in greater danger of overthrow if our present population were confined to the comparatively narrow limits of the original thirteen States than it is now that they are sparsely settled over a more expanded territory. It is confidently believed that our system may be safely extended to the utmost bounds of our territorial limits, and that as it shall be extended the bonds of our Union, so far from being weakened, will become stronger.
– President James Polk

Document: K

Look at your country, extending from the Allegheny Mountains to the Pacific Ocean, capable itself of sustaining in comfort a larger population than will be in the whole Union for one hundred years to come. Over this vast expanse of territory your population is now so sparse that I believe we provided, at the last session, a regiment of mounted men to guard the mail from the frontier of Missouri to the mouth of the Columbia; and yet you persist in the ridiculous assertion, ‘I want room.’ One would imagine, from the frequent reiteration of the complaint, that you had a bursting, teeming population, whose energy was paralyzed, whose enterprise was crushed, for want of space.
Senator Corwin response to President Polk

Document: L

“With the opening prospects of increased prosperity and national greatness which the acquisition of these rich and extensive territorial possessions affords, how irrational it would be to forego or to reject these advantages by the agitation of a domestic question… and to endanger…the harmony of the glorious Union of our confederated States–that Union which binds us together as one people, and which for sixty years has been our shield and protection against every danger.”

Excerpt from President Polk’s 1848 Annual Message

Part III & IV

# Did Manifest Destiny unite or divide the US? (Unite or Divide?)

How can you tell? HIPPO Analysis
Historical Context-what is the event referencing specifically & is there a date?
Intended Audience- who is this meant for/ who would be viewing this doc.
Point of View- do not just give a name, what did they stand for?
Purpose/ significance- why was this document created and why is it important?
Other outside connections – what other key terms, ideas, events can connect to it?


In document F, Wilmot Proviso was one more reason to divide U.S for the reason this was to ban slave in new territories acquired in Mexican- American War H- William Proviso, 1846: A plan to ban slavery in all new territory that was accquired by Mexican- American War, which ulitmalty this law was passed by the House of Representatives but declined at the senate

I- The intended audience based on this document is mostly for the audience that mentioned that Wilmot Proviso divided U.S over the issue of slavery

P- The Point of view for this document the Republcian Party, for the reason that this party arose after the Whig Party was no longer existing and formed b/c they believed that slavery should be banned from the new territory

P- This document was created for the reason that this bill(William Proviso) was meant to create conflict and show an insight of the debate of the issue of slavery on new territory.

O-Some terms connected to this document would be Missouri Compromise, Henry Clay


In document E, shows us how Juilan O’ Sullivan ultimately wants to expand which leads to dividing US into war and conflict with other countries H- John L. O’ Sullivan , Democratic Review 1845: This is when Juilan O’Sullivan introduces the ideology of Manifest Destiny, the idea that God has given the power to claim any territory in North America.

I-Intended Audience is towards people who believe in the ideology of Manifest Destiny and overall people who are wanting to expand into the west

P-The point of view this leans into people who supported the Manifest Destiny, these people supported expansion of land !

P-This is very important for the reason because Juilan O’ Sullivan was the person who was behind and supported annexing Texas, in order to expand territory with the idea that God has given to expand despite any issue arising!

O-Terms connected to this could be Mexican- American War,


In this document it sought to divide the U.S, based on this document from the land acquired from Mexico, it implore slavery to be brought again H-Charles Summer, Massachusetts Legislature 1847: this document is specifically referencing resolving the issue of annexing Texas and going to war. Allowing slavery to be allowed in the new territor gained from it.

I-Southern States, is the intended audience for the reason that they would be happy that new territories would be potentially entering as slave states. People who would be viewing this document are people who saw this document dividing the U.S.

P- Charles Summer, based on this document the perspective of this is that they favored expansion to ultimately leading to allowing salvery

P- Purpose of this document is to demonstrate and create a heated debate over the issue of slavery in the new territory accquired. However, the significance of this document is to demonstrate how this document will lead into sectionalism between regions, South and North over these issues.

O-Missouri Compromise

In this document J, in this document is seeks to unite the United States , however, this document specifically can be used as a rebuttal on how the United States did not protect against every danger
H- President James Polk Address to the United States as the resident he directly refer to the ideology of Manifest Destiny and how this idea will bring them protection

I- The intended audience is for everyone, however, specifically it focuses on how Manifest Destiny united the U.S through how President Polk brings to light expansion and how it will become stronger instead of weaker.

P-Point of view is James Polk is the fact he is alluding that Manifest Destiny is bringing his union together by expanding further, looking at the good sides of expansion! How the expansion has brought more good opportunities to them.

P-This document is important for the reason that it demonstrates how the president James Polk views the expansion, the significance of this document is that it allows us to view another viewpoint on how the President James Polk viewed the good outcomes in unifying the U.S, mentioning unity!

O- Election between Henry Clay and James Polk, John Withdrop
K In this document it goes toward how Manifest Destiny of expansion led to division in the perspective of Senator Corwin, over how it was not unifying the union

H- Senator Corwin Response to President Polk: based on this document it is specifically referencing expansion of the West and backlash of expanding!

I-The intended audience for this is for people who did not believe Manifest Destiny united them by leading to some division.

P-Senator Corwin, based on this document sood on the idea extending Allegheny Mountains to the Pacific Ocean did not bring unity but only a comfort of a large population, which means they stood against the idea that Manifest Destiny did not bring unity but division as a whole ‘’Union,’’

P-The importance of this document is to demonstrate another viewpoint on how others viewed the expansion, for the reason of just needing space based on his viewpoint.

O-Missouri Compromise, Slavery before

I In document I, it clearly shows how the idea of expanding led to division by the way the document is describing Mahla Doyla and the incident that took place. H-Letter to John Brown, 1859: Based on the clues given refers to Fugitive Laws implemented in the Missouri Compromise of 1850, that led to Northern States and Southern States to report any person who has escaped slavery and return them back to their place, if not done it was a crimanl offence.

I- The intended audience for this document that should be viewing this document is people who find that Manifest Destiny has created a division in the U.S based on the perspective of this document.

P- Point of View of this document is for the people or regions that were affected by the expansion of land and over the issue of slavery, speifcally over the fugitive

P-Purpose and significance of this document to demonstrate different viewpoints on how the idea of Manifest affected different group of people that ultimately led to division with groups and within the Union

O- Missouri Compromise, Bleeding- Kansas,

B Based on this document, somethings that I can depict from it, is how the idea of Manifest Destiny led to the division of the U.S for the reason that they sought to remove people from their land in order to acquire land for themselves. H-Vote on Indian Removal Act, 1830: This was primarily implemented by Andrew Jackson who sought to remove Indians from their native lands in order to acquire lands for themselves through a series of Treaty or the use of military.

I-The intended audience is for people, in this case is for both unity and division. Unity for the reason being that most people would support the idea of expanding and removing natives from their land, like the southern regions, have more opportunities to land.On the other hand, division because the idea of Manifest Destiny led to division between certain groups of people, in this case Native Americans and several issues arising.

P- The point of view for this document would be specifically how the removal of native americans led to divisions between certain groups of people, that it was no longer about a union but only for the benefit of expanding.

P- The significance of this document is that although it might not demonstrate a clear perspective, you can definitely take away how the Senate and House of Representatives passed the Indian Removal Act in order to expand and acquire more land, based on the ideology of Manifest Destiny.

O-Andrew Jackson, Trail of Tears

A Based on this document (map), you can tell that the Ideology of Manifest Destiny was led to divided U.S as whole H-Map of the United States, 1820: During this time it was the time when slavery was an issue on the newly accquired land of Lousiana Purchase that was bough by Thomas Jefferson that ultimately led to Henry Clay compromising Maine and Missiouri as free states and slave states to balance power.

I-Based on this document the intended audience is how Manifest Destiny led to dividing the U.S for the reason that as new land was being acquired it led to more sectionalism between regions over the issue of slavery ultimalty leading to divison.

P- The point of view for this document for the Southern Region and Northern Regions for the reason being on how they viewed slavery, their own perpspective on the aquirement of new land.
P- Purpose of this document and the significance is that, we are able to show how the issue of slavery on the Missiouri Compromise was an already a current issue and how the ideogolgy of Manifest Destiny completely led to more sectional coflict as the United states acquired land, for example in Mexican American War. Leading into more deeper sectionalism.

O- Missouri Compromise, Henry Clay, Louisiana Purchase.

L Based on this document, the idea of Manifest Destiny was to unify the United States through the increase of prosperity of expansion of land, this was a way to unify. H- Excerpt from President Polk’s 1848 Annual Message: James Polk was who favored expansion, because with the ideals of Manifest Destiny he believed that expanding would bring unity to the U.S with many more opportunities.
I- Intended audience is for the whole Union (United States), for the reason being that James Polk was the President and gave a good view on expansion, along with the ideology of Destiny Manifest.
P-The point of view for this document is James Polk, who believed in the ideology of Manifest Destiny and believed that by expanding it would eventually lead to good prosperity and would unite them in protection against every danger.
P-The significance of this document is that it allows view the perspective of how the influence of Manifest Destiny had a huge influence on how they viewed the expansion and what it brought to them as a whole.

O- Mexican- American War, ideals of the John Withdrop,

PART VI: Provide a minimum of a one-page written synthesize of your response to the prompt: “To What Extent Did Manifest Destiny Divide or Unite the U.S.?”
Provide a claim/thesis statement that answers the prompt
Use a minimum of 3 documents to support your claim
Provide 1 source for a counter argument
Refute this counter-argument with 1 final source that is different from one of the previous 3 documents you used.
In all, you must reference 5 documents in your page.
When applying your documents, you must address 3 of the H.I.P.P.O.
Be sure this is not just a summary of documents, it must include analysis
Hint on writing at the AP level:
Do not use the first person
Do not introduce documents by # or Letter, instead introduce them by name and cite them at the end by (doc. A) for example.
Use at least 3 ideas in the HIPPO analysis when referencing a source.
Prove your thesis statement
Make solid connections and be able to respond to a 2-year-olds never-ending “WHY?”


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