Expansion in the United States

Module Six Lesson Two Practice Activity One

Manifest Destiny

Manifest Destiny is a term for the attitude prevalent during the 19th century period of American expansion that the United States not only could, but was destined to, stretch from coast to coast. This attitude helped fuel western settlement, Native American removal and war with Mexico. The angel looking woman in the picture brings light from the east into the darkness of the west. She is seen stringing telegraph wires as she sweeps westward. She holds a book that represents learning and knowledge as well. The different stages of economic activity of the pioneers are highlighted and, especially, the evolving forms of transportation.

War for Texas Independence

The 13-day Battle of the Alamo in 1836 was a pivotal point in Texas’ war for independence from Mexico. Nearly all of Texas rebels, primarily American settlers and Tejanos (native Mexicans who fought for Texas) perished in the battle at the Alamo mission in San Antonio. Despite the loss, the Texans went on to win the war. This picture represents Texas' fight for independence because it shows all the violence and fighting that occurred.

Mexican War

The Mexican-American War was the first major conflict driven by the idea of "Manifest Destiny"; the belief that America had a God-given right to expand the country's borders from "sea to shining sea". This belief would eventually cause a great deal of suffering for many Mexicans, Native Americans and United States citizens. This picture also represents and shows all the violent fighting that occurred between Mexico and the US to gain land.