Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.
Remember when Americans sent elite soldiers westward, destroying everything in their wake? Well that’s extremely inaccurate. We all learned about Manifest Destiny in school, we just learned about it from a singular viewpoint. Most people think about a senseless slaughter of Native Americans, now that’s just not how it went. Manifest Destiny was justified because:Both sides died for the land, and we sent pioneers, not soldiers, and it was just another war
The natives had killed pioneers as well. The natives didn’t just let us roll through and slaughter them. Most of the settlers weren’t even armed! The Mexicans during the Mexican war also killed extremely large amounts of settlers. 13,000 Americans were killed in the Mexican war. Sounds like a lot of death for a one sided event chain. The land was very much paid for in blood and in coins. Every faction involved suffered losses and casualties. It wasn’t the one-sided slaughter many today see it as. Large amounts of the settlers sent out were massacred by raiding parties from the Sioux, Crow, and many other tribes. More people should learn these facts before taking a side. Onward we go.
If you look back, we sent primarily pioneers and not soldiers. The 1872 painting that is said to represent manifest destiny as a good example. You see trappers, farmers, traders, smiths, but not a single soldier. Sending soldiers outward would only open up a gateway to revolt. The best coups come from a weakened government ( Spanish Civil War, Partito Nazionale Fascista [Italian Fascist Party], October Revolution, etc) sending groups of soldiers west would very much weaken us. The routes taken west were overcrowded with just settlers. We sent westward around 7 million total Americans. We didn’t have the capacity to send many more. During the Mexican War, of course we sent soldiers, it was a war. This is primarily about westward expansion though, not south westward expansion. Speaking of wars, manifest destiny was really just another group of wars framed like a genocide.
The two main events of manifest destiny are the Mexican war and westward expansion. The pioneers suffered so many casualties they began arming themselves and created a sort of people’s militia to defend from the constant raiding. The Sioux, who were the main raiders, used bows, spears, and somewhat outdated firearms. This was almost completely outclassed by the Americans. Tactics would also come into play though, as Sioux riders and fast-to-reload weapons lead to many hit-and-run attacks before the pioneers could really fight back. The Sioux were fiercely territorial of the land they held and went for a no surrender strategy, shockingly enough they surrendered. And by Sioux it’s all the various tribes like the Lakota, Dakota, Cheyanne, and so forth. They put up a great fight, but in the end failed to hold the land. Technology won this round of the age old technology vs tactics dilemma. Hmm, where else do people say “technology vs tactics”? Oh yeah, World War One. Manifest destiny very well could’ve been labeled something like “The War for the West.” But no, it doesn’t even get a name. Or classification as a war.
Manifest Destiny was justified as Both sides died for the land, we sent pioneers not soldiers, and it was just another war. If people did their research, they may see a bit different of a story. As any history buff will tell you, history is a dark and bloody story. There is no reason to make bad history worse.