America’s borders were expanding at a rapid pace in the 1840’s. This mostly westward movement was widely known as Manifest Destiny, the belief shared by many that America was destined by God to expand all the way to the Pacific Ocean, that they had a God given right to the territory in the West. Because this belief in ‘God’s will’ most Americans had no problem with plowing through many already established villages and held no regard for the other countries that already had claims to the land. Although many Americans recognized Manifest Destiny as a benign and favorable movement, this westward expansion occurred without any consideration to the well being of many people, and caused much harm to everyone and everything in the way of its fulfillment.
The Louisiana Purchase was the American acquisition of 828,000 square miles of land, sold by Napoleon of France for the extremely low sum of 15 million dollars. This purchase was the beginning of the American expansion, and although it had questionable constitutionality according to Thomas Jefferson who was president at the time, it was obviously extremely beneficial to the country as a whole and therefore was supported by the American people. This purchase was the start of Manifest Destiny, and the feelings of patriotism and pride stayed with the country as it expanded its borders and continued to grow.
In 1830 the people of the south were eager once again to gain more land below the Missouri Compromise Line that could be worked with slave labor. The Indian Removal Act of 1830 stemmed from the southerners lust for more land. This act was passed by President Andrew Jackson, and enabled him to negotiate with the southern tribes for their removal and relocation to federal territory west of the Mississippi River, in exchange for their homelands which were extremely sacred and held years of irreplaceable tradition and sentiment. In fact, this act declared that all Native American Tribes east of the Mississippi will be relocated. This lead to the Trail of Tears in 1838, where the remaining tribes were forcefully relocated and treated with extreme brutality. Although this act was strongly opposed by quite a few people including Abraham Lincoln, it was passed