By the end of the War of 1812, the ruling elite of America and most of the common people, had already been converted to what has been called
“Manifest Destiny.” That term meant the US believed it was “entitled” to own, control or annex the whole continent.
By the 1820s, Americans, mostly Southerners expanding slavery, were moving into the northern part of Mexico later called Texas.- expanding salve
territory. In 1836, a stroke of luck at San Jancito, equal to the stroke in New Orleans in 1815, gained the independence of Texas from Mexico.
By force of arms, we drove the Spanish out of Florida in the 1820s, and incorporated it into the US as a state by early 1845. Later that same year
Texas was annexed into the US. There was a controversial dispute with Mexico over the southern boundary of Texas. The US wanted the meandering Rio
Grande River as far sough as it had ever run, as its border, and Mexico wanted the border to be north of the river. To resolve the dispute, the US
launched the Mexican War of 1846-1848.
The United States won that war and by “right of conquest” we took all of California, all of Utah, all of Nevada, all of Arizona, all of New Mexico
and part of Colorado from Mexico. We completed our southwestern territorial expansion with the Gadsden Purchase of 1853. For the Southern Pacific RR.
Feeling our muscle we began to take the Northwest Territory of Oregon and Washington from the British. The two countries had agreed on a joint
occupancy of the area. We decided to occupy it solely. In 1840, the presidential campaign was won by James Polk on the slogan, “54 40 or Fight!”
That was a reference to the latitude we were claiming as our own. We settled for the 49th parallel of latitude and gave up our claim on British
By 1898, America was ready again - now post Civil War - to expand. This time we took Cuba - gave it back - Puerto Rico - kept it - the Philippines -
released it in 1946 - and numerous islands in the Pacific from Spain. All of this was done because the battleship, USS Maine, had blown up in Havana
harbor and we - say US newspapers - blamed it on the Spanish. Actually, the Maine explosion turned out to be a coal dust explosion but this was not
verified until recently. We did not care in 1898, as we did not care about WMDs in 2003.
In 1898, at the instigation of the R&Fs - Rich and Famous - we “took” the Kingdom of Hawaii and made it an American territory. Say hello Dole
Puerto Rico. I am under the impression the US Congress has enacted a law allowing the people of PR to vote on the issue whether to be 1) an
independent country, or 2) a state of the US, or 3) remain as a self-governing Commonwealth. Can you tell me Marg6043, if that is true?
[edit on 8/6/2006 by donwhite]