1848: Manifest Destiny and the Mexican-American War

National Association of Scholars


In 1845, the United States annexed Texas, a territory that rebelled against Mexico nine years earlier. The annexation of Mexican-claimed Texas led to border disputes that quickly unraveled into an armed conflict. These events mark the near climax of the patriotic fervor called "manifest destiny," the public will for westward expansion of the American republic.

What role did President Polk's commitment to Manifest Destiny play in the annexation of Texas and subsequent war? In what ways did the acquisition of Texas heighten tensions surrounding slave states and free states? Did the United States' victory in the war bolster the argument for Manifest Destiny?


This webinar features David Heidler, an award-winning historian of the early American republic and author of Henry Clay: The Essential AmericanRobert Merry, former editor of The National Interest and author of A Country of Vast Designs; and John Pinheiro, professor of history at Aquinas College. The discussion is moderated by Michael Scott Van Wagenen, author, filmmaker, and associate professor of history at Georgia Southern University.

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