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p. 252. Expansionismlocked

  • Andrew Preston

Abstract

Over the course of nearly three hundred years, the people who inhabited what came to be called the United States enlarged their territorial holdings. As they did so, their belief that expansion wasn’t just inevitable but righteous took hold: progress was good, the United States represented progress, and so many started believing that the best thing for all concerned was to stretch US borders as far as possible. ‘Expansionism’ explains how the period between the War of 1812 and the Civil War unleashed these restless impulses and their violent effects across a continent, and set the ideological template for even greater expansions to follow.

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