Then and Now Worksheet

Think about these two quotes while you watch the video clips:

"We love to indulge in thoughts of the future extent and power of this Republic - because with its increase is the increase of human happiness and liberty. . . . What has miserable, inefficient Mexico - with her superstition, her burlesque upon freedom, her actual tyranny by the few over the many - what has she to do with the great mission of peopling the New World with a noble race? Be it ours, to achieve that mission!"

– Walt Whitman, Editorial, Brooklyn Daily Eagle, July 7, 1846

"This war was an aggressive war in which we attacked a neighbor and however much we won from the war, we do not like to look at the way in which we won it."

– David Pletcher, American Historian, 1998

Consider these questions as you watch the videos. You will address some of them in the debate.

1. What do you think was the general view of both the war and the idea of Manifest Destiny in the mid-19th century United States?

2. What do you think Americans liked about the idea of Manifest Destiny then?

3. While opponents to the war and Manifest Destiny were in the minority at the time, what were some of their arguments?

4. What is your sense of modern-day perspectives on Manifest Destiny?

5. Why do you think that the U.S.-Mexican War is so little studied today?