This "manifest destiny" soon led to
genocidal wars against the Native American peoples. The U.S. army
ruthlessly seized their land, driving them west and slaughtering those
During the century that followed the American Revolution, the Native
American peoples were defeated one by one, their lands were taken, and
they were confined to reservations. The number of dead has never been
counted. But the tragedy did not end with the dead. The Native peoples'
way of life was devastated. 
"I can still see the butchered women and children lying heaped and
scattered all along the crooked gulch as plain as when I saw them with
eyes still young. And I can see that something else died there in the
bloody mud, and was buried in the blizzard. A people's dream died there.
It was a beautiful dream ... the nation's hoop is broken and scattered."
 (Black Elk, spiritual leader of the Lakota people and survivor of
the Wounded Knee massacre in South Dakota.)
By 1848 the United States had seized nearly half of Mexico's territory
(California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Texas).
In Congress the war against Mexico was justified with speeches about the
glory of expanding "Anglo-Saxon democracy," but in truth it was the
Southern slave owners' thirst for land and the lure of Western gold that
inspired these speeches. 
General Zachary Taylor ordered scores of U.S. soldiers executed for
refusing to fight in Mexico.
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