Cass, Lewis (1782–1866)

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Cass, Lewis (1782–1866)

Lewis Cass (b. 9 October 1782; d. 17 June 1866), U.S. general, secretary of state, diplomat, Democratic presidential candidate in 1848. Characterized as hawkish and anglophobic, Cass was one of the nineteenth century's leading exponents of Manifest Destiny in the United States. Cass backed the annexation of Texas and argued in 1847 that the Mexican War offered the United States a great opportunity for westward expansion. He called upon the Senate to approve the military expenditure necessary to force Mexico to surrender all its land north of the Sierra Madre. Cass urged the annexation of the Yucatán Peninsula in 1848, and he was an advocate of U.S. political and economic interests in Central America in the 1850s.

See alsoMexico, Wars and Revolutions: Mexican-American War; United States-Latin American Relations.


Albert K. Weinberg, Manifest Destiny: A Study of Nationalist Expansion in American History (1935).

Thomas D. Clark, Frontier America: The Story of the Westward Movement (1959).

Thomas R. Hietala, Manifest Design: Anxious Aggrandizement in Late Jacksonian America (1985).

Additional Bibliography

Klunder, Willard Card. Lewis Cass and the Politics of Moderation. Kent, OH: Kent State University Press, 1996.

                              Heather K. Thiessen