Without the expansion that occurred in the 1800's the United States, our country would be considerably smaller, have less resources, and would, for these reasons, not be the proud nation that we are today, one of the most formidable unions of the world.
The expansion also broadened our horizons from a religious standpoint. Many of the religions that we practice in our diverse country today can draw some connection back to Manifest Destiny. The Mormons, now known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, were very influential to the westward movement. They provided food, shelter, and warmth for pioneers making the rough journey through the mountains during the cold winter months.
As we minimized the distance betweens our border and the Pacific Ocean, we expanded our diets to survive. We encountered many Mexican natives and western groups of Native Americans, who aided us in the location of food on the Frontier and how to prepare it. However, in many cases, like that of the Donner Party, settlers would resort to cannibalism to survive by eating the deceased in their wagon trains.
The problems encountered during the tedious journeys made during the 1800s paid off themselves in one simple way: the GOLD located in the California territory. This metal was easy to obtain and sold for a very high price to banks all over the world. As in any case where gold is involved, you can count on some antagonistic force to be present as well. In this case it was bank and train robbers. As many benefit from the California Gold Rush, many also endured great loss.