Overall, the purpose of Manifest Destiny was to spread American values and expand the geographical borders of the nation. To begin with, the need Americans felt to expand west caused the government to seek more geographical territory and “Expansion westward seemed perfectly natural to many Americans in the mid-nineteenth century.”. The Louisiana purchase was one of the first expansions that made a big impact on the United States and initiated this movement. Events such as the Texas annexation and the Oregon Treaty of 1846 were parts of Manifest Destiny. These events expanded the national territory and encouraged people to settle further west, north, and south.
(Chiodo, John J.). Manifest Destiny was one of the greatest historical theories/beliefs, held by American settlers, before the 19th century. Manifest Destiny explained the United States’ goal of spreading its systems of democracy, federalism, and personal freedom, as well as managing its growing population, by taking control of the North American continent. O'Sullivan believed that Manifest Destiny revoked any claims that European states had made, regarding who discovered or settled on North America first. O’Sullivan believed that the way to gain control of the continent was to be peaceful, and this was achieved through the work of "Anglo-Saxon emigration."
The American Revolutionary Period was a time of extreme progress. During this time period the Rationalist movement erupted, sparking American interest in intelligence, exploration, and creativity. These kinds of advancements in society were only made possible by the Declaration of Independence. Without the freedom produced by the Declaration, the American Dream of upward mobility would not be possible. This dream of upward mobility was exemplified in the lives of both ordinary people and influential leaders of the time like Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine.
It was the concept that which heavily influenced American policy in the 1800s. Americans supported the manifest destiny because the Southerners wanted more land and Northerners believed expansion would relieve the population. The idea was the driving force behind the rapid expansion of America into the West from the East and heavily promoted newspapers and posters. Who came up with the term Manifest Destiny? It was John L. O'Sullivan who came up with the term Manifest Destiny for justification for white settlers to take the land they coveted.
Expanding Nation The United States, as a young nation, had the desire to expand westward and become a true continental United States that stretched from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Various factors, strategic and economic, contributed to the desire to expand westward. According to John O’Sullivan, as cited by Hestedt in Manifest Destiny 2004; "the U.S. had manifest destiny to overspread the continent allotted by Providence to the free development of our yearly multiplying millions" (¶2). As Americans ventured westward to settle the frontier, their inherent superior beliefs, culture and the principles of democracy accompanied them. America’s ruthless ambition to fulfill its manifest destiny had a profound impact on the nation’s economy, social systems and foreign and domestic policies; westward expansion was a tumultuous period in American History that included periods of conflict with the Native Americans and Hispanics and increased in sectionalism that created the backdrop for the Civil War.
America has had history for taking land in order for the benefit of our country, better known as imperialism. In the past, expansion (which was during the first half of the 19th century) it was in vein of the Manifest destiny, land would be acquired in a radical approach. It was always “Gods will” for America to expand and take from the Mexicans for example, or whoever stood in their way. During the period of time between the late 19th century and early 20th century, America was going through immense changes. After the revolution in Cuba against the Spanish, the Americans intervened to start the Spanish-American War.
It grew and shaped itself to include Mexicans as well as African Americans, and it blended with nationalism through ethnocentric ability. The strong national identity, created by our new government and shaped by democracy and war, strengthened as the country expanded. Representation in the government expanded with the incorporations of mass democracy. As the country expanded, land became more available to common people who wished for the American Dream. Opportunity became more available for dreams of Americans and Immigrants.
Since its inception, America as a nation has developed and progressed according to trends of change that collectively define an era. Like all other eras, the time period of 1875-1925 experienced growth, changes, movements, and new ideals. It is the way that these changes came about that defines this era. Americans started to push for changes in many arenas of life that were previously unchallenged. New experiences and opportunities were also presented to America that caused tributaries in the former American ideal.
"Sometimes she purchases the mighty morsel, sometimes she forms it … by the natural increase of her own people, sometimes she "annexes," and sometimes she conquers it ("Manifest")." The rise of American Empire received support because in many ways it seemed a proper product of past American history and tradition (Healy 47). Several American ideals -- such as: expansionism, progress, mission, and racial inequality -- were some of the main assumptions held of imperialism (Healy 34). The idea of Manifest Destiny had been with Americans long before the term was coined by John L O'Sullivan in 1845 (Sanford 26). American had been an expansionist nation since its earliest days (Brinkley 604).
In fact, this notion is “the prospect born out of the Declaration of Independence: the freedom of all men to pursue their dreams and goals in life with the only strings attached is that they are willing to work for it” (Excelsior). However, even though the American Dream did actually exist, this concept only included the rich and powerful. For the majority of the population who eagerly migrated to the United States in order to experience this concept, the American Dream was nothing but a lie (Ditchfield). The harsh reality of this dream was stunning. These facts concerned the immigrants who sought to realize their dreams in America: The unwanted consequence of their careless pursuit of wealth and happiness was caused by the lofty hopes of the American Dream.