Many Americans in the early 1800s believed that it was the destiny of America to control all of the North American continent. This belief was called "Manifest Destiny." The term originated from a New York newspaper editorial of December 27, 1845, which declared that the nation's manifest destiny was "to over spread and to possess" the whole continent, to develop liberty and self-government to all. In the eyes of the Americans, it meant that it was God's will that Americans expand their territory from coast to coast.
This idea of Manifest Destiny strongly influenced the attitudes of the people and the policies of the U.S. government. Americans believed that they were bringing God, technology and civilization to the lands in the west. What they brought, in fact, was death, disease and wars to the Native Americans and Mexicans who occupied these lands. Americans used the idea of Manifest Destiny to justify their dishonest, cruel, and racist treatment of the Indians and Mexicans who already occupied these lands. Americans looked upon Native Americans as dumb savages and upon Mexicans as inferior people who were lazy and ignorant.
Origins of Manifest Destiny
The idea of Manifest Destiny did not begin in the 1800s, but began back when Puritans were first settling the Atlantic coast.
In 1803 Thomas Jefferson was President of the United States and the Mississippi River was thought of as the western border of the United States. Napoleon Bonaparte was the ruler of France which controlled a huge piece of land west of the Mississippi River. This land stretched from the Mississippi River all the way to the Rocky Mountains and was called the Louisiana Territory. Napoleon was on the verge ...
... middle of paper ...
...end of the Mexican American War came with the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo on February 2, 1848. Mexico surrendered the New Mexico and California territories to the U.S. In 1853d the U.S. purchased more land along Mexico's northern border, which then set the southern border of the United States as we now know it.
Manifest Destiny was the belief that white Americans had that led to the expansion of U.S. territory from coast to coast. This belief resulted in the acquisition of territory for the U.S. but also was the direct cause of tremendous death and suffering for the Native Americans and Mexican people who occupied this territory. Because Americans believed that they were destined by God's will to expand over the whole continent, they justified their wrongful and deceiving actions against other human beings as merely carrying out God's will.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- The three authors that describe Manifest destiny have very different beliefs but all use one person with vastly different views on Manifest Destiny and his beliefs on the term. The person that first used the term in any form of writing was John O’ Sullivan and is accredited with coining the phrase but much of this time had this strong belief in expanding the territory and states of the United States. Their views on this term were different because some believed that the United States should expand from the Pacific to the Atlantic or the whole North American continent or the whole hemisphere.... [tags: Manifest Destiny Essays]
1311 words (3.7 pages)
- The famous phrase “Manifest Destiny” was made up by a journalist in 1844. The idea of Manifest Destiny was that the people of the east had a divine and God-given right to settle in the west. God put the land there for the taking, and so the immigrants answered His call with westward expansion. My belief is that Manifest destiny was a necessary evil. The idea of manifest destiny expanded the west and provided homes and jobs. but on the other side of the coin manifest destiny ran the Native Americans out of their land and kept pushing them further and further west.... [tags: Manifest Destiny Essays]
677 words (1.9 pages)
- One of the largest and most wealthy countries in the world, the United States of America, has gone through many changes in its long history. From winning its independence from Great Britain to present day, America has changed dramatically and continues to change. A term first coined in the 1840s, "Manifest Destiny" helped push America into the next century and make the country part of what it is today. The ideas behind Manifest Destiny played an important role in the development of the United States by allowing the territorial expansion of the 1800s.... [tags: Manifest Destiny Essays]
1323 words (3.8 pages)
- In order to understand manifest destiny one should come to an understanding of the origins of the term and what it meant to Americans. In the middle of the nineteen century Americans were eager to move west. They had wanted to see the span of the United States from the Atlantic Ocean to the pacific. Americans felt that open land meant opportunity and potential wealth. They also believed that America was destined to be a great nation and by moving west, they could share their unique form of government, and the freedom it represented.... [tags: Manifest Destiny Essays]
865 words (2.5 pages)
- Manifest afterlife was interpreted absolutely literally. The amplification appear the absolute North American abstemious and to a assertive admeasurement alike the Western Hemisphere, was acutely an addendum of the absolute abutment congenital on alternative and amalgamated governance. It was blighted that these acreage would appear into control of aloft Anglo-Saxons who alike had God on their side, but backroom at the aback of their minds. Anders Stephanson, Frederick Merk and Thomas Hietala all agreed that the duke of God was perceived to accept played a role in the land-grabbing action of the 1840's.... [tags: Manifest Destiny Essays]
1316 words (3.8 pages)
- During the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries the United States saw many problems come and go. Some problems were more important than others, however all led to further division of American politics. The most divisive issue in American politics during this time frame was the idea of Manifest Destiny, or territorial expansion. Manifest Destiny was the idea that it was the United States’ destiny to take over all of North America from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Most of the public was in favor of territorial expansion, though some politicians felt it contradicted the constitution.... [tags: Manifest Destiny Essays]
665 words (1.9 pages)
- Manifest Destiny took place in the US in the mid-1800. Manifest Destiny was used among the Americans in the 1840’s as a defense for U.S. territorial expansion. It is the presumption that God had destined the American people to at divine mission of American movement and conquest in the name of Christianity and democracy. In order to understand manifest destiny we must first find its’ origin. John O’Sullivan first initiated manifest destiny into America in 1845. This New York editor wrote the phrase that captured this mood when he attempted to explain American’s thirst for westward expansion he wrote: the fulfillment of our manifest destiny to overspread the continent allotted by Providence fo... [tags: Manifest Destiny Essays]
688 words (2 pages)
- Introduction Many Americans in the early 1800s believed that it was the destiny of America to control all of the North American continent. This belief was called "Manifest Destiny." The term originated from a New York newspaper editorial of December 27, 1845, which declared that the nation's manifest destiny was "to over spread and to possess" the whole continent, to develop liberty and self-government to all. In the eyes of the Americans, it meant that it was God's will that Americans expand their territory from coast to coast.... [tags: Manifest Destiny Essays]
1202 words (3.4 pages)
- In the mid-19th century, the West drew increasing numbers of American settlers despite the hardships of the journey and the difficult living conditions that waited them at their journey’s end. Thus Americans were immediately sized on the phrase “ Manifest Destiny”- believing that United State’s destiny is manifest, inevitable, to expand to the Pacific Ocean and into Mexican territory. Various factors in the United States in early 1800’s caused the nation to become grabbed with the Western Expansion.... [tags: Manifest Destiny Essays]
1457 words (4.2 pages)
- The United States of America has never been content with stagnation. The landmass of the Thirteen Colonies was enough to rival that of the Mother country from which they separated. The forefathers believed that it was the manifest destiny of this nation to eventually claim the expansion from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. By 1890, nearly a hundred years following the original claim of Manifest Destiny, the land that was once open, was now under American control. But no sooner was the Great American Frontier closed, than was the door to East Asian expansion opened with the great gold key of American diplomacy.... [tags: Manifest Destiny Essays]
1130 words (3.2 pages)