Manifest Destiny Name: Institution: Manifest Destiny Every country has a feeling of national purpose or destiny. Manifest Destiny was used by politicians and leaders in the 1800s to give explanations on the United States expansion. The Americans felt it was destiny that they expanded their “freedom borders” to other areas by passing on their viewpoint on democratic foundations and ideas to the people who could govern themselves…
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The Manifest Destiny concept tremendously influenced the United States policy. This enhanced the American expansion to the West. The idea was largely put forward by posters, newspapers and other avenues. Despite the fact that it was not a formal policy of the government, it facilitated the passing of legislations like the Homestead Act, which promoted colonization and acquisition of areas in the West (Robinson 2010, 21). Additionally, the idea was a factor in the thought of America. Movement into the West regions provided a prospect for self development. To be familiar with the concept of Manifest Destiny, it is essential to comprehend the desire and need of the United States to expand. This paper will look at how issues around it affected the U.S, how the views of Americans on the issue changed over the period, and will also mention some events as examples. How the Issues Affected the U.S John O'Sullivan, a U.S newspaper editor writing on the planned occupation of Texas, was the first to use the term in 1845. He asserted that it was America’s “manifest destiny to spread to the whole continent.” The newspaper issue recommended that through expanding, America could turn out to be a renowned superpower. According to O'Sullivan, United States had been exclusively selected for the mission of Westward expansion. This would push out the wilderness and bring civilization. Between independence and 1920, the government passed land laws that were favorable for people to migrate. The federal government also persuaded people from Europe to come and inhabit. It used the military to protect the settlers from natives. It further put money into explorations, such as that of Clark and Lewis. Wherever there was sufficient water, homesteading was practiced by people from the Midwest to the Pacific regions. Cheap and available land, high birth rates and immense population formed the basis of the expansion. Imperialism was used to facilitate the Manifest Destiny. There was a perception that mission and God was the path to Manifest Destiny. In between late 1800 and early 1900, the business community came up with the idea of International Destiny (Woodworth 2010, 65). The community believed in America broadening its authority to other regions. Imperialism was the main reason of the extension of the interest of America past the pacific. Imperialism made America take control of Cuba, Puerto Rico, Philippines, and Guam through its war with Spain. The expansionist principle of the Destiny was used as a good reason for the war between Spain and America over concern of liberating Cuba from Spain in 1898. The result was the defeat of Spain by America making Cuba independent. Despite their independence, the American forces occupied Cuba for three years. Even though there was still a lot of land in many areas of the globe that the Manifest Destiny philosophy could be applied to, accumulating land in the different regions in the world needed the adoption of new strategies. Management of the new territories required a new dedication by the military. The dedication was realized by the establishment of an up to date Navy. When the Federal Government ordered the construction of battleships and cruisers between 1880 and 1883, the expansion was enhanced.
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There were Native Americans in the continent when the first Europeans arrived as shown by Norse settlement in year 985 (U.S. Department of State, 2010). At the time when Europe colonized North America, it was estimated that around 18 million Native Americans were already living in what is now the United States of America (U.S.
Whites continued to encroach on Indian lands, sparking conflicts that eventually forced the Native Americans further and further from centers of white civilization. By the time of the American Revolution, most of the Native Americans in New England had relocated far away from their ancestral homelands, died from foreign diseases, such as smallpox, or through the increasing warfare between the colonists and the natives.
Manifest Destiny is an ideology and movement which was aimed at expanding the American territory. Particularly, it is a systematic body of ideas and values which powered American life and culture in the 1800s. The term was originally used by an American newspaper editor, John O’Sullivan in 1845 when writing about the anticipated annexation of Texas.
In short, it was an exhortation to expansionism. O’Sullivan opined that the “magnificent domain” should include “its floor shall be a hemisphere – its roof the firmament of the star-studded heavens, and its congregation a Union of many Republics
The author states that the term Manifest Destiny was first coined by a reputed journalist, John O’Sulliavan. The concept itself had already been prevalent for some time. The first was that the expansion across the continent was something that was readily apparent (manifest), while the second aspect was that the expansion was inevitable (destiny).
Mountjoy (2009) contends that these factors included the idea of the manifest destiny, the policy of the federal government, and cheaper and faster transportation. The manifest destiny was an idea based on the belief that God had destined the people of the United States
Thus, colonization and territorial acquisition was deemed justified and was considered somewhat of religious obligation. It became the major reason behind the American expansion, not just of territory but also of influence. It