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…
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The increase in population of the initial 13 Colonies and the growth of the United States economy increased the desire to grow into additional land.
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.
John OSullivan, 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 OSullivan, 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,
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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.
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).
The term was originally used by an American news paper editor, John O’Sullivan in 1845 when writing about anticipated annexation of Texas. He stated that it was America’s “manifest destiny to overspread the continent “according to Wisegeek. (1).The idea of manifest destiny heavily influenced the American policy in the 17th century.
The destiny did not incorporate those who were seen as not capable to govern themselves, such as those of non-European decent and the indigenous people. Other factors and political plans also came into play. The increase in population of the initial 13 Colonies and the growth of the United States economy increased the desire to grow into additional land.
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.
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
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
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